Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

Cambridge Encyclopedia

section (technology) - The Arts, Biology and Medicine, Mathematics

A term used to describe a two-dimensional view in an architectural or engineering drawing, which reveals the internal structure of the subject of the drawing. The object is drawn as if cut through by an imaginary plane with the part between the observer and the cutting plane removed. The angle at which the plane cuts the object is chosen to reveal the desired detail. Section most commonly r…

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sedative - Types of sedatives, Therapeutic use, Sedative dependence, Abuse and overdoses, Sedatives and alcohol, Lookalikes

A drug used to calm anxious patients without actually causing sleep; however, many sedatives in larger doses can be used as sleeping agents. Phenobarbitone was previously the most commonly used sedative, but it has been replaced for this purpose by drugs such as the safer benzodiazepines (eg diazepam). Sedatives used in the 19th-c include bromides, chloral hydrate, and paraldehyde. Doctors …

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sedimentary rock - Formation, Classification, Other information

Consolidated deposits composed of material laid down by water, wind, ice, or gravity, or by chemical precipitation. They are generally classified into three groups: Clastic rocks are made up of fragments of pre-existing rocks or minerals, and bound together by a cementing medium which is formed after deposition, eg shales, sandstones, and conglomerates. Organic rocks are composed largely of the re…

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sedimentation

The process of deposition of rock fragments suspended in water on to the floor of an ocean, sea, lake, or river floodplain. The unconsolidated sediment may become compacted, dewatered, and cemented together by processes collectively known as diagenesis, ultimately forming a sedimentary rock. Sedimentation describes the motion of molecules in solutions or particles in suspensions in response…

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seed - Seed structure, Seed functions, Economic importance, Oldest viable seeds, Seed packets and seed information

The mature, fertilized ovule of a plant, containing the embryo and a food store to sustain the seedling during germination, enclosed within a protective coat, the testa. In gymnosperms the seeds lie exposed on the cone scales; in flowering plants they are protected within the ovary. Some seeds are very large and are produced in small numbers (eg the coconut); others are very small and are produced…

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Segovia - Demography, Transportation, Famous Segovians, Food, drink, nightlife

40°57N 4°10W, pop (2000e) 55 000. Capital of Segovia province, Castilla-León, NWC Spain, 87 km/54 mi NW of Madrid; altitude c.1000 m/3000 ft; bishopric; railway; wool, thread, pottery, cement, flour, fertilizers, rubber, chemicals; Roman aqueduct and old town, a world heritage site; cathedral (16th-c), Moorish citadel, El Parral monastery, Churches of St Martin and St Esteban. Urba…

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segregation

The cultural, political, organizational, and typically geographical separation of one group of people from another. It is often based on perceived ethnic or racial divisions, an extreme example being apartheid (literally ‘separateness’) in S Africa, where physical segregation between whites and blacks was most apparent (eg in public transport, washrooms, housing, sport). It also characterized th…

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seguidilla - Song, Dance, Types

In Spanish literature, a four-line stanza of alternate 6/7- and 5-syllable lines with the rhyme or assonance scheme abab, the 1st and 3rd lines occasionally unrhymed. The form was established in the 16th-c on the basis of traditional folk lyrics: among its main practitioners were Timoneda, Horozco, Lope de Vega, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Benegasi (in his burlesque San Benito Palermo), and …

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seiche - Causes and nature of seiches, Seiches around the world, Engineering for seiche protection

An oscillation or sloshing of water in a partially confined body of water such as a bay or an estuary. The period of time required for the oscillation is determined by the physical size and shape of the basin. A seiche (pronounced say'sh) is a standing wave in an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water. Seiches and seiche-related phenomena have been observed on lakes, reservoirs, …

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Blaise de Lasseran-Massenc seigneur de (Lord of) Montluc

Soldier and memorialist, born in Saint Gemme, France. The eldest son of an impoverished branch of the Montesquiou family, he was brought up as a page at the court of Lorraine. He fought in N Italy (1521–2), and as a lieutenant played a brilliant part in the relief of Marseille (1536) and in the victory at Ceresole in Italy (1544). In the French Wars of Religion, his victory at Vergt (1562) broke …

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Seiji Ozawa - Books

Conductor, born in Hoten, NE China. Trained in Japan, Paris, and the USA, he then conducted the Toronto and San Francisco Symphonies, before beginning in 1973 his long tenure as conductor of the Boston Symphony. He joined the Vienna State Opera in 2002. Ozawa became famous not only for his conducting style, but his sartorial style: he wore the traditional formal dress with a white turtlenec…

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Seikan Tunnel - History, Maintenance, Structure

A Japanese rail tunnel beneath the Tsugara Strait, linking Tappi Saki, Honshu, with Fukushima, Hokkaido; constructed 1972–88; longest railway tunnel in Japan, length 54 km/34 mi. The Seikan Tunnel (青函トンネル Seikan Tonneru or 青函隧道 Seikan Zuidō) is a 53.85 km (33.49 mile) railway tunnel in Japan, with a 23.3 km (14.5 mile) portion under the seabed. Although it is t…

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seismic wave - Types of seismic wave, Some principles of locating an event

A shock wave propagated through the Earth as a result of an earthquake. There are four types of wave. P (compressional) and S (transverse) waves both have high frequency, and are transmitted through the Earth, but only P waves can travel through fluid zones. L waves are transverse, have low frequency, and are confined to the upper part of the crust. Rayleigh waves develop close to the epicentre, a…

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seismology - Earthquake prediction

The study of earthquakes and the propagation of seismic waves through the Earth. By studying the velocity of seismic waves, the structure of the Earth and the discontinuities which define its core, mantle, and crust have been discovered. By using artificial explosions to generate shock waves, the structure of the underlying rocks can be determined, and applied to the exploration for oil and gas. …

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Sejanus - Sejanus in later literature, Reference

Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (14–31), and all-powerful at Rome after the Emperor Tiberius's retirement to Capri (26). He systematically eliminated possible successors to Tiberius, such as Agrippina's sons, so that he himself might wield supreme power after Tiberius's death as regent for his young grandson Gemellus. His plans, however, were made known to Tiberius, and his fall from grace was su…

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Sekondi-Takoradi

4°59N 1°43W, pop (2000e) 134 000. Major seaport and capital of Western region, S Ghana; on the Gulf of Guinea, 180 km/112 mi WSW of Accra; founded by the Dutch, 16th-c; Sekondi expanded after construction of railway to Tarkwa (1898–1903), and merged with Takoradi, 1946; important supply base during World War 2; railway repair, cigarettes, boatbuilding, foodstuffs, trade in minerals. …

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Selangor - History, Administration, Culture, Cuisines

pop (2000e) 2 461 000; area 7997 km²/3087 sq mi. State in W Peninsular Malaysia, on the Strait of Malacca; British protectorate, 1874; separated from federal territory of Wilayah Persekutuan, 1981; capital, Shah Alam; rubber, tin, commerce. Selangor (Jawi: سلاڠور, population 4.1 million) is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. The name Selangor is said to come from the…

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select committee

Members of a legislature whose task is to inquire into matters that come within its competence, usually as prescribed by the legislature or government. Two main types may be distinguished: ad hoc (Lat ‘to this’), which normally ceases to exist when its task is completed; and permanent or standing, which normally lasts for an electoral term and which investigates particular policy areas or the ac…

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Selene - Depictions, Myths, Luna, In popular culture

In Greek mythology, the goddess of the Moon. There seems to have been no cult among the Greeks, but the Moon was important in witchcraft. She was depicted as a charioteer (the head of one of her horses may be seen among the Elgin Marbles). In Greek mythology, Selene (Σελήνη, "moon"; Like most moon deities, Selene plays a fairly large role in her pantheon. However, Selene w…

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selenium

Se, element 34. A metalloid in the oxygen group, found as a minor constituent of sulphide ores, and mainly produced from the residue of copper refinement. Its chemistry is similar to that of sulphur, with main oxidation states ?2, +2, +4, and +6. Hydrogen selenide (H2Se) has a particularly obnoxious smell and is very toxic. Mainly important for its electrical properties, selenium can be used to co…

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Seleucus Nicator ( I - Establishing the Seleucid state

Macedonian general of Alexander the Great, and founder of the Seleucid dynasty. He rose from being satrap of Babylonia (321 BC) to being the ruler of an empire which stretched from Asia Minor to India. To hold his unwieldy empire together, he founded a new, more central capital at Antioch in N Syria (300 BC). Seleucus was the son of Antiochus, one of Philip's generals, and of Laodice. In 32…

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self-determination - History and overview, Problems of nationalism and fragmentation, Local interpretations

A doctrine dating back to the 18th-c that cultural communities and national groupings have the right to determine their own destiny, including political independence and the right to self-rule. The principle that each nation has the right to fashion its own state is incorporated in the United Nations Charter, and is a major plank in anti-colonialism. Self-determination or the right to self-…

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self-regulatory organization (SRO)

A body which manages its own affairs and has its own rules of conduct, eliminating the need for government legislation. Lloyd's and the London Stock Exchange are two such bodies. From time to time the government may threaten to introduce legislation to ensure public control, usually if some adverse event has taken place. These bodies then modify their own rules to guard against any repetition of t…

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Sellafield - History, Major plants, Sellafield and the local community, Sellafield Visitors' Centre, Controversy

54°38N 3°30W. Nuclear power plant in Cumbria, NW England; on the Irish Sea coast, W of Gosforth; processes nuclear waste; process of decomissioning begun, 2005; nearby Calder Hall gas-cooled, moderated nuclear reactors, operational 1956–2003. Sellafield is the name of a nuclear site, close to the village and railway station of Seascale, operated by the British Nuclear Group, but owned si…

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Selous Game Reserve

A game reserve established upon the Rufiji R system, C Tanzania, in 1905; still largely unexplored; noted for the variety of its scenery and wildlife; a world heritage site. The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest fauna reserves of the world, located in the south of Tanzania. Interesting places in the park include the river of Rufiji, which flows into the Indian Ocean in f…

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selva

The Portuguese term for the tropical rainforest of the Amazon Basin. Its use has been extended to cover similar vegetation types elsewhere. Selva is a coastal comarca (county) in Catalonia, Spain, located between the mountain range known as the Serralada Transversal or Puigsacalm and the Costa Brava (part of the Mediterranean coast). …

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semantics - Logic and mathematics, Computer science, Psychology

The study of the meaning system of a language. The word meaning has itself many meanings, and semantic approaches vary widely. In one view, meaning is the relationship between language and the external world (referential or denotative meaning), and semantics enquires into the precise relationship between a word and the concept it stands for. In another, it involves the mental state of the speaker,…

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semaphore - History, Railway semaphores, References in fiction

A code and signalling apparatus for visual communication. It consists of one or two mechanically-operated arms attached to an upright post, or two hand-held flags at arm's length, which are moved in a vertical plane to a sequence of positions. Each position represents a different letter of the alphabet, numeral, or punctuation feature. The system was widely used in visual telegraphy, especially at…

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Semarang - Administration, Geography, Culture, Education, Temples and monuments

6°58S 110°29E, pop (2000e) 1 588 000. Fishing port and capital of Java Tengah province, C Java, Indonesia; large Chinese population; airfield; railway; university (1960); shipbuilding, fishing, textiles, trade in coffee, sugar, rubber; Gedung Batu cave, Mudu war memorial, Klinteng Sam Poo Kong temple. Semarang is a city on the north coast of the island of Java, Indonesia. Another versi…

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Semele - Affair with Zeus and birth of Dionysus, Locations, Semele in Roman culture, Semele in later art

In Greek mythology, the daughter of Cadmus, and mother by Zeus of Dionysus. She asked Zeus to appear in his glory before her, and was consumed in fire, but it made her son immortal. Semele is probably related to the Phrygian goddess Zemelo. In Greek mythology, Semele, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, was the mortal mother of Dionysus by Zeus in one of his two parallel origin myths. the myth…

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semen - Composition of human semen, Semen and transmission of disease, Blood in the semen (hematospermia)

Yellow-white fluid ejaculated from the penis at orgasm. It consists of spermatozoa and the seminal plasma, the secretions from the accessory sex glands (seminal vesicles, prostate, urethral, and bulbo-urethral glands). The secretions assist in the nourishment and motility of the spermatozoa. Fructose is their main source of energy, and prostaglandins facilitate their transport in the female reprod…

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semiconductor - Overview, Band structure, Carrier generation and recombination, Doping, Preparation of semiconductor materials

A substance whose electrical conductivity is between that of an insulator and a conductor at room temperature. The conductivity can be made to vary with temperature and the impurities in the semiconductor crystal. In intrinsic semiconductors, usually made from pure crystals of germanium or silicon (known as semi-metals), conductivity rises with temperature. The conductivity of extrinsic semiconduc…

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Seminole - The Seminole Wars, The Seminole nation today, Florida State University connection, External links and sources

A Muskogean-speaking North American Indian group of SE USA, descended from Creeks who settled in Florida in the late 18th-c, many intermarrying with runaway Negro slaves. They fought whites encroaching on their territory, eventually surrendering to US troops in the 1820s and 1830s, and moved to reservations in Oklahoma, now numbering c.12 000 (2000 census). The Seminole are a Native Americ…

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semiotics - Clarification of terms, History, Some important semioticians, Current applications, Branches

The study of signs, sign systems, and the social production of meaning, also known as semiology. It is a multidisciplinary area of study, which derives from the pioneering work on language by the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and the US philosopher C S Peirce. A fundamental notion is the arbitrary nature of communication systems (written and spoken language, gestures, dress, etc). Meaning i…

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Semiramis - Biography according to Diodorus Siculus, Semiramis in Armenian legend, In later traditions

Semi-legendary Queen of Assyria, the daughter of the goddess Derceto, and wife of Ninus, with whom she is supposed to have founded Babylon. The historical germ of the story seems to be the three years' regency of Sammu-ramat (811–808 BC), widow of Shamshi-Adad V, but the details are legendary, derived from Ctesias and the Greek historians, with elements of the Astarte myth. Semiramis (c. T…

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semolina

A heated solution of the flour of hard durum wheat. It is used to make pasta and milk puddings. Semolina is coarsely ground grain, usually wheat, with particles mostly between 0.25 and 0.75 mm in diameter. It refers to two very different products: semolina for porridge is usually steel-cut soft common wheat whereas "durum semolina" used for pasta or gnocchi is coarsely ground from eit…

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Senate (Roman) - Overview, Senates around the world, Defunct senates

An advisory body, first to the kings, then the consuls, finally the emperor. Initially composed of heads of families of the patrician class, by the end of the Republic it was made up of ex-magistrates, and its resolutions had come to have the force of law. A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. The most widely known senates are the Roman Senate a…

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Senate (USA) - Overview, Senates around the world, Defunct senates

One of the two houses of the US Congress, consisting of two senators from each State (100 in all), chosen by the people to serve for six years; a third are chosen every two years. It has powers of ‘advice and consent’ on presidential treaties and appointments. Much of its work is done through committees rather than on the floor. It is presided over by the US vice-president, who can cast the deci…

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Seneca - Other

An Iroquois-speaking North American Indian group, who settled in present-day W New York State and E Ohio. A member of the Iroquois League, they expanded through warfare in the 17th-c. They supported the British during the American Revolution, which led to the destruction of their villages by US troops, and their settlement on reservations in 1797. Places in the United States of America: …

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Senegal - History, Politics, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Administrative divisions, Culture, Miscellaneous topics

Official name Republic of Senegal, Fr République du Sénégal Senegal (French: le Sénégal), officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country south of the Sénégal River in western Africa. Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times. Islam, the dominant religion in Senegal, first came to the region in the 11th century. …

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senescence - Theories of aging, Miscellaneous

A series of changes in the body which are related to increasing mortality with increasing age. Modern views hold that it is essentially a continuing and increasing failure of adaptability to environmental variations. When the range of environments to which the body can adapt is less than the minimum range normally experienced, death results. In the past, many causes of this decreased adaptability …

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Sennacherib - Sennacherib's account, Biblical account, The Egyptian disaster according to Herodotus, In popular culture

King of Assyria (704–681 BC), the son of Sargon II and grandfather of Assurbanipal. He was an able ruler, whose fame rests mainly on his conquest of Babylon (689 BC) and his rebuilding of Nineveh. He figures prominently in the Bible, because of his attack on Jerusalem. Sennacherib (in Akkadian Śïn-ahhe-eriba "(The moon god) Śïn has Replaced (Lost) Brothers for Me") was the son of Sargo…

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Seol Ki-Hyeon

Footballer, born in South Korea. At the end of his time as a college player in Korea, the young striker was advised to join the J League in Japan, but chose instead to try and establish his career in Europe. After one successful season with Antwerp (2000–1), he moved to Anderlecht. He has played in the UEFA Champions' League, and in the Belgian Super Cup he gained a hat-trick in the space of 12 m…

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sepal

One of the outermost whorl of flower parts, collectively termed the calyx. Usually green, free, or sometimes fused together, they protect the flower in bud. They sometimes assume other roles, such as becoming enlarged and brightly coloured, and acting as petals. A sepal is an individual unit of the calyx of a flower. The term tepal is usually applied when the petals and sepals are not diffe…

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separation of powers - Writings of Montesquieu, Separation of powers and Presidentialism, Checks and balances

A political doctrine, associated with the 18th-c philosopher Montesquieu, who argued that, to avoid tyranny, the three branches of government (legislature, executive, and judiciary) should be separated as far as possible, and their relationships governed by checks and balances. The US Constitution is a practical example of an attempt at separation of powers. Parliamentary systems such as that of t…

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separatism - Political and administrative separatism, Other Historical separatist movements, Ethnic/racial separatism, Religious separatism

The demand by a particular group or area for separation from the territorial and political sovereignty of the state of which they are a part. Examples of separatist movements are the Basques in Spain and the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Separatism is associated with claims for the right to self-determination, and is often connected with discrimination against minorities. Separatism is a term usuall…

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Septuagesima - Devotional and liturgical practices, Liturgical reforms, Vestiges of the season

In the Western Christian Church, the third Sunday before Lent, apparently so called by analogy with Quinquagesima which is two Sundays later. (Lat septuagesimus, ‘seventieth’.) Septuagesima (in full, Septuagesima Sunday), an observance no longer in use except in the "traditional" calendars, was the name given to the third from the last Sunday before Lent in the Catholic and Anglican…

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Septuagint - Naming and designation, Textual history, Use of the Septuagint, Language of the Septuagint

A translation into Greek of the Hebrew Bible, obtaining its name (meaning ‘translation of the 70’) from a legend in the Letter of Aristeas (2nd-c BC) about its composition as the work of 72 scholars, six from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. The translation was begun c.3rd-c BC to meet the need of Greek-speaking Jews in the Diaspora, but work progressed by several stages over about a century. It…

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sequence (liturgy) - Examples and notation, Types and properties of sequences, Sequences in analysis, Series

From c.850 to c.1000, a non-biblical Latin text added to a long portion of chant originally sung to one syllable at the end of the Alleluia; later, a similar syllabic chant specially composed. All but four sequences (they include the Dies irae of the Requiem Mass) were banned from the liturgy in the 16th-c, but the Stabat mater was later admitted. For example, (C,R,Y) is a sequence of lette…

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sequence (mathematics) - Examples and notation, Types and properties of sequences, Sequences in analysis, Series

In mathematics, an ordered set of numbers such that the nth term can always be written as a function of n. In an arithmetic sequence, where a is the first term and d the common difference, the nth term is a + (n?1)d. A series is the sum of the terms in a sequence. Thus the exponential series is . For example, (C,R,Y) is a sequence of letters that differs from (Y,C,R), as the ordering matt…

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Sequoia (California)

National park in E California, USA, in the Sierra Nevada, E of Fresno; contains the enormous, ancient sequoia trees; area 1631 km²/630 sq mi. …

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Seraf - Reference

Scholar, costumbrista, bibliophile, and Arabist, born in Málaga, S Spain. He studied law in Granada, and later held influential positions in the nation, including those of state councillor and senator. His early writings were signed ‘Safinio’, but later he adopted the pseudonym ‘El Solitario’. His first book, Poesías del Solitario (1831), consisted mainly of satirical verses, though his best…

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Serapis - History

A compound deity, combining the names and aspects of two Egyptian gods, Osiris and Apis, to which were further added features of major Greek gods, such as Zeus and Dionysus. The god was introduced to Alexandria by Ptolemy I in an attempt to unite Greeks and Egyptians in common worship. Serapis (in older scholarship not infrequently Sarapis) was an Hellenistic-Egyptian god in Antiquity. Ptol…

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Serena Williams - Grand Slam singles finals, Titles (37)

Tennis player, born in Saginaw, Michigan, USA, the sister of Venus Williams. Coached by her father, her achievements include the US Open singles title in 1999. She partnered her sister to gain doubles titles in the US Open (1999), French Open (1999), Wimbledon (2000, 2002), and Australian Open (2001, 2003). Further successes include singles titles at the French Open (2002), Wimbledon (2002, 2003),…

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serenade

Originally, music to be played or sung in the evening, especially for courting. The term is now most widely applied to works for full or string orchestra in several movements, which are lighter in style and less ambitious than a symphony. 2) In the Baroque era, and generally called a Serenata (Italian "serenade"--since this form occurred most frequently in Italy), a serenade was a type of c…

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Serengeti

area 14 763 km²/5698 sq mi. National park in N Tanzania; a world heritage site; established in 1951; average elevation c.1500 m/5000 ft; noted for its wildlife, especially wildebeeste, gazelle, zebra, impala, buffalo, topi, eland, kongoni, giraffe, elephant, hyena, and lion; famous for the mass migratory treks of the grass-eating animals and their predators as they follow the rains to new g…

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serfdom - Etymology, The system of serfdom, Dates of emancipation from serfdom in various countries

The condition of peasants lacking personal freedom, especially of movement and the disposal of property, and liable to uncertain or arbitrary obligations; an intermediate position between slavery and freedom. In general, they were attached to the land, and denied freedom of movement or freedom to marry without permission of their lord. They were obliged to work on their lord's fields, to contribut…

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Serge Blanco

French rugby player, born in Caracas, Venezuela. Arrière offensif, he held the record for the number of tries he made while in the French team. He won the Grand Slam (1981, 1987) and was voted best rugby player (1982, 1983, 1989–92). He retired in 1992. Serge Blanco (born 31 August 1958 in Caracas, Venezuela) is a former rugby union footballer who played fullback for Biarritz Olympique an…

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Serge Chermayeff - Online sources

Architect and designer, born in the Caucasus. Educated in England, he took up journalism, then became a director of Waring & Gillow (1928), for which he established a ‘Modern Art Studio’. His early design work was for interiors, including studios for Broadcasting House, London (1931). In 1940 he emigrated to the USA where, in addition to his architectural work, he taught design and architecture.…

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Serge Gainsbourg - Biography, Death and legacy, Trivia, Noted songs

Composer, lyricist, and performer, born in Paris, France. He abandoned painting for music after meeting Boris Vian. A controversial character, he sang about alchohol, adultery and poverty. ‘Je t'aime, moi non plus’ was originally meant as a dialogue for Brigitte Bardot, who was replaced by Jane Birkin (with whom he had a daughter Charlotte, b.1971, who became an actress), and inspired a film wit…

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Serge Lama - Discography

Singer and actor, born in Bordeaux, SW France. His amateur debut was in the troupe of the Lycee Michelet, then at L'Ecluse in 1964, where Barbara welcomed him (he would later write in memory of this ‘L'orgue de Barbara’), and at the ‘Petit Conservatoire de la Chanson’ of Mireille. In 1964 he appeared at Bobino in a programme of Brassens' work. He evoked the war with ‘L'Algerie’ and ‘Le temp…

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Serge Lifar

Dancer and choreographer, born in Kiev, Ukraine. He was a student and friend of Diaghilev, whose Ballets Russes company he joined in 1923. He scored his first triumph as a choreographer in Paris with Créatures de Promethée (1929), and became the guiding genius behind the Paris Opéra (1929–58). He wrote several works on ballet, including a biography of Diaghilev (1940). Serge Lifar (Ukra…

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Serge Reggiani - Reference

French film actor and singer, born in Reggio Emilia, N Italy. He settled in Paris with his family as a young child, and at age 15 won a place at the Conservatoire des Arts Cinématographiques to study acting. He made his name opposite Simone Signoret in Jacques Becker's Casque d'Or (1952), and later films include Les Portes de la Nuit (1946), Manon (1949), Les Misérables (1958), The Leopard (1963…

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Sergey (Pavlovich) Korolyov - Early life, Education, Early career, Gulag, Ballistic missiles, Space program, Death, Awards and honors, Bibliography

Aircraft engineer and rocket designer, born in Zhitomir, WC Ukraine. Educated at Moscow Higher Technical School, in 1931 he formed the Moscow Group for Investigating Jet Propulsion, which launched the Soviet Union's first liquid-propelled rocket in 1933. By 1949 he was engaged in high-altitude-sounding flights employing rockets. As chief designer of Soviet spacecraft, he directed the Soviet Union'…

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Seria

4º39N 114º40E, pop (2002e) 23 200. Town in Belait district, W Brunei, SE Asia; located SW of Bandar Seri Begawan; rich oil reserves were discovered here (1929) and commercial production began in 1932; a tanker terminal for the export of crude oil opened in 1972; gas turbine plant. Recreational activities in Seria are mostly limited to country clubs (Panaga and the Brunei Shell Recreatio…

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serialism - Basic definition, History of serial music, Theory of serial music, Important composers

A method of composing music in which a series (or ‘row’ or ‘set’) of different notes is used, in accordance with certain strict practices, as the basis of a whole work. The most common type is 12-note serialism, in which the 12 pitches of the chromatic scale are re-ordered to form one of a possible 479 001 600 different series. This can then be presented vertically as chords, or horizontally…

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seriema

A ground-dwelling bird, inhabiting grassland and scrub in the New World tropics; long legs and neck; tuft of feathers between eyes; poor flier; eats insects, small vertebrates, leaves, seeds, and fruit; also known as the cariama. (Family: Cariamidae, 2 species.) The Seriemas are a small and ancient family of tropical South American birds, belonging to the family Cariamidae, that are related…

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Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) - Background, Intelligence role and secrecy, Money laundering

Britain's first non-police law-enforcement agency, launched in 2006. It is an amalgamation of the National Crime Squad, the National Criminal Intelligence Service, and investigators from Customs and the Home Office's Immigration Service. With a staff of more than 4000, the agency's role is to target the international gangs behind such crimes as people trafficking, drug smuggling, fraud, and global…

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serjeanty - Examples of grand serjeanty

The name for a wide range of tenures in mediaeval times, by which men held land on condition of performing some definite personal service, other than knight-service, to the superior lord. The services demanded were weighty or frivolous, but the distinction made in England between grand and petty serjeanties is an invention of legal antiquarians. Tenure by serjeanty was a form of land-holdin…

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serotonin - Explanation, Biochemistry, Neurotransmission, Pharmacology, Modulating levels

A widely distributed chemical substance (a monoamine), particularly found in the blood, brain, and certain cells of the gut; it is also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). It is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, plays an important part in haemostasis, and probably also acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is involved in sleep, emotional disposition (mood), prolac…

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Serpens

A constellation of the equatorial region of the sky. It is unique, because it is bisected (by Ophiuchus) into two distinct sections: Serpens Caput (‘head’) and Serpens Cauda (‘body’). Source: The Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed., The Hipparcos Catalogue, ESA SP-1200 …

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serpentine - Overview, Antigorite, Chrysotile, Lizardite

A hydrous magnesium silicate (Mg3Si2O5(OH)4) occurring in altered basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks by the decomposition of olivine and pyroxene. There are two main forms: chrysotile (an asbestos variety) and antigorite. It is soft, green to black, and used in decorative carving. Serpentine is a group of common rock-forming hydrous magnesium iron phyllosilicate ((Mg, Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4) minera…

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serum

The residue of any animal liquid after the separation and removal of the more solid components. It is specifically used to refer to human blood serum, which is a clear, yellowish fluid separated from clotted blood plasma. Serum containing appropriate antibodies is used in the protection against specific diseases (eg typhoid, tetanus). Serum (Latin for "whey") may refer to: …

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serum sickness - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

The repeated administration of an antigenic substance (a foreign protein), such as in immunization, which sometimes gives rise to an acute severe reaction. These reactions include fever, urticaria, arthritis, and inflammation of the heart and kidneys. Serum sickness can be developed as a result of exposure to antibodies derived from animals. These complexes can cause more reactions, and cau…

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serval - Heraldry and literature

A nocturnal member of the cat family (Felis serval), native to S Africa; slender, with long neck and short tail; pale with small or large dark spots (small-spotted type formerly called servaline cat); occasionally black; solitary; inhabits savannah near streams; eats rodents, birds, and small antelopes. The Serval (Leptailurus serval) is a medium-sized African wild cat: length 85 cm, plus 4…

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service club

A group of men and women organized to perform voluntary community service. The first such club, for business and professional men, was formed in 1905 by US lawyer Paul Harris (1868–1947) in Chicago, IL, using the name Rotary (because the meetings took place at each member's office in turn). This grew into Rotary International, whose motto ‘Service above Self’ embodies the ideals of all service …

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service tree

The name given to two species of Sorbus, native to Europe, both deciduous trees with white flowers in large, flat clusters. The true service tree (Sorbus domestica) has pinnate leaves with 6–10 pairs of toothed leaflets, and reddish-brown berries 2–3 cm/¾–1¼ in, edible when over-ripe. The wild service tree or chequerberry (Sorbus torminalis) has lobed leaves and brown berries 1–2 cm/0·4

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sesame

An annual (Sesamum indicum) growing to 60 cm/2 ft, probably native to SE Asia; leaves opposite and usually lobed below, alternate above; flowers c.3 cm/1¼ in long, white, usually marked with purple or yellow, solitary in the leaf axils; fruit an oblong capsule. It is cultivated in warmer countries for its seeds, which are used for baking and as a source of oil in margarine, soap manufacture, …

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Sesostris

According to Greek legend, an Egyptian monarch who invaded Libya, Arabia, Thrace, and Scythia, subdued Ethiopia, placed a fleet on the Red Sea, and extended his dominion to India. He was possibly Sesostris I (c.1980–1935 BC), II (c.1906–1887 BC), and III (c.1887–1849 BC) compounded into one heroic figure. Sesostris was the name of a legendary king of ancient Egypt. According …

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set - Describing sets, Set membership, Cardinality of a set, Subsets, Special sets, Unions, Intersections, Complements, Further reading

In mathematics, a well-defined class of elements, ie a class where it is possible to tell exactly whether any one element does or does not belong to it. We can have the set of all even numbers, as every number is either even or not even, but we cannot have the set of all large numbers, as we do not know what is meant by ‘large’. The empty set ? is the set with no elements. The universal set ? or…

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Seth Barnes Nicholson - Awards and honors

Astronomer, born in Springfield, Illinois, USA. He studied at Drake University, IA, and the University of California, then joined the staff of the Mt Wilson Observatory (1915–57). He is remembered for his discovery of the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th satellites of Jupiter. Seth Barnes Nicholson (November 12, 1891 – July 2, 1963) was an American astronomer. Nicholson was born in …

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Seth Low - Early Life, Mayor of Brooklyn, Presidency of Columbia University, International Peace Conference

College president and merchant, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. A successful merchant, he developed public schools and transportation and a permanent civil service as mayor of Brooklyn (1881–6) and New York City (1901–3). As president of Columbia College (later University) (1890–1901) he bought the Morningside Heights site. Columbia's Low Library is named after him. Seth Low, born in Br…

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Settle

54º04N 2º16W. Market town in Craven, North Yorkshire, England, UK; on the R Ribble in the heart of the Craven district; tourist centre for the limestone country of N Pennines and gateway to the Three Peaks of Penyghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough; railway; famous Settle to Carlisle railway, constructed 1869–76; birthplace of George Birkbeck, Thomas Nuttall, and brothers Richard and Theophylact…

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Seven against Thebes - Translations

In Greek legend, seven champions who attacked Thebes to deprive Eteocles of his kingship. They were led by his brother Polynices; the other six were Tydeus, Adrastus (or Eteoklos), Capaneus, Hippomedon, Parthenopaeus, and Amphiarus. They were defeated by another seven champions at the seven gates of Thebes; all were killed in battle, except for Amphiarus, whom the Earth swallowed alive, and Adrast…

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seven deadly sins - Catholic Virtues, Punishments, Associations with demons, Symbols of the Sins, Cultural references

The fundamental vices thought, in Christian tradition, to underlie all sinful actions. They are pride, covetousness, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth. The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, are a classification of vices used in early Christian teachings to educate and protect followers from (immoral) fallen man's tendency to sin. Beginning in th…

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Seven Years' War - Nomenclature, Causes, Start of the war, British reaction and response, European theatre, Colonial theatre, Battles, Reception

(1756–63) A major European conflict rooted in the rivalry between Austria and Prussia and the imminent colonial struggle between Britain and France in the New World and the Far East. Hostilities in North America (1754) pre-dated the Diplomatic Revolution in Europe (1756), which created two opposing power blocs: Austria, France, Russia, Sweden, and Saxony against Prussia, Britain, and Portugal. Br…

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Sevenoaks - History, Communications, Knole, Cricket, Population, Modern Sevenoaks, Notable natives

51º16N 0º12E, pop (2001e) 24 700. Residential market town in Kent, SE England, UK; in the Vale of Holmesdale, NW of Tonbridge on the North Downs, 34 km/21 mi SE of London; birthplace of 1st Baron Jeffrey Amherst; railway; public school (1432); agriculture, light industry. Sevenoaks is a town in the Sevenoaks district of Kent in South East England and forms part of the London commuter …

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severe combined immunodeficiency (SCI) - Types, Detection, Treatment

A type of immune deficiency resulting from failure of the thymus to develop, and thus to produce lymphocytes, key cells in the body's immune response. Babies born with this condition have little ability to withstand infection, and rarely survive beyond infancy; but some success has been obtained with thymic transplantation. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID, is a genetic disorder in…

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Severnaya Zemlya - History, Geography, Flora and fauna

area 37 000 km²/14 300 sq mi. Uninhabited archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, N of the Taymyr Peninsula, Russia; separates the Laptev Sea (E) from the Kara Sea (W); glaciers on the larger islands. Severnaya Zemlya (Russian: Се́верная Земля́, Northern Land) is an archipelago located in the Russian high Arctic at around 80°00′N 100°00′E. Although located no…

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Severo Ochoa

Molecular biologist, born in Luarca, Spain. He taught and performed research in Europe before coming to the USA to join Washington University (St Louis) (1941–2). At New York University (NYU) (1942–74), he described the mechanism of the Krebs citric acid cycle, which generates cellular energy (1940s–1950s). In 1955 he isolated a bacterial enzyme with which he performed the first test-tube synth…

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Seville - Sights, Festivals, Cakes and Sweet Pastry from Seville, Education, Trivia

37°23N 6°00W, pop (2000e) 667 000. River-port and capital of Seville province, Andalusia, SW Spain; on R Guadalquivir, 538 km/334 mi SW of Madrid; Moorish cultural centre, 8th–13th-c; trading centre with the Americas, 16th-c; archbishopric; airport; railway; university (1502); tourism, furniture, olives, agricultural machinery, chemicals; birthplace of Velásquez and Murillo; cathedral (15t…

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Sevvy Ballesteros - Other wins (36), Team appearances, Results in major championships

Golfer, born in Pedrena, N Spain. A highly combative, adventurous player, he has continually set records. Professional since 1974, when he won the (British) Open in 1979 he was the youngest player to do so in the 20th-c, and he took the title again in 1984 and 1988. Other wins include the US Masters (1980, 1983) and the World Matchplay (1981–2, 1984–5, 1991), and he has also been an inspirationa…

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sewage - Etymology

Waste matter, especially human excrement, carried away from houses by special conduits (sewers). The use of water-borne sewage disposal became established in the 1870s, the sewers being linked either directly to the sea through an outfall, if a suitable one was available, or to a sewage farm. A sewage farm uses beds of sand to grow and support a gelatinous bacterial film which develops as the true…

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Sewall Wright - Biography, Scientific achievements and credits, Wright and Philosophy, Legacy

Geneticist, born in Melrose, Massachusetts, USA. He worked in the Animal Husbandry Division of the US Department of Agriculture (1915–25), where he began his fundamental studies of the frequently negative genetic effects of inbreeding in guinea pigs. He expanded his research to demonstrate the improvement of livestock populations by crossbreeding, offspring selection, and purposeful inbreeding. A…

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Seward Peninsula

Peninsula in Alaska, USA, separating Kotzebue Sound (N) and Norton Sound (S); the most W point of the North American continent. The Seward Peninsula is a large peninsula on the western coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. Communities on the Seward Peninsula, with 2005 state population estimates: Other locations on the Seward Peninsula include the mining towns of Counci…

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sex linkage - Sex-linked traits in humans, Sex-linked traits in other mammals

Genes carried on the X and Y chromosomes, and the characteristics they control; also called X linkage. In mammals females have two X chromosomes and males an X and a Y chromosome. Women transmit one X chromosome to either sons or daughters, while men pass their X chromosome only to their daughters. A characteristic feature of X-linked inheritance is thus the absence of male-to-male transmission. M…

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The Sex Pistols - History, Influence and cultural legacy, Band members, Discography, Further reading, Films

British rock band formed in London, UK in 1975, consisting at first of Johnny Rotten (originally and later John Lydon, 1956– , vocals), Steve Jones (1955– , guitar and vocals), Glen Matlock (1956– , bass guitar), Paul Cook (1956– , drums); Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious (originally John Simon Ritchie, 1957–79). They were brought together and managed by Malcolm McLaren, and gained notorie…

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sex therapy

Treatment for sexual problems of psychological origin, which may arise as a result of a mental reaction to physical illness by the affected individual or partner, or to psychological attitudes themselves, either of which imperil normal sexual relations. An assessment of the individual or couple's problem is followed by simple counselling or, in the event of failure, by referral to specially traine…

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Sexagesima

In the Western Christian Church, the second Sunday before Lent, apparently so called by analogy with Quinquagesima, the following Sunday. (Lat sexagesimus, ‘sixtieth’). Sexagesima (in full, Sexagesima Sunday) is the name for the second Sunday before Ash Wednesday in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, and also in that of some Protestant denominations, particularly …

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sexism - Sexism and sexual expression, Sexism and linguistics

A set of preconceived assumptions about the ‘proper’ roles, attitudes, and characteristics (especially physical) that men and women should have, typically working to the advantage of men over women; for example, the assumption that ‘a woman's place is in the home’, or that men are ‘naturally aggressive’. Sexism can be identified by behaviour, speech, and the written word, and is criticized m…

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Sextans

A very faint equatorial constellation between Leo and Hydra. Source: The Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed., The Hipparcos Catalogue, ESA SP-1200 …

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sextant - Advantages, Adjustment, Anatomy of a sextant, The "Bris" sextant

An optical instrument for measuring angular distances; in particular, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon at noon, for determining latitude. The observer views the horizon through a telescope, and simultaneously (through a mirror attached to an arm on a graduated arc) the Sun. The mirror can be moved over the arc to produce a coincidence of the Sun-image and the horizon. For land use, an ar…

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Sextus Empiricus - Sextus's Writings, Philosophy, Sextus's Legacy

Greek philosopher and physician, active at Alexandria and Athens, who is the main source of information for the Sceptical school of philosophy. Little is known of his life, but his extant writings, Outlines of Pyrrhonism and Against the Dogmatists, had an enormous influence when they were rediscovered and published in Latin translations in the 1560s. Sextus Empiricus's three known works are…

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Sextus Julius Africanus

Traveller and historian, born in Libya. He wrote Chronologia, a history of the world from the creation to AD 221. His chronology, which antedates Christ's birth by three years, was accepted by Byzantine Churches. He wrote a history of the world (Chronografiai, in five books) from Creation to the year AD 221, covering, according to his computation, 5723 years. He calculated the period betwee…

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Sextus Propertius - Propertius' Poetry, The Date of Propertius' Death, Latin Editions, Sources

Latin elegiac poet, probably born in Asisium (Assisi), Italy. He travelled to Rome (c.34 BC), where he became a poet, winning the favour of Maecenas and Emperor Augustus. The central figure of his inspiration was his mistress, to whom he devoted the first of his four surviving books, Cynthia. Much of his work was published after his death, in Rome. Sextus Propertius was a Latin elegiac poet…

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Seychelles - History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Fauna and flora, Miscellaneous topics, Further reading

Official name Republic of Seychelles Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles (pronounced /seɪˈʃɛl/ or /seɪˈʃɛlz/; In terms of population, Seychelles is the smallest sovereign state of Africa. While Austronesian seafarers or Arab traders may have been the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles, the first recorded sighting of them took place in 150…

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Seymour (Myron) Hersh - Early years, The My Lai Massacre, Mordechai Vanunu and Robert Maxwell

Journalist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied at the University of Chicago and is recognized as an aggressive, highly successful investigative reporter. He worked variously for United Press International, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker, and played key roles in exposing evidence of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, domestic spying by the C…

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Seymour Benzer

Geneticist, born in New York City, USA. He studied physics at Purdue University, and taught biophysics there until 1965, when he moved to the California Institute of Technology. He first showed that genes can be split and then recombined, and he did much to relate genes as chemical entities to their observed behaviour in biological systems. In his molecular biology period, Benzer dissected …

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Seymour Martin Lipset

Social scientist, born in New York City, New York, USA. His distinguished career in academia and public policy included faculty appointments at the University of California, Berkeley (1956–66), Harvard (1965–75), and Stanford's Hoover Institution (1975–92). He wrote and edited many important works on class structure, elites, and comparative politics, most notably Agrarian Socialism (1950), Clas…

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Sfax

34°45N 10°43E, pop (2000e) 303 000. Seaport and capital of Sfax governorate, E Tunisia, 240 km/150 mi SE of Tunis; chief port and second largest city of Tunisia; built on the site of Roman and Phoenician settlements; occupied by Sicilians (12th-c) and Spaniards (16th-c); also a base for Barbary pirates; modern city built after 1895; airfield; railway; trade in esparto, oil, peanuts and dates…

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sfumato

A term used in art history for the very soft tonal transitions achieved by such painters as Leonardo da Vinci and Correggio. This was a technical advance on the sharp outlines of 15th-c painting (eg Botticelli, Mantegna) and helped 16th-c masters to achieve a greater naturalism. Sfumato is a term used by Leonardo da Vinci to refer to a painting technique which overlays translucent layers of…

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shad

Small, herring-like fish (Alosa sapidissima) native to the Atlantic seaboard of North America but now widespread on the Pacific coast also; adults live in coastal marine waters migrating into fresh water to breed; live in large schools feeding mainly on plankton; length up to 75 cm/30 in; silver with greenish-blue upper surface. (Family: Clupeidae.) The shads or river herrings comprise th…

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shah - Ruling Shahs, Related and subsidiary princely titles, Other uses

Title of the former rulers of Iran (formerly Persia) and other eastern countries. Shah is a Persian term for a monarch (king or emperor) that has been adopted in many other languages. The full title of the Achaemenid rulers was xšāyaθiya xšāyaθiyānām, "King of Kings", corresponding to Middle Persian šāhān šāh, literally "kings' king", and modern Persian shāha…

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Shah Jahan - Birth, Ascencion, Rule, Legacy, Notable structures associated with Shah Jahan

Mughal emperor of India (1628–58), born in Lahore, NE Pakistan. His reign saw two wars in the Deccan (1636, 1655), the subjugation of Bijapur and Golconda (1636), and attacks on the Uzbegs and Persians. A ruthless but able ruler, the magnificence of his court was unequalled. His buildings included the Taj Mahal (1632–54), the tomb of his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal (1592–1631). From 1658 h…

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Shaka - Early years, The major conflicts, Death and succession, Shaka's social and military revolution

African ruler, born near Melmoth, KwaZulu Natal, E South Africa. He was a highly successful military ruler, who intensified the centralization of Zulu power, adapted the weapons and tactics of local warfare, and set about the incorporation of neighbouring peoples. The rise of the Zulu kingdom under Shaka was associated with a series of wars and population movements known as the difagane. He was ki…

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Shakers - Origin of the name, Wardley predecessors, Ann Lee, Communalism under Joseph Meacham, Communal spiritual family

The popular name for members of the United Society for Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, founded in England under the leadership of Ann Lee, a psychic visionary, who led them to America in 1774. They believed that Christ had appeared with Ann Lee. Communitarian and pacifist, their ecstatic dancing gave rise to their popular name. They are known for their furniture and other designs. Their ac…

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shale - Formation

Sedimentary rock predominantly formed from consolidated and compacted clay deposits. It has a characteristic fissility along the bedding planes (ie it splits easily along closely-spaced parallel surfaces) because of the orientation of the platy clay minerals. Oil shale contains sufficient decayed organic matter that an oil can be extracted from it by destructive distillation. Shale is a fin…

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shallot - Shallot in Persian

A variety of onion with clusters of small, oval bulbs, widely grown as a vegetable. Shallot, as the word is commonly used, or eschallot in some countries, refers to two different Allium species of plant. Shallot in Persian is called موسیر (Moo-Seer), which is often crushed into yogurt. …

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shamisen - Construction, Playing, History and genres, Variations in Construction and Playing Style

A Japanese lute, with a long, slender neck and three silk or nylon strings which are plucked with an ivory plectrum. It is used principally to accompany singing. A shamisen or samisen (Japanese: 三味線, literally "three taste strings"), also called sangen (literally "three strings") is a three-stringed musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi. The pronunciation in J…

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Shammai

Jewish scholar and Pharisaic leader, apparently a native of Jerusalem. He was the head of a famous school of Torah scholars, whose interpretation of the Law was often in conflict with the equally famous school led by Hillel. Relatively little is known of Shammai himself, except that his legal judgments were often considered severe and literalistic, compared to Hillel's. Both are often referred to …

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shamrock - Badge of Ireland

The name applied to several different plants with leaves divided into three leaflets, including wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) and various species of clover (Trifolium species). Although adopted as the national emblem of Ireland, and worn each year on 17 March to commemorate St Patrick, its true botanical identity remains uncertain, although many regard lesser trefoil (Trifolium dubium) a likely …

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Shan - History, Language, Traditional government, Politics

A Tai-speaking people, the second largest minority group in Myanmar (formerly Burma). Originating in SW China (early rice culture), they were forced S by the Mongols between the 10th-c and 13th-c, and ruled Burma during the 13th–16th-c. Buddhists, with a strong identity, they are mainly concentrated in Shan state, constituting half of its population of over 3 million. Most are rice farmers. …

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Shane (Elizabeth) Gould

Swimmer, born in Brisbane, Queensland, NE Australia. She created Olympic history by being the first and only woman to win three individual gold swimming medals in world record time. She won the World Trophy (Helms) Medal in 1971. In 1972 she held every swimming record from 100 m to 1500 m, and in the same year gave the greatest performance of any Australian at a single Olympics in Munich. She re…

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Shane (Keith) Warne - Career, Controversies, Personal life, Test Wicket Milestones

Cricketer, born in Melbourne, Victoria, NE Australia. A hugely charismatic leg-spinner, his mix of acute spin and control has made him highly effective, particularly against England. His first ball in the 1993 Ashes series turned massively to bowl Mike Gatting, believed the best player of spin in England's team. His total of 501 wickets (average 25·51) in 108 Tests up to March 2004 made him the f…

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Shanghai - Origin of name, History, Politics and Administration, Economy and demographics, Geography and climate, Media, Transportation, Culture

31°13N 121°25E; pop (2000e) 9 158 000, administrative region 13 876 000; municipality area 5800 km²/2239 sq mi. Port in E China, on the Yellow Sea, on Huangpu and Wusong Rivers; largest city in China; developed in the Yuan period as a cotton centre; trading centre in the 17th–18th-c; opened to foreign trade, 1842, and developed as the principal centre for European influence in China; b…

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Shannon - Places, People, Other

52°42N 8°57W, pop (2000e) 8000. Town in Clare county, Munster, W Ireland; W of Limerick near R Shannon; duty-free airport; gateway to Ireland for transatlantic visitors; electronics; boat show rally (Jul). Shannon can refer to the following: …

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Shannon Lucid

US astronaut and biochemist, born in Shanghai, China to missionary parents. She grew up in Bethany, Oklahoma, and went to the University of Oklahoma, obtaining a doctorate in biochemistry in 1973. She joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1978, and went on her first flight in Discovery in 1985. In 1996 she set a new record for the longest US space mission (188 days) in orbit aboard the Mir space stati…

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sharecropping - North America, India, Africa, Farmer's Cooperatives, Non-agricultural usages

A US agricultural practice by which short-term tenants (usually black) worked land for landlords (usually white) for a percentage of the crop raised. As much a means of labour and racial control as of economic production, sharecropping provided the economic basis of post-slavery white supremacy. Sharecropping is a system of agricultural production where a landowner allows a sharecropper to …

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sharefarming - Sharecropping, Sharemilking

A form of tenure in which the landlord provides the land, fixed equipment, and often a proportion of the variable inputs, in exchange for an agreed proportion of the final crop. It has been popular in some continental European countries, such as France, and also in the USA and New Zealand. Agreements tend to vary on what is to be shared and communally invested. Sharefarming may also incorporate sh…

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Sharia - Etymology, General, Sections of Sharia law, Divergent developments after the 19th century

The sacred law of Islam, embracing all aspects of a Muslim's life. It has four sources: the Qur'an, the sunna or ‘practice’ of the Prophet Mohammed, ijma or ‘consensus of opinion’, and qiyas or ‘reasoning by analogy’. Four Sunni schools of law are recognized under Sharia. Sharia (شريعة translit: Sharī‘ah) refers to the body of Islamic law. it is the legal framework within whic…

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Sharjah - Description, History, Sports, Kalbã (Khwor Kalba)

pop (2000e) 385 900; area 2600 km²/1000 sq mi. Third largest of the United Arab Emirates, NE of Dubai; capital, Ash Sharjah; offshore oil production began in 1974; natural gas, ship and vehicle repairing, cement, paper bags, steel products, paint. The Emirate of Sharjah (Arabic: الشارقة ash-shaariqah) extends along approximately 16 kilometres of the United Arab Emirates's Persi…

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shark - Physical characteristics, Etymology, Evolution, Classification, Reproduction, Shark senses, Behaviour, Shark intelligence, Shark sleep, Shark attacks

Any of a large group of active, predatory, cartilaginous fishes belonging to 19 separate families: Alopiidae (thresher sharks), Carcharhinidae (blue sharks, white sharks), Cetorhinidae (basking sharks), Chlamydoselachidae (frilled sharks), Dalatiidae (dwarf sharks), Echinorhinidae (bramble sharks), Heterodontidae (Port Jackson sharks), Hexanchidae (cow sharks), Lamnidae (mackerel sharks), Mitsukur…

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Sharpeville massacre

(21 Mar 1960) A major incident in the black African township of Sharpeville in Transvaal province, South Africa, when police opened fire on a crowd demonstrating against the laws restricting non-white movements and requiring non-whites to carry identification (the pass laws); 69 people were killed and 180 wounded. The anti-pass-law campaign had been called by both the African National Congress (AN…

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Shaun Bartlett

Footballer, born in Cape Town, South Africa. He first played for local team Cape Town Spurs, then went to the USA, where he played Major League soccer for the New York/New Jersey Metrostars and the Colorado Rapids. After a spell with Swiss A division team Zurich FC, he realized his childhood dream of playing Premiership football in England, joining Charlton Athletic FC in 2001. He was chosen as ca…

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Henry Wheeler Shaw

Writer, born in Lanesboro, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at Hamilton College (1832–3) but was dismissed for removing the clapper from the chapel bell. He then travelled widely, held a variety of jobs, and settled in Poughkeepsie, NY where he became a realtor and auctioneer. Using his pen name, he wrote humorous aphorisms (with crude misspellings), as in Josh Billings, His Sayings (1865), and a p…

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Shawnee - Groups, Villages and places, Language, Famous Shawnee individuals

North American Algonkin Indians who originally settled in Ohio, but who were pushed out of the area by the Iroquois. Defeated in 1794 by US forces at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, they were divided up into three sections and settled in Oklahoma. The Shawnee, or Shawano, are a people native to North America. Some scholars have speculated that the Shawnee are descendants of the people of the …

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shear modulus - Typical values, Explanation

A measure of a material's resistance to twisting; symbol G, units Pa (pascal); also called the modulus of rigidity or torsion modulus. A higher G value means that the material is harder to twist. It is defined as shear stress divided by shear strain, and is applicable only to solids. For example, for steel G = 0·8 × 1011Pa. The following are values of the shear modulus for select isot…

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shearwater

A petrel with a long slender bill; plumage dark above, dark or pale beneath. Some species with long wings and tail are found over the open ocean, and fish in flight; species with shorter wings and tail fish while swimming near coasts. The name is also used for skimmers. Shearwaters are medium-sized long-winged seabirds. Some small species, like Manx Shearwater are cruciform in flight, with …

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sheathbill

A white, pigeon-like shorebird, native to the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic; short, stout bill with horny cover at base; the only native Antarctic bird without webbed feet; flies reluctantly but well; eats shore animals and seaweed; often scavenges in penguin colonies. (Family: Chionididae, 2 species.) The sheathbills are the two species of birds in the genus Chionis in the Chionididae family…

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Sheffield (UK) - Geography, History, Economy and industry, Government and politics, Sport, Culture and attractions, Transport, References and notes

53°23N 1°30W, urban area pop (2001e) 513 200. City in South Yorkshire, N England, UK; on the R Don; separated from Manchester to the W by the High Peak of Derbyshire; developed as a cutlery-manufacturing town in the early 18th-c and as a steel town in the 19th-c; city status in 1893; major rebuilding after World War 2 bombing; university (1905); Sheffield Hallam University (1992, formerly Shef…

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Sheffield (USA) - Geography, History, Economy and industry, Government and politics, Sport, Culture and attractions, Transport, References and notes

42º06N 73º22W, pop (2000e) 3300. Town in S Berkshire Co, Massachusetts, USA; located in the Housatonic R valley in a fertile region; incorporated, 1733; birthplace of Frederick Barnard and George Root; the hamlet of Ashley Falls is designated an historic district; railway; Colonel John Ashley House (1735); agriculture. Sheffield is a major city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire…

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Sheffield plate

An imitation silver plate made from copper sheet rolled between sheets of silver, discovered c.1742 by a Sheffield cutler, Thomas Boulsover (1706–88). This technique was exploited commercially by Matthew Boulton in Birmingham. Sheffield plate is a layered combination of silver and copper that was used for many years to produce a wide range of household articles. Almost every article made i…

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Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah

Kashmiri statesman, born in Soura, near Srinagar, Kashmir, N India. A Muslim, he spearheaded the struggle for constitutional government against the (Hindu) Maharajah of Kashmir during the years between the two World Wars. He was imprisoned in 1931, and on his release formed the All Jammu and Kashmir Moslem Conference (renamed the National Conference in 1938). He agreed to the accession of the stat…

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Sheila Rowbotham - Bibliography

Social historian and feminist, born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. She studied at Oxford, and became involved in the women's movement in the late 1960s. An active Socialist, she wrote for several Socialist papers, and provoked controversy with Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism (1979, with Segal and Wainwright). Among her most important historical works are Women,…

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Sheila Scott

Aviator, born in Worcester, Worcestershire, WC England, UK. A nurse and an actress, she took up flying as a result of a dare, winning trophies a year later in 1960. In 1966 she broke the around-the-world record with the longest solo flight of 49 910 km/31 014 mi. She again broke world records in 1967 flying across the Atlantic, and won the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race in 1969. She was the…

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Shelagh Delaney

Playwright, born in Salford, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. She left school at 16 and began writing her first and best known play, A Taste of Honey (1958) a year later. Later works failed to achieve equal acclaim, though she produced notable screenplays for Charlie Bubbles (1968) and Dance with a Stranger (1985). Shelagh Delaney is a British playwright of Irish descent. She is best kno…

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Shelby Foote - Life and Career, Bibliography, Quotes, Trivia

Historian and novelist, born in Greenville, Mississippi, USA. He studied at the University of North Carolina (1935–7) and served in the Army (1940–4) and Marine Corps (1944–5). After establishing himself as a novelist with five well-received books, including Shiloh (1952), he spent 20 years crafting his epic, 2934-page, three-volume The Civil War: A Narrative (1958, 1963, 1974). His even-handed…

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Shelby M(oore) Cullom

US representative and senator, born in Kentucky, USA. A lawyer in Springfield, IL, he became a Republican (1858) and served Illinois in the US House of Representatives (1865–7), as governor (1877–83), and as US senator (1883–1913). He helped establish the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887. …

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Sheldon (Bernard) Kopp

Psychologist, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied at New York University, Brooklyn College, and the New School for Social Research (1960 PhD). He practised clinical psychology at New Jersey and District of Columbia psychiatric facilities (1955–66) and conducted a private practice in psychotherapy from 1962. A member of the Humanistic Psychology Institute, he wrote If You Meet a Buddh…

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Sheldon (Lee) Glashow - Bibliography

Physicist, born in New York City, USA. He studied at Cornell, Harvard, Copenhagen, and Geneva universities, and became professor of physics at Harvard in 1967. He was a major contributor to the Glashow–Salam–Weinberg theory explaining electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces, and to the theory of quantum chromodynamics. He shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979. He, along with Steven W…

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Sheldon Harnick

Songwriter, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He went to New York City as a violinist, and began selling songs to revues. His first real success came when he teamed with composer Jerry Bock (1928– ) on The Body Beautiful (1958), a musical about boxers. This was followed by Fiorello (1959, with Bock), a political satire based loosely on the life of New York Mayor LaGuardia, which was awarded the Pul…

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shelduck

A goose-like duck, native to the Old World (except the far N); eats grass, water weeds, and invertebrates; nests in burrows or holes; also known as a sheldrake. (Genus: Tadorna, 7 species. Subfamily: Anatinae. Tribe: Tadornini). …

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shell

The mineralized outer covering of a variety of invertebrate animals, such as molluscs and brachiopods; usually containing a large amount of calcium. The calcareous shell of a bird's egg is a secondary egg membrane secreted by the genital duct of the mother bird. Shell may refer to: …

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shellac

A resin generally obtained from a secretion from the insect Tachardia lacca. Solutions of shellac are used as varnishes and French polish. Shellac is a brittle or flaky secretion of the lac insect Coccus lacca, found in the forests of Assam and Thailand. Once it was commonly believed that shellac was a resin obtained from the wings of an insect (order Hemiptera) found in India. In act…

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Shelley Winters - Academy Awards and nominations, Filmography, TV work, Stage Work

Film actress, born in St Louis, Missouri, USA. She worked as a shop assistant and chorus girl, and by the early 1940s began to gain small parts on Broadway. Her film debut was in What A Woman (1943), and she appeared in many films before her first major role in A Double Life (1947). Her role opposite Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun earned her an Oscar nomination, and she won Best Supporting…

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shellfish - Usage in various cuisines

An informal name for edible molluscs and crustaceans collectively; includes groups such as shrimps, crabs, lobsters, clams, bivalves, whelks, and mussels. Shellfish is a culinary term for aquatic invertebrates used as food: molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Molluscs commonly used as food include the clam, mussel, oyster, winkle, and scallop. Some crustaceans co…

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Shelter

In the UK, a charity founded in 1966 to provide help for the homeless and to campaign on their behalf. Its income comes principally from donations. Shelter refers to something that covers or provides protection, including the following: …

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Shem - Genealogies according to "Book of Jahser"

Biblical character, the eldest son of Noah, the brother of Ham and Japeth. He is said to have escaped the flood with his father and brothers, and to have lived 600 years. His descendants are listed (in Gen 10), and he is depicted as the legendary father of ‘Semitic’ peoples, meant to include the Hebrews. Shem (שֵׁם "renown; He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some …

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Shenandoah River

River in West Virginia and Virginia, USA; formed at the junction of the North Fork and South Fork Rivers; flows 88 km/55 mi NE to meet the Potomac R near Harper's Ferry; Shenandoah National Park (775 km²/300 sq mi). The Shenandoah River is a tributary of the Potomac River, approximately 150 mi (241 km) long, in the U.S. states of Virginia and West Virginia. The principal tributary of …

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Shenyang - Districts and zones, History, The Shenyang Incident, Underground, Ethnic Groups, Tourism, Transportation, Sports, Education System

41°50N 123°26E, pop (2000e) 5 206 000, administrative region 5 827 089. Capital of Liaoning province, NE China; largest industrial city in NE China; trading centre for nomads, 11th-c; capital of Manchu, later Qing dynasty, 1625–44; invasion by Japanese (1931), leading to the establishment of Manchukuo; occupied by Nationalists, 1945; taken by Communists, 1948; renamed, 1949; railway; airfi…

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shepherd moons - Personnel, Production, Charts

Small natural moons whose gravitational fields serve to confine narrow rings around some of the outer planets. For example, the ‘F’ Ring of Saturn discovered by Pioneer 11 is a ribbon c.100 km/60 mi wide; its ‘braided’ structure was observed by Voyager spacecraft, which also discovered moons Pandora and Prometheus near the ring edges. Uranus's Epsilon Ring is similarly bounded by Ophelia and…

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shepherd's purse

A small annual weed (Capsella bursa-pastoris) 3–40 cm/1¼–15 in, found almost everywhere; a rosette of oblong, lobed, or entire leaves and white, cross-shaped flowers; capsules heart-shaped, reminiscent of an old-style peasant's purse. (Family: Cruciferae.) …

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Sherborne

50º57N 2º31W, pop (2000e) 9600. Market town in Dorset, S England, UK; 6 km/4 mi E of Yoevil; founded by Saxons; the see of Sherborne was created in 705 and Aldhelm was first bishop; abbey dates from 998, part of its buildings became Sherborne School (1550); birthplace of St Stephen Harding; Norman castle ruins; Sherborne Castle built by Sir Walter Raleigh (1594) with grounds designed by Lance…

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Sherburne Wesley Burnham

Astronomer, born in Thetford, Vermont, USA. Trained to be a shorthand reporter, he was an amateur astronomer until he joined the staff of Yerkes Observatory (1897–1914). He reopened the subject of double stars when he counted an additional 1290 double stars in the N hemisphere and published his findings in 1900. His General Catalogue of Double Stars (1906) listed all 13 665 double stars in the N…

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Sheridan Downey - Works

US senator, born in Laramie, Wyoming, USA. A lawyer, he began his political career as a Republican district attorney in Wyoming. He moved to California, where he emerged as a liberal Democrat, and was elected to the US Senate (Democrat, California, 1939–50) where he supported old-age pension plans, restrictions on the military, land reclamation projects, and state control of offshore oil resource…

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sheriff - Modern usage, Famous American sheriffs, Fictional American sheriffs

Originally, the monarch's representative in the English shires responsible for legal, administrative, and military matters. Since the Middle Ages the office has largely declined in importance in England and Wales, and the sheriff's duties are now largely ceremonial and administrative. The sheriff (commonly known as High Sheriff) acts as the returning officer during parliamentary elections in count…

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Sherman (Mills) Fairchild

Inventor and businessman, born in Oneonta, New York, USA, the son of George W Fairchild. An heir to the IBM fortune, he invented a flash camera (1916) and an aerial camera for the US War Department (1916). He started his own company (1920) to manufacture the aerial camera, and also founded an aerial survey company, becoming known as the ‘father of aerial mapping photography’. He also started an …

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Sherman Minton - Recognition

Judge, born near Georgetown, Indiana, USA. As a US senator (Democrat, Indiana, 1935), he promoted New Deal legislation and rose to assistant majority whip. He served as a judge on the US Circuit Court of Appeals (1941–9) until President Harry Truman named him to the Supreme Court (1949–56). Sherman Minton, (October 20, 1890–April 9, 1965) was a Democratic United States Senator from Indi…

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Sherrill (Eustace) Milnes

Baritone, born in Downers Grove, Illinois, USA. American-trained, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Faust (1965) and became one of the favourites at that house. He is admired as much for his dramatic abilities as for his striking voice, his celebrated roles including Don Giovanni and Iago. Sherrill Milnes (born January 10, 1935) is an American baritone famous for his Verdi roles. …

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sherry - Styles, Aging, History

A white wine (usually a blend of younger and older wines), fortified with brandy; named after Jerez de la Frontera in the Andalusian region of Spain, the centre of excellence for sherry. There are several types: fino is dry, light-coloured, of a high quality, and usually drunk young; amontillado is darker and moderately dry; oloroso is fuller and dark, the sweetest available. Sherry is a ty…

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Sherwood (Berton) Anderson - Biography, Quotations

Writer, born in Camden, Ohio, USA. He was raised in the small town of Clyde, Ohio. From age 14 his education was erratic, and after a succession of jobs he moved to Chicago. He served in the Spanish-American War (1898–9), then attended an academy in Springfield, OH. In 1900 he began working as a copywriter, then established his own mail-order company in Cleveland (1906). From his early years he d…

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Sherwood Forest - The Major Oak, Plans for the Future, Trivia, External Links

An area of heath and woodland, mainly in Nottinghamshire, C England, UK, where mediaeval kings hunted deer. It is famed for being the home of Robin Hood. In 2002 it was designated a national nature reserve. Sherwood Forest is a world famous country park surrounding the village of Edwinstowe in Nottinghamshire, England, historically associated with the legend of Robin Hood. The 460-acre …

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Shetland pony - History of the Shetland, Breed characteristics

The strongest of all breeds of horse (can pull twice its own weight), developed on the Scottish Shetland and Orkney Is; height, 9 hands/0·9 m/3 ft; stocky, with short legs; long mane and tail; also known as Sheltie or Shelty. The taller and more slender American Shetland pony was developed in the USA from Shetland stock. Shetland pony horses are small (on average up to 42 inches (10.2 hh…

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Shetland sheepdog - Appearance, Temperament, Health, History, Miscellaneous, Showing Requirements

A type of sheepdog developed in the Shetland Is, Scotland; resembles a small collie with a thick coat; also known as a Sheltie, or Shelty. The Shetland Sheepdog (or Sheltie) is a breed of dog, originally bred to be small sheep dogs ideally suited for the terrain of the Shetland Islands. Shelties have a double coat consisting of long guard hairs covering a fluffy insulative under…

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shiatsu - History of Shiatsu, Definition of Shiatsu, Essence of Shiatsu, Shiatsu Standardization, Indications and Contraindications

A form of massage in which pressure is applied to acupuncture points and meridians using the fingers, thumbs, and sometimes elbows, knees, hands, and feet. The diagnosis of energy imbalance or blockage is made according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, but with an emphasis on abdominal diagnosis to select the points and meridians for treatment. The massage is designed to release …

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shield

A geological term for a large region of stable continental crust, usually Precambrian in age and forming the core of a continental land mass. It is predominantly composed of metamorphic and igneous rocks. Size and weight varied greatly, lightly armoured warriors relying on speed and surprise would generally carry light shields that were either small or thin. Heavy troops might be equipped w…

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shield bug

A typically shield-shaped true bug; adults mostly feed on plants, sometimes as predators; c.5000 species, including some pests of economically important crops. (Order: Heteroptera. Family; Pentatomidae.) Shield bug and stink bug (or shieldbug and stinkbug) are common names applied to various insects of the Hemiptera order (the "true bugs"), in the Heteroptera suborder. …

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shifting cultivation - The political ecology of shifting cultivation, Stereotypes: primitive, backward, wasteful, unproductive

A system of agriculture found in areas of tropical rainforest; also known as swidden cultivation. It is a response to loss of soil fertility and vegetation regeneration which occurs after a few years' cultivation, forcing farmers to move to new areas. Slash and burn describes the method of vegetation clearance. In some regions people move on to completely new areas. Elsewhere they live in a perman…

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Shigeru Yoshida - As Prime Minister

Japanese statesman and prime minister (1946–7, 1948–54), born in Tokyo, Japan. He studied at Tokyo Imperial University, entered diplomacy in 1906, and after service in several capitals was vice-minister for foreign affairs. He was ambassador to Italy (1930–2) and ambassador in London (1936–8). During World War 2 he tried to persuade the Japanese to surrender early in 1945. He became foreign mi…

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Shih Tzu - History, Care, American and European Shih Tzu

A toy breed of dog of Tibetan or Chinese origin; similar to the Pekinese in shape; muzzle short but not flat; thick straight coat, especially on head, where hair cascades from top to cover eyes and ears. The Shih Tzu or Shih Tsu (獅子狗 pinyin: Shīzi Gǒu, Wade-Giles: Shih-tzu Kou) is a breed of dog originating in Tibet. The Shih Tzu is reported to be the oldest and smallest of the …

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Shikoku - Geography, Transportation, Movements, Traditions

pop (2000e) 4 330 000; area 18 795 km²/7255 sq mi. Smallest of the four main islands of Japan; S of Honshu and E of Kyushu; bounded N by the Seto Naikai Sea, S by the Pacific Ocean; subtropical climate; mountainous and wooded interior; chief towns, Matsuyama, Takamatsu; rice, wheat, tobacco, soya beans, orchards, copper, camphor. Shikoku (四国, "four provinces") is the smallest an…

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Shiloh - Military, personal name, Institutions, Popular culture

The site of an ancient city in C Palestine about 14 km/9 mi N of Bethel; noted as the central sanctuary of the tribes of Israel during the conquest and settlement of Palestine under the tribal judges. It also sheltered the Ark of the Covenant, and was thus a strong unifying force amongst the tribes. It was destroyed c.1050 BC, when the Ark was captured by the Philistines, and the priesthood then…

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Shimon Peres - Early life, Political career, 2005 Labor Primaries, Leaving Labor, 2006 Israel- Lebanon conflict, Family life

Israeli statesman and prime minister (1984–6, 1995–6), born in Valozhyn, W Belarus (formerly Wolo?yn, Poland). He was raised on a kibbutz, then studied at New York and Harvard universities. In 1948 he became head of naval services in the new state of Israel, and later director-general of the defence ministry (1953–9). In 1959 he was elected to the Knesset, and became minister of defence (1974–…

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Shinichi Suzuki - Biography, Contributions to Pedagogy, Further reading

Music teacher, born in Nagoya, EC Japan. He studied in Tokyo and Berlin, and with three of his brothers founded the Suzuki Quartet. His mass instruction methods of teaching young children to play the violin have been adopted in many countries, and adapted to other instruments. Shin'ichi Suzuki (鈴木 鎮一 Suzuki Shin'ichi October 17, 1898 - January 26, 1998) was the creator of the intern…

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Shinkansen - List of Shinkansen lines, List of Shinkansen train models, List of types of Shinkansen services

The Japanese New Tokaido Line, a standard gauge line from Tokyo to Osaka for high speed trains (commonly known as bullet trains). Completed in 1964, the network has been extended from Aomori in the North to Hakasa in the South. It uses a fully computerized seat reservation system, like airlines. It provides an excellent service, and has been commercially successful, unlike many of the old lines. …

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Shinto - History, Definition, Practices and teachings, Cultural effects, Important shrines

The indigenous religion of Japan, ‘the way of the spirits’, so named in the 8th-c to distinguish it from Buddhism, from which it subsequently incorporated many features. It emerged from the nature-worship of Japanese folk religions, and this is reflected in ceremonies appealing to the mysterious powers of nature (kami) for benevolent treatment and protection. By the 8th-c, divine origins were as…

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shinty - Game, History, Competitions, Summer Shinty, Shinty Abroad

A twelve-a-side stick-and-ball game originating in Ireland more than 1500 years ago, taken to Scotland, and now popular in the Scottish Highlands. The playing field is up to 155 m/170 yd long and 73 m/80 yd wide with two goals, known as hails, at each end. The object is to score goals by using the caman (stick) to propel the ball. Shinty, (Scottish Gaelic camanachd or iomain), is a team…

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ship - Measuring ships, Propulsion, General terminology, Some types of ships and boats

A sea-going vessel of considerable size. The Egyptians built river boats around 3000 BC, but at the time of Queen Hatshepsut (c.1500 BC) an expedition to E Africa was mounted using vessels of about 20 m/60 ft in length. These are the first sea-going ships of which there are reliable pictorial records; they were steered by oars over the stern. Great strides were made in ship design by the Phoenic…

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ship money

An English tax on maritime areas to support royal naval forces, abuse of which brought discredit to Charles I. The tax, dating from mediaeval times, had been collected without difficulty under James I. Charles I's extension of the tax to inland shires in 1635 caused opposition. The proposal to make it permanent in 1636 provoked refusals to pay by John Hampden and others; it was outlawed in 1641. …

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shipworm

A typically marine bivalve mollusc; body elongate, with reduced shell plates used to burrow into submerged wood such as ship hulls and pilings. (Class: Pelecypoda. Family: Teredinidae.) Shipworms are not in fact worms at all, but rather a peculiar variety of marine mollusk (Eulamellibranchiata) in the family Teredinidae. …

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shire - Shires in Great Britain, Shires in Australia, Shires in United States (Virginia)

The largest breed of horse, developed in England from war-horses used to carry knights in armour; used for farm work; height, 17–18 hands/1·7–1·8 m/5 ft 8 in–6 ft; black or brown and white; convex face; long legs with hair covering hooves. In England and Wales, the term "shire county" is used to refer to county level entities which are not metropolitan counties. It can …

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Shirin Ebadi - Life and early career, Ebadi as a lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize, After the Nobel prize, Publications

Lawyer and human-rights activist, born in Hamadan, Iran. She studied at Tehran University, and became the first female judge in Iran, serving as president of the Tehran City Court from 1975. Forced to resign in 1979 with the advent of the Islamic republic, when it was decided that women were unsuitable for such posts, she went on to set up her own law practice, taking on politically sensitive case…

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Shirley (Ann) Hufstedtler

Lawyer, born in Denver, Colorado, USA. A champion of civil liberties as a federal appellate judge in California, she served briefly as the first Cabinet-level US Secretary of Education (1979–81) before returning to private practice in Los Angeles. The word mount (from the Latin mons, 'mountain' or hill) has many meanings: For people named Mount, see Mount (surname). …

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Shirley (Barbara) de la Hunty - History

Athlete, born in Guildford, Western Australia. She was the first Australian woman to win an Olympic medal, and went on to win seven more, including a gold medal at the 80 m hurdles in a world record time of 10·9 s in 1952, and again in 1956, adding a third gold and another world record at 4 x 100 m. At the Empire Games in 1950 she secured three gold medals, in the hurdles and the relays, and t…

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Shirley (Jane) Temple - Biography, Filmography, Trivia

Film actress and diplomatic official, born in Santa Monica, California, USA. Precociously talented, she was ‘discovered’ at a dancing school, and at age three-and-a-half was appearing in a series of short films. In 1934 she made nine films, leaping to stardom with Little Miss Marker, and winning a special Academy Award for her ‘outstanding contributions to screen entertainment’ that year. For …

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Shirley Chisholm

US representative and social activist, born in New York City, New York, USA. She excelled at school and won scholarships to Vassar and Oberlin, but her parents were unable to support this financially and instead she studied at Columbia University, gaining an MA in elementary education (1951). She worked as a teacher and then an educational consultant to New York City's Bureau of Child Welfare (195…

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Shirley Clarke

Film director, born in New York City, New York, USA. A former dancer, she began making films in the 1950s. Often using the cinéma vérité technique, they include The Connection (1962) and Portrait of Jason (1967), notable for their gritty realism. Shirley Clarke (2 October 1919, New York City - 23 September 1997, Boston) was a major American independent filmmaker. Clarke atten…

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Shirley Hazzard - Books, Awards

Writer, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. She studied in Sydney, and later moved to Manhattan. She has published numerous short stories, often in the New Yorker magazine, which were collected in Cliffs of Fall (1963) and People in Glass Houses (1967), a series of satirical sketches about the UN, for which she worked 1952–62. Her novel, The Transit of Venus (1980), encompassing a subt…

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Shirley Jackson - Magazines, Literary studies, Listen to, Awards, Novels, Short fiction (partial list)

Writer, born in San Francisco, California, USA. She studied at the University of Rochester (1934–6) and Syracuse University (1940 BA). Based in North Bennington, VT, she wrote novels, short stories, and radio and television scripts, and became famous for her haunting fiction after the publication of her disturbing short story, ‘The Lottery’ (1948). She was known for her ability to write humorou…

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Shirley MacLaine - Filmography, TV work, Academy Awards and Nominations

Film actress and writer, born in Richmond, Virginia, USA, the sister of Warren Beatty. Having begun studying ballet at age two, she left for New York after graduating from high school, and entered show business as a teenager when she joined the chorus of Oklahoma in New York City (1950). Her first Broadway experience was in the chorus line of Me and Juliet (1953). Understudy to Carol Haney in The …

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Shiva - Introduction, Shiva: Supreme God, Consorts, and the burning of Kamadeva, The sons of Shiva

One of the three principal deities of the Hindu triad (Trimurti) - a god of contrasting features: creation and destruction, good and evil, fertility and asceticism. He is the original Lord of the Dance (Nataraja) and his principal symbolic representation is a phallic emblem denoting procreation. Shiva (English IPA: [ʃɪvə], [ʃiːvə] Sanskrit: शिव; Shiva is the supreme God in Shaiv…

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Shivaji - The political scene before Shivaji, Family Background, Early life, Foundation of empire

Founder of the Maratha Empire in W India, born at Shivner, Pune (Poona). He campaigned against the Mughals, and was enthroned as an independent ruler in 1674. Renowned as a military leader, social reformer, and advocate of religious tolerance, his last years were made difficult by internal problems and pressure from outside enemies. Shivaji Bhonslé, also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje B…

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Shmuel Yosef Agnon - Life, Works, Writings published during his life, His special language

Novelist, born in Buczacz, Poland (now Buchach, W Ukraine). He went to Palestine in 1907, studied in Berlin (1913–24), then settled permanently in Jerusalem and changed his surname to Agnon. He wrote in Hebrew an epic trilogy of novels on Eastern Jewry in the early 20th-c: their translated titles are Bridal Canopy (1931), A Guest for the Night (1939), and Days Gone By (1945). He is also known for…

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shochu - Shochu Drinks, Shigechiyo Izumi

Japanese alcoholic spirits, distilled from potatoes, colourless, but with a certain odour. It is cheaper than saké, and traditionally a rough drink for labourers and poor people. It was popularized in the 1980s. Shochu can be made from rice ("kome-jochu") (米焼酎), although it is more commonly made from barley ("mugi-jochu") (麦焼酎), sweet potato ("imo-shochu")(芋焼酎) or…

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shock

A term used by the lay public to denote the psychological state of fear or grief that follows a sudden accident, calamity, or bereavement. Its medical use refers to a clinical state in which the blood pressure and circulation is insufficient to maintain the functioning of the brain or other organs. This may arise because of loss of blood, because of inadequate pumping of blood by the heart, or bec…

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shock therapy - History, Forms of shock therapy, Mechanisms of action

A term sometimes used as a synonym for electroconvulsive therapy, but also for electrosleep, in which a weak rhythmically-repeated pulse of unidirectional electric current is applied to the brain for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and a variety of other medical conditions with a psychological component (eg bronchial asthma and duodenal ulceration). Because the term is ambiguous, psychiatrists…

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shock wave - Shock waves in supersonic flows, Shock waves due to nonlinear steepening, Analogies, Types of shock wave

A moving, large-amplitude compression wave across which density, temperature, and pressure change abruptly. It is caused by a violent disturbance or supersonic motion. An explosion will produce a pressure shock wave in the surrounding air. A thunderclap is a shock wave caused by the rapid heating of air by lightning. A heavy impact on a solid will cause a stress shock wave. Shock waves cause a non…

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shoebill

A large, grey, stork-like bird with a large head (Balaeniceps rex); bill extremely wide and deep, shaped like a broad shoe; inhabits marshes in C Africa; nocturnal; eats small vertebrates, molluscs, and carrion; also known as the shoe-billed stork or whale-headed stork. (Family: Balaenicipidae.) …

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shogi - History, Shogi literature in English, Professional players

A Japanese form of chess, believed to have originated in India. Played on a squared board, the pieces have different powers; the object is to checkmate the king. Each player has 20 pieces. Shogi (将棋, shōgi), or Japanese chess, is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. * The kanji 竜 is a simplified form of 龍. A rook can move a…

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shogun - Shogunate

A Japanese general, the head of a system of government which dates from 1192, when a military leader received the title seii-tai-shogun (‘Barbarian Quelling Generalissimo’) from the Emperor. Most important were the Kamakura shogunate (1192–1333) and the Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1868), who ruled as military dictators, the emperor remaining a figurehead, without power. In principle, the shoguns'…

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shooting - The four rules of firearm handling, Civilian shooting technique

The use of firearms for pleasure, hunting, sport, or in battle. The first reference to the gun was in 1326, and it soon became the chief weapon of war. It developed as a sport in the 15th-c, the first shooting club being formed in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1466. Competitive shooting takes many forms and uses different types of weapon. The most popular weapons are the standard pistol, small bore rif…

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short story - History, Elements and characteristics, Length, Genres, Famous short stories, Other resources

A prose fiction of not more than some 10 000 words. Beyond this lie the similarly imprecise categories ‘long short story’, ‘novella’, and ‘short novel’. There are many rudimentary forms of short story, including myths, fables, legends, and parables, and the mediaeval fabliau was a clear progenitor. Boccaccio and Chaucer were masters of the art, as were such Chinese writers as Tao Qian (4th

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shorthand - History, Classification, Common English shorthand systems, Some shorthand systems, Other names for shorthand

A method of writing at speed to take verbatim records of speech, also known as stenography. Shorthand systems variously use symbols which are abbreviations of words (as in speedwriting), representations of speech sounds, or arbitrary symbols which the user has to memorize. It has been much used in commerce and industry, and in courts of law, for taking records of the proceedings of meetings, and f…

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shorthorn - Breed Associations

A type of domestic cattle with short horns. In 18th-c England, Charles and Robert Colling improved the type, leading to such breeds as the Durham (the shorthorn of the American ranchers) and the Teeswater. In 19th-c England, Thomas Bates developed the dairy shorthorn. Other breeds are the northern dairy shorthorn, whitebred shorthorn, beef shorthorn, and the (often hornless) Lincoln red. Th…

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shot put - Top 10 performers

An athletics field event in which the contestant throws a heavy metal ball for distance. The shot weighs 7·3 kg/16 lb for men and 3·6 kg/8 lb 13 oz for women. It is cupped with the hand and released, after the athlete has spun around the throwing circle, with the arm extended. The thrower must not leave the 2·1 m/7 ft diameter circle. In competition six throws are allowed. The current wo…

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shotgun - Definition, History

A smooth-bore weapon firing cartridges filled with small lead or steel pellets (shot), which spread in flight to broaden their destructive effects; widely used by farmers and sportsmen. Single-barrelled, pump-action, multiple-round shotguns have a military application for close-in defence. Aside from the most common use against small, fast moving targets, the shotgun has several advantages …

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shoulder - Joints of the Shoulder, Major muscles, Rotator Cuff

Commonly used to refer to the rounded region at the top of the arm passing towards the neck and upper back; more specifically, in anatomy, the ball and socket joint between the humerus and the scapula. It is an extremely mobile joint, at the expense of some stability. When dislocation occurs, it tends to be a downward and forward movement of the humerus with respect to the scapula. There ar…

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show jumping - Overview, History of show jumping, Original scoring tariff, Tack, Types of Competition

Horse jumping over a course containing a variety of strategically placed fences. Most competitions involve all competitors having one attempt at clearing the fences. Those who clear the fences and incur no penalty points are then involved in a ‘jump-off’ against the clock, where speed as well as accuracy is important. Points are incurred for knocking down a fence, or for refusing to jump a fence…

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showboat - Showboating

A paddle-wheel river steamer complete with theatre and its own repertory company. They were mainly used along the Mississippi in the 19th-c. A showboat, or show boat, was a form of theatre that travelled along the waterways of the United States, especially along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. A showboat was basically a barge that resembled a long, flat-roofed house, and in order to …

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shrew

A widespread mammal of family Soricidae (246 species); an insectivore; mouse-like with a longer pointed snout and small eyes; ears often hidden in fur; often lives near water; some have a venomous bite. The name is also used for several other small mammals, and for the 15 species of African elephant shrews (Order: Macroscelidea). Shrews are small, superficially mouse-like mammals of the fam…

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Shrewsbury - History, Population, Attractions, Transportation, Major Routes, Bridges, Future, Administrative functions, Local media, Politics

52°43N 2°45W, pop (2000e) 63 200. County town of Shropshire, WC England, UK; on the R Severn, 63 km/39 mi NW of Birmingham; Roman city of Uriconium to the E; headquarters of Edward I during the struggle for Wales; site of Battle of Shrewsbury (1403); railway; engineering, agricultural trade, market gardening; Church of St Mary, abbey church, Rowley's mansion (1618), castle (11th-c); Shropshi…

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shrike

A bird mainly of the Old World, especially Africa; strong bill with hooked tip; grasping, clawed feet; eats insects and small mammals; often hangs prey from thorns or twigs. The red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) is also called the butcherbird. The name shrike is also used for many birds of other families. (Family: Laniidae, c.72 species.) A shrike is a passerine bird of the family Laniida…

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shrimp - Shrimp as food, See also

An aquatic crustacean; females typically carry eggs on abdominal legs until ready to hatch into swimming larvae (zoeae); many species are of considerable economic importance as food; some are cultured commercially. (Class: Malacostraca. Order: Decapoda.) True shrimp are small, swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and…

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Shropshire - Divisions and environs, Location, Geography, Towns and villages, Economy, Places of interest, Famous people, Politics

pop (2001e) 283 200; area 3490 km²/1347 sq mi. County in WC England, UK; bounded W by Powys and Wrexham in Wales; drained by the R Severn; county town, Shrewsbury; chief towns include Telford, Oswestry, Wellington, Ludlow; Wrekin a unitary authority from 1998; agriculture (especially dairy farming, cattle, sheep, cereals), engineering; Ironbridge Gorge open-air museum. Shropshire (alt…

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Shrove Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday traditions in Britain, Ireland, and Australia, Shrove Tuesday traditions particular to England

In the UK, the day before the beginning of Lent, so called because traditionally on that day Christians went to confession and were ‘shriven’ (absolved from their sins). Shrove Tuesday is often known as Pancake Day from the custom of making pancakes on that day, and is called Fastnacht in Germany, Carnival in Italy, and Mardi Gras in the Americas. Shrove Tuesday is the term used in the En…

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shrub

A woody perennial plant, usually differentiated from a tree by being smaller and having a trunk which produces branches at or near the base; but the distinction is far from clear-cut, and some large shrubs are essentially small trees. Many shrubs are very small, and woody only at the very base, and can easily be mistaken for herbs; but they do not die back to ground level in winter. …

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shuffleboard - Deck Shuffleboard, Table Shuffleboard, Variants, Teams

A game in which discs are sent moving by hand or with an implement along a board or court, so that they come to a halt within a predetermined area. It was popular as an aristocratic game in England in the Middle Ages, often played on boards of some length. Today, a version of the game, also called shovelboard, is a popular deck sport aboard ship. Wooden discs, usually c.15 cm/6 in diameter, are …

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Shura (Alexander Isaakovich) Cherkassky - Discography

Pianist, born in Odessa, S Ukraine. He settled in America in 1922 and studied at the Curtis Institute, Philadelphia. He excelled in the Romantic repertoire, and toured and recorded widely. …

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Shusaku Endo - Bibliography

Novelist and short story writer, born in Toyko, Japan. He graduated in French literature from Keio University, then studied for several years in Lyon. Widely regarded as the leading writer in Japan, he was elected to the Nihon Geijutsuin, the Japanese Arts Academy, in 1981. His books include (trans titles) Silence (1966), The Sea and Poison (1972), Wonderful Fool (1974), Volcano (1978), When I Whi…

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Siaka (Probin) Stevens - Early life, Political career, Interrupted Premiership, The Stevens Presidency, Retirement

Sierra Leone politician, prime minister (1967), and president (1971–85), born in Tolubu, Sierra Leone. After working in the police force and industry, he was a trade union activist before entering politics, founding the moderate Socialist All People's Congress in 1960. Thanks partly to his mixed Christian and Muslim parentage, he was victorious in the 1967 general election. Army opposition forced…

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Sialkot - History, Sights, Head Works Marala, Sialkot-Lahore Motorway

32°29N 74°35E, pop (2000e) 494 000. City in Punjab province, E Pakistan, E of the R Chenab; railway; rubber goods, ceramics, cutlery, surgical instruments; ancient fort, mausoleum of Sikh apostle Nanak. Sialkot (Urdu/Punjabi: سیالکوٹ ) is a city in the north of Pakistan situated at the feet of the snow-covered peaks of Kashmir and near the Chenab river. Sialkot is about 125 km …

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Siamese twins - Types of conjoined twins, Conjoined twins in history, Criticism of the term

A fault in embryological development in which identical twins are born physically joined together. The deformity ranges from one in which the twins may merely share one umbilical cord to one in which heads or trunks are joined together. The latter presents a particular challenge in separation surgery because the twins may share organ systems. The name derives from the first twins in whom the condi…

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Siberia - The origin of name, Administrative divisions, History, Geography and geology, Demographics, Religion, Trans-Siberian Railway

area c.7 511 000 km²/2 900 000 sq mi. Vast geographic region of Asiatic Russia, comprising the N third of Asia; from the Ural Mts (W) to the Pacific Ocean (E), and from the Arctic Ocean (N) to the Kazakhstan steppes and the Chinese and Mongolian frontiers (S); Arctic islands include Severnaya Zemlya, New Siberian Is, Wrangel I; off the Pacific coast are Sakhalin, the Aleutian Is, and the K…

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Siberian husky - Appearance, Temperament, Health, History, Miscellaneous

A friendly, medium-sized Arctic spitz breed of dog developed in Siberia; coat thick, soft, white with grey or tan; tail carried in single curve over back, or relaxed when at rest. The Siberian Husky is a working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia. The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized dog, weighing between 25 to 55 pounds (16 to 27 kg) at a height of 20 to 23.5 inches (51 to …

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Siberut

area 500 km²/200 sq mi. Island 140 km/87 mi off the W coast of Sumatra, Indonesia; a nature and ‘traditional use’ reserve area protecting the dwarf gibbon, pig-tailed langur, Mentawi leaf monkey, and Mentawi macaque; air connections with Padang. Siberut is the largest and northernmost of the Mentawai Islands, lying west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. The western half of the island …

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Sicilian School - Origins, The work of a roving school, Style and subject-matter

In Italy, the literary movement which developed in the 13th-c at the court of Frederick II and then of Manfredi, and was inspired by the Provençal tradition. It soon spread to Tuscany, where its leading representative was Guittone d'Arezzo. It gave birth to new forms (the sonnet, devised by Jacopo da Lentini) and new themes (a more intellectual concept of love which anticipates the dolce stil nov…

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Sicilian Vespers - Contributions to Culture, Trivia

The wholesale massacre of the French in Sicily which began the Sicilian revolt against Charles of Anjou, King of Naples–Sicily, and paved the way for the crown to be offered to Peter III of Aragón who had inspired the revolt. It led to a war ending in 1302 which opposed Anjou and Aragón. It was so called because the first killings occurred during a riot in a church outside Palermo at vespers (e…

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Sicily - Geography, Transport, Towns and cities, Flag, Arts, History, Mafia, People, Language, Historical monarchs of Sicily

pop (2000e) 5 000 000; area 25 708 km²/9923 sq mi. Largest and most populous island in the Mediterranean, separated from the mainland of Italy by the narrow Strait of Messina; length 288 km/179 mi; width 192 km/119 mi; settled by the Greeks, 8th-c BC; province of Rome, 2nd-c BC; Norman conquest, 11th-c; conquest by Aragón, 1282; Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, 1815; conquest by Garibaldi…

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Sid Luckman

Player of American football, born in New York City, New York, USA. The National Football League's first great T-formation quarterback, he led the Chicago Bears to four championships including the famous 73–0 title game victory over Washington in 1940. Sid Luckman (November 21, 1916 - July 5, 1998) was an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1939 to 1950 leading the team…

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sidereal time

Time measured by considering the rotation of the Earth relative to the distant stars (rather than to the Sun, which is the basis of civil time). Sidereal time is time measured by the apparent diurnal motion of the vernal equinox, which is very close to, but not identical with, the motion of stars. Solar time is measured by the apparent diurnal motion of the sun, and local noon i…

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sidewinder

A snake which moves by pushing its head forward onto the ground, then winding the body forwards and sideways until it lies stretched out to one side; meanwhile the head is moved forward again. Repeating this behaviour allows the snake to move rapidly over soft sand. Sidewinding is used by several species, especially vipers (eg the horned viper), but no species uses it all the time. Crotalus cerast…

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Sidney (Coe) Howard - Further reading

Playwright, born in Oakland, California, USA. His career had many ups and downs, though his first commercial success, They Knew What They Wanted (1924), a comedy about grape growers, won a Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote many screenplays, including that for Gone With The Wind (1939). Sidney Coe Howard (June 26, 1891 – August 23, 1939) was an American playwright and screenwriter who became t…

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Sidney Altman - Nobel prize work

Biochemist, born in Montreal, Quebec, SE Canada. He became affiliated with Yale in 1971, and holds dual citizenship. He showed that the RNA molecule can rearrange itself, thereby altering the material it produces without requiring an enzyme - a breakthrough in our understanding of genetic processes. He shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Thomas Cech in 1989. Sidney Altman received his…

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Sidney Bechet - Life, Career, Tributes, Further reading

Jazz musician, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. He took up the soprano saxophone in 1919, his forceful style making him the first significant saxophone voice in jazz. He re-emerged in 1940 as a figurehead of the traditional jazz revival. The warmth of his reception during many tours in Europe led him to make his permanent home in Paris. Sidney Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was …

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Sidney Farber

Oncologist, born in Buffalo, New York, USA. He began as a pathologist at the Children's Hospital in Boston and taught at Harvard (1929). His life's work revolved around cancer therapy, research, and patient care. In 1947 he founded the Children's Cancer Research Foundation (now, in his honour, the Dana–Farber Cancer Center) and achieved the first remissions in childhood leukaemia by using chemoth…

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Sidney Hook - Biography, Books by Hook, Articles by Hook Available Online, Books on Hook

Philosopher, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied at City College of New York (1923), and earned a doctorate from Columbia University (1927), where he became a disciple of John Dewey, and taught at Columbia until 1972, chairing the philosophy department during 1932–68. He wrote a seminal study of Dewey (1929). Radical as a student, he also wrote influential expositions of Marx's thoug…

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Sidney Janis - Beginnings, Collecting, Career in art, The Sidney Janis Gallery

Art dealer and writer, born in Buffalo, New York, USA. He attended school locally, was a vaudeville dancer, worked in his brother's store, and became a shirt manufacturer in New York City (1925). He retired in 1939 and devoted himself to collecting contemporary and primitive art. Later he specialized in the work of abstract expressionists and established the Sidney Janis Gallery (1948–67). His co…

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Sidney Kingsley - Works

Playwright, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. His first play, Men in White (1933), won a Pulitzer Prize. Most of his plays, including Detective Story (1949), continued to look at serious contemporary themes. Kingsley followed this success with the play Dead End in 1935. The two plays which followed, the anti-war Ten Million Ghosts of 1936 and The World We Make of 1939, were flo…

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Sidney Lanier - Early life and war, Musician, Poet and scholar, Later life

Writer, poet, and musician, born in Macon, Georgia, USA. He studied at Oglethorpe University, GA (1857–60), was a Confederate soldier (1861–5), and contracted tuberculosis while a prisoner-of-war. He worked as a law clerk, then devoted himself to art. He moved to Baltimore where he played the flute for the Peabody Orchestra (1873–81), taught at Johns Hopkins University, and composed poems such …

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Sidney Lumet

Film director, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Originally a child actor, then a TV director, he made his first feature film in 1957 - Twelve Angry Men. Known for making films that combine popular elements with serious themes, his greatest commercial triumph was Network (1976). Other works include The Pawnbroker (1965), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and The…

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Sidney Poitier - Early life and acting career, Directorial career, Personal life, Miscellany, Awards and recognition, Filmography, Television

Actor and director, born in Miami, Florida, USA. A student at the American Negro Theater in New York City, he appeared on stage and in films before making his Hollywood debut in 1950. Cast mainly in supporting roles, he won an Oscar for Lilies of the Field (1963), and became the cinema's first African-American superstar. Handsome and unassuming, he brought dignity to the portrayal of noble and int…

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Sidney Sheldon - Bibliography - novels

Producer and writer, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied at Northwestern (1935–6) and held a variety of jobs during the Depression years. He moved to New York City hoping to become a composer, but, disappointed in that endeavour, moved to Los Angeles and became a noted film and television producer of such shows as The Patty Duke Show and I Dream of Jeannie. Beginning in 1970, he also publi…

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Sidon - History, Sidon and the Middle East conflict, Sidon today, The Biblical Sidon

33°32N 35°22E, pop (2000e) 31 000. Seaport capital of W Lebanon, on the Mediterranean Sea, 35 km/22 mi N of Tyre, at the centre of a well-watered coastal plain; founded in the third millennium BC; once noted for its glass and purple dyes; railway; oil refining; Crusader castle; ruins of Phoenician Temple of Echmoun nearby. Coordinates: 33°33′38″N, 35°23′53″E Sido…

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Siege of Leiden - First siege of Leiden, Second siege of Leiden, Aftermath

(1573–4) During the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) two Spanish sieges, with two months' interval between them, withstood by the town of Leiden, The Netherlands. In the second siege, grain speculators had not replenished the stores and there was a famine. Inundations saved the town, until the Spanish under Alva's son, Don Fadrique Alvarez de Toledo, were forced to withdraw by the rising waters and…

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Siegfried (Loraine) Sassoon - Biography

Poet and novelist, born in Brenchley, Kent, SE England, UK. World War 1, in which he served, gave him a hatred of war, fiercely expressed in his Counterattack (1918) and Satirical Poems (1926). He also wrote several semi-autobiographical works, such as Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928). His later poetry was increasingly devotional, and he became a Catholic in 1957. Siegfried good one Sass…

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Siegfried Lenz - Incomplete bibliography

Writer, born in Lyck, East Prussia. He studied philosophy and literature in Hamburg before becoming features editor for the newspaper Die Welt. His first novel, Es waren Habichte in der Luft (1951), which describes the situation of emigrants and contains elements of Symbolism, was a success. His later writing is more realistic as exemplified in his internationally acclaimed novel Deutschstunde (19…

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Siegfried Line - Origin of the name "Westwall", Construction programmes, 1938 – 1940, Typical basic construction types

Name given by the Allies in World War 2 to a 600 km/373 mi line of defensive fortifications constructed in 1936–40 along Germany's borders with France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and S Netherlands. It provided respite to retreating German forces in 1944, but was breached by the Allies in 1945, and largely dismantled after the war. All remains were demolished during 2003 to mark the 40th anniversary o…

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siemens

SI unit of electrical conductance; symbol S; defined as 1 divided by resistance as measured in ohms. Siemens is a German family name carried by generations of telecommunications industrialists, including: …

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Siena - History, Art and architecture, Sports, Transportation

43°19N 11°19E, pop (2000e) 64 500. Capital town of Siena province, Tuscany, C Italy; 70 km/43 mi S of Florence; founded by the Etruscans; centre of the Ghibelline faction and a rival of Florence, 12th-c; influential centre of mediaeval art; archbishopric; university (1240); major tourist city; glass, textiles, bricks, confectionery, crafts, cultural activities; cathedral (12th–14th-c); town…

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Sienese School - List of artists

A school of art which flourished in Siena in the 14th-c and early 15th-c. Great artists included Duccio, Martini, and the Lorenzetti brothers. Sienese art is more charming and decorative than that of Florence, less dramatic, and has deep roots in the Gothic and Byzantine traditions. The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time …

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Sierra Club - Organization, Priorities and campaigns, Protecting rivers, Nuclear Power Stance, Outings, Blue-Green Alliance

A US private, non-profit conservation organization. It was founded by the US naturalist and writer, John Muir (1838–1914) in 1892. The Sierra Club is governed by a fifteen-member volunteer Board of Directors. Each year, five directors are elected to three-year terms, with all Club members eligible to vote. All Club members also belong to chapters (usually state-wide), and to lo…

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Sierra Leone - History, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Environment, Miscellaneous topics

Official name Republic of Sierra Leone Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. The written history of Sierra Leone began in 1536, when the Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra landed and named the country. {From History} In 1808, Sierra Leone became a British Crown Colony, which it remained until halfway through the twentiet…

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Sierra Nevada (USA)

Mountain range in W USA, mainly in E California; extends NW–SE for 725 km/450 mi between the Cascade and Coastal Ranges; highest point in the USA outside Alaska, Mt Whitney (4418 m/14 495 ft); contains Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. Sierra Nevada, meaning "snowy range" in Spanish, is the name of at least three mountain ranges: There are also two single …

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sievert - Definition, SI multiples and conversions, Explanation, Q values, N values

In radioactivity, the SI unit of dose equivalent, equal to absorbed dose multiplied by the relative biological effectiveness; symbol Sv; because it takes account of different radiations' ability to cause biological damage, Sv is used in radiation safety measurements. The sievert (symbol: Sv) is the SI derived unit of dose equivalent. The equivalent dose to a tissue is found by m…

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sifaka

A leaping lemur; long silky hair and long tail; variable in colour (usually white with dark patches); small gliding membranes from arms to sides of body; can leap 10 m/33 ft between trees; eats leaves. (Genus: Propithecus, 2 species.) Sifakas are a genus (Propithecus) from the primate family Indriidae. …

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Sigiriya - The setting, Archeological remains, Legends of the origins of the site, A tour of the site

An ancient city in C Sri Lanka - also the rock which towers 180 m/600 ft above it; a world heritage site. The rock is surmounted by a palace built in the 5th-c by King Kasyapa I. Sigiriya is renowned not only for the grandeur of its ruins, but also for the frescoes adorning the W cliffs of the rock. Sigiriya rock is the hardened magma plug from an extinct and long-eroded volcano. …

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Sigismund

Holy Roman Emperor (1433–7), probably born in Nuremberg, SC Germany, the son of Charles IV. He became King of Hungary (1387), Germany (1411), and Bohemia (1419). In 1396 he was defeated by the Ottoman Turks at Nicopolis, but later conquered Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Serbia. As emperor, he induced the Pope to call the Council of Constance to end the Hussite schism (1414), but made no effort to upho…

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Siglo de Oro

In 16th-c Spain, the period which saw the publication of the major works by such writers as Cervantes, Juan de Valdés, Antonio de Guevara, Garcilaso de la Vega, Montemayor, Gaspar Gil Polo, Luis de León, Juan de la Cruz, Fernando de Herrera, Quevedo, Espinel, Góngora, Lope de Vega, Gracián, Calderón, Gil Vicente, Torres Naharro, L Leonardo de Argensola, Vélez de Guevara, Ruiz de Alarcón, Ti…

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Sigmund Freud - Life, Innovations, Freud's legacy, Patients, Bibliography

Founder of psychoanalysis, born in Freiburg, Moravia (now Príbor, E Czech Republic), of Jewish parentage. He studied medicine at Vienna, then specialized in neurology, and later in psychopathology. Finding hypnosis inadequate, he substituted the method of ‘free association’, allowing the patient to express thoughts in a state of relaxed consciousness, and interpreting the data of childhood and …

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Sigmund Romberg

Composer of operettas, born in Nagykanizsa, W Hungary. He trained in Vienna as an engineer, also studying violin and composition. He settled in the USA in 1909, and in New York City introduced the use of dance bands in restaurants. Of more than 70 works, his most famous were Blossom Time (1921), The Student Prince (1924), The Desert Song (1926), and The New Moon (1928). Sigmund Romberg, bor…

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sign - Ontology of signs, Types of signs

Something that stands for something else, which it may or may not resemble, the relationship often being agreed by convention; for example, an arrow indicates direction, and greying hair the ageing process. In semiotics a sign comprises a signifier (its physical appearance, sound, etc) and a signified (the mental concept it evokes). Each sign's meaning is determined partly by its differential rela…

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sign language - History of sign language, Geographic distribution of sign languages, Use of signs in hearing communities

A communication system in which manual signs are used to express a corresponding range of meanings to those conveyed by spoken or written language. There are several different kinds of sign language. The most widely used are those which have developed naturally in a deaf community, such as the American, British, French, and Swedish Sign Languages. Contrary to popular belief, such languages are not…

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Sigourney Weaver

Film actress, born in New York City, USA. She completed a university education at Stanford and Yale universities before embarking on a film career. Her big break came when she was cast as astronaut Ripley in the film Alien (1979), a part originally written for a man. Later films include Eyewitness (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), the three Aliens sequels (1986, 1992, 1997), The Ice Storm (1997), Galax…

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Sigrid Undset - Biography, Works

Norwegian novelist, born in Kalundborg, C Denmark. The daughter of a Norwegian father and Danish mother, she was raised in Oslo and remained in Norway for most of her life. She worked in an office for 10 years, then turned to writing. Her novels featured powerful descriptions of northern life during the Middle Ages, and her major works were Kristin Lavransdatter (1920–2), a 14th-c trilogy, follow…

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Sigurd - The Volsunga Saga, Illustration, Cultural impact

In Norse mythology, the son of Sigmund the Volsung, who kills Fafnir the dragon and wins Brunhild. He marries Gudrun, having forgotten Brunhild, and is killed by Gudrun's brother Gutthorm. Virtually the same story is told of Siegfried [zeegfreed] in German legends. Sigurd (Old Norse: Sigurðr, German: Siegfried) was a legendary hero of Norse mythology, as well as the central character in th…

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Sikhism - Philosophy and teachings, The ten gurus and religious authority, History, Scripture, Observances and ceremonies, Sikh people

A religion founded by the Guru Nanak (1469–1539) in the Punjab area of N India. Under his leadership and that of his nine successors Sikhism prospered. It combines aspects of Hinduism and Islam, and is called a religion of the gurus, seeking union with God through worship and service. God is the true Guru, and his divine word has come to humanity through the 10 historical gurus. The line ended in…

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Sikkim - Origin of name, History, Geography, Economy, Transport, Demographics, Culture, Government and politics, Infrastructure, Media

pop (2000e) 476 000; area 7300 km²/2817 sq mi. State in NE India, in the E Himalayas; bounded W by Nepal, N by China, and E by China and Bhutan; ruled by Namgyal dynasty, 14th-c until 1975; part of British Empire, 1866–1947; protectorate of India, 1950; voted to become a state, 1975; capital, Gangtok; governed by a 32-member Assembly; Mt Kangchenjunga on Nepal border; inhabited mostly by Le…

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silage - Making silage, Fermentation, Silo effluent, Storing silage, Safety, Nutrition

A fodder made from grass, maize, or other leafy material and preserved by its own partial fermentation in an airtight tower-silo, silage pit or, more commonly, in a large airtight roll baled and sealed in plastic sheeting. Silages are usually made for the winter housing period for stock and to allow excess grass growth in the spring and summer to be preserved. Initial fermentation creates organic …

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Silas Deane

Diplomat and legislator, born in Groton, Connecticut, USA. He was the first diplomat sent abroad by the united colonies. In France in 1776, he persuaded the French government to send military supplies to the colonies under the guise of a holding company, and in concert with Arthur Lee (1740–1792) and Benjamin Franklin negotiated two treaties with France (1778). He was recalled to America followin…

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Silas Weir Mitchell - Source

Physician, writer, and poet, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. After taking his MD from Jefferson Medical College, he continued his medical studies in France, then returned to Philadelphia to practise. During the Civil War, he served as a surgeon for the Union army and collaborated on an important work, Gunshot Wounds and Other Injuries of Nerves (1864). In the ensuing decades he specialize…

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Silbury Hill - Structure, Investigations, Location, Biology

An artificial chalk mound, 40 m/130 ft high, erected c.2700 BC near Avebury, Wiltshire, S England, UK. Probably prehistoric Europe's largest barrow, it has a base area of 2·2 ha/5·4 acres, a volume of 354 000 cu m/463 000 cu yd, and was an estimated 18 million man-hours in construction. Excavated by tunnelling in 1776, 1849, and 1968–70, it remains archaeologically enigmatic. Si…

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