Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 71

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Sosthenes Behn

Businessman, born in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, USA. After education in Paris, he emigrated to the USA in 1898, but immediately left to join his brother Hernand Behn in opening a brokerage house in Puerto Rico. In 1914 the sugar crop failed, and Behn Brothers Inc acquired the local telephone system as security against a crop loan. The brothers expanded, adding the Cuban telephone system (1916) …

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soul (music) - Etymologies, Religious views, Science and the soul, Other uses of the term

A strongly emotional type of popular music which followed on from rhythm and blues in the 1960s, and drew on other types of pop music. It is associated primarily with black US singers, such as Aretha Franklin. The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is a self-aware ethereal substance particular to a unique living being. In these traditions the soul is thought …

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soul (religion) - Etymologies, Religious views, Science and the soul, Other uses of the term

Usually, the principle of life, the ultimate identity of a person, or the immortal constituent of the self. The concept derives from Plato, for whom it was a metaphysical entity, ultimately incorruptible and eternal. In Christian thought, the concept became fused with the idea of the resurrection of the body. There are links with the concept of atman in Hindu and Buddhist thought. The soul,…

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sound - Speed of sound, Sound pressure, Sound pressure level, Measurement of sound

A wave motion comprising a sequence of pressure pulses passing through some medium, typically air. The source of sound is a mechanical oscillator in the medium, such as a vibrating guitar string or a loudspeaker cone in air. It can be detected aurally, or using microphones or transducers. The speed of sound in air is 332 m/s; in fresh water at 20°C, it is 1482 m/s. The speed at which sou…

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sound film - History, Consequences

Cinema pictures with synchronized sound. In 1926, 16-in gramophone discs running at 33 rpm (revolutions per minute) were linked to the film projector, but this was quickly replaced by integral sound-on-film systems. A photographic sound record is printed by the side of the picture as a continuous track in which sound modulations are represented by variations of either its density or its width. Du…

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sound intensity level

Symbol LI, units db (decibel); noise level relative to the faintest audible sound, which is rated as 0 db. It is related to sound intensity I, units W/m2, the power per unit area of the sound wave. LI = 10 log(I/Io), where Io is taken to be 10?12 W/m2, the sound intensity corresponding to 0 db. A whisper has a typical sound intensity level of 20 db; a conversation of 50 db; a busy street o…

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The Sound - Speed of sound, Sound pressure, Sound pressure level, Measurement of sound

Strait between Zealand I, Denmark, and S Sweden, connecting the Kattegat with the Baltic Sea; width of narrowest section, 6 km/4 mi; a bridge connecting Copenhagen to Malmö in Sweden was opened in 2000. The speed at which sound travels depends on the medium through which the waves are passing, and is often quoted as a fundamental property of the material. Sound pressure is th…

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sousaphone - External Links

A musical instrument resembling a tuba, but with the tubing encircling the player's body. It was designed by John Philip Sousa to be played while marching, and was first made in 1898. The sousaphone is a type of tuba often used in a marching band. At that time they used hélicons, instruments that somewhat resemble sousaphones, but have a far narrower bore, and a much smaller bell whi…

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Sousse - History, City assets, Tourism, Statistics, Sights, Sister Cities, Sports

35°50N 10°38E, pop (2000e) 109 000. Port and capital of Sousse governorate, NE Tunisia, 115 km/71 mi SE of Tunis; founded by the Phoenicians, 9th-c BC; destroyed by the Vandals, AD 434; railway; tourism, crafts, clothing, ceramics, carpets; Mosque Zakak, the Great Mosque (850), Hanafite Mosque, Ribat fortress (9th-c); festival of music and popular arts (Apr–May), Aoussou Festival (Jul–Aug)…

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South Africa - History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Flora and fauna, Economy, Agriculture, Demographics, Culture, Crime, Military, Media

Official name Republic of South Africa, Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. Lesotho is an independent enclave entirely surrounded by South African territory. South Africa has experienced a significantly different evolution from other nations in Africa as a result of two facts. As a re…

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South America - Geography, History, Economy, Culture, People

The fourth largest continent, extending c.7500 km/5000 mi from 12°25N to 56°S; Area c.18 million km²/7 million sq mi; linked to North America (NW) by the isthmus of Panama; bounded N by the Caribbean Sea, E by the Atlantic Ocean, and W by the Pacific Ocean; includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela; outlying isla…

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South Australia - Economy, Government, Sport, Notable places

pop (2000e) 1 548 000; area 984 000 km²/379 900 sq mi. State in S Australia; established as a British Crown Colony, 1836; became a state, 1901; included most of Northern Territory, 1863–1901; composed of seven statistical divisions; bordered S by the Great Australian Bight and the Southern Ocean; largely desert, notably the Great Victoria Desert and Nullarbor Plain; fertile land in the S…

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South Carolina - South Carolina Nicknames, Geography, History, Demographics, Economy, Transportation, Law and government, Education, Sports in South Carolina

pop (2000e) 4 012 000; area 80 580 km²/31 113 sq mi. State in SE USA, divided into 46 counties; the ‘Palmetto State’; settled by the French at Port Royal, 1562; included in the Carolina grant in 1663, but returned to the Crown in 1729; brought under American control after the battle of Guilford Courthouse, 1781; eighth of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution, 1788; the firs…

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South China Sea - Geography, Territorial claims, Names for the sea

area c.3 685 000 km²/1 423 000 sq mi. W arm of the Pacific Ocean, bounded by Taiwan (N), the Philippines (E), Borneo (SE), and the SE Asian coast (NW, W, SW); subject to violent typhoons; main arms, Gulfs of Tongkin and Kompong; shallow in SE, c.60 m/200 ft; deep basin in NE, reaching 5490 m/18 012 ft; numerous island groups and coral reefs; major fishing region. The South Chin…

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South Dakota - Economy, Transportation, Important cities and towns, Education, Miscellaneous topics

pop (2000e) 754 800; area 199 723 km²/77 116 sq mi. State in NC USA, divided into 66 counties; the ‘Sunshine State’ or ‘Coyote State’; part of the USA as a result of the Louisiana Purchase, 1803; included in Dakota Territory, 1861; population swelled when gold was discovered in the Black Hills, 1874; separated from North Dakota and became the 40th state of the Union, 1889; capital, Pie…

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South Downs Way

Long-distance footpath following the South Downs of East and West Sussex, S England, UK; stretches from Eastbourne to Harting; length 130 km/80 mi. The South Downs Way is a long-distance footpath and bridleway, running along the South Downs in southern England. The undulating path moves past the town of Arundel, the village of Steyning, Devil's Dyke viewpoint near Brighton, an…

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South Island - Regions located in the South Island, Cities and towns in the South Island, Geographic features

pop (2000e) 1 065 000; area 153 978 km²/59 435 sq mi. The larger and southernmost of the two main islands of New Zealand; separated from North Island by the Cook Strait, and from Stewart I (S) by the Foveaux Strait; fertile plains on coast give way to mountains; Southern Alps run through the centre, containing Mt Cook (3764 m/12 349 ft), highest point in New Zealand; Westland to the W,…

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South Orkney Islands - History, Research Stations

area 620 km²/239 sq mi. Group of islands in the S Atlantic, NE of the Graham Peninsula; main islands Coronation, Signy, Laurie, Inaccessible; used by British and US whalers since 1821; barren and uninhabited, apart from scientific research; claimed by Argentina. The South Orkney Islands are a group of islands in the Southern Ocean. Prior to 1961, the Islands were claimed by Argentina an…

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South Shetland Islands - History, Geography, Islands, Research Stations, Field Camps, Maps

area 4622 km²/1784 sq mi. Group of mountainous islands in the S Atlantic, NW of the Graham Peninsula, c.880 km/550 mi SE of Cape Horn; main islands King George, Elephant, Clarence, Gibbs, Nelson, Livingston, Greenwich, Snow, Deception, Smith; discovered in 1819; occasionally used for scientific bases. The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands, lying about 120 kilomet…

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South Shields - Overview, History, Regional Identity, People, Culture and sport, Politics, Public transport

55º00N 1º43W, pop (2000e) 83 400. Town in Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK; seaside town on the R Tyne; the harbour was used by the Romans as a supply base for the construction of Hadrian's Wall; named South Shields (1245) by the prior and convent of Durham; former important trading port and shipbuilding town; birthplace of Elinor Mary Brent-Dyer, Dame Flora Robson, Ridley Scott; Marine College (…

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Southampton - Economy, Southampton today, Government and politics, Transport, Districts and suburbs, Notable people, Twinning, Trivia

50°55N 1°25W, pop (2001e) 217 500. Port city and (from 1997) unitary authority in Hampshire, S England, UK; on Southampton Water, at the mouth of the Test and Itchen Rivers; major UK port handling container traffic and passenger ships; four tides daily; site of both Roman and Saxon settlements; Mayflower set sail from here en route to Plymouth and then North America in 1620; Titanic sailed fro…

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Southend - History, Local and National Government, Transport, Education, Entertainment and culture

51°33N 0°43E, pop (2001e) 160 300. Resort town and unitary authority (from 1998), Essex, SE England, UK; on the R Thames estuary, 57 km/35 mi E of London; famous pier, 2 km/1¼ mi long; railway; airfield; 12th-c Prittlewell Priory museum; football league team, Southend United (Shrimpers). Southend-on-Sea is a seaside resort and unitary authority in the East of England. O…

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Southern Alps

Mountain range in WC South Island, New Zealand; length c.320 km/200 mi NE–SW; contains New Zealand's highest peaks, Mt Cook (3764 m/12 349 ft), Mt Tasman (3497 m/11 472 ft), and Mt Dampier (3440 m/11 286 ft); 19 named peaks exceed 3000 m/10 000 ft; only two mountain passes (Haast Pass and Arthur's Pass) allow E–W travel; popular area for mountain-climbing and skiing. The Sou…

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southernwood

An aromatic shrub (Artemisia abrotanum) growing to 1 m/3¼ ft; leaves finely divided with narrow thread-like lobes, grey-haired beneath; flower-heads globular, 3–4 mm/0·12–0·16 in across; florets dull yellow. Of uncertain origin, it is widely grown as an ornamental. Its sweetly aromatic leaves are used for flavouring. (Family: Compositae.) Southernwood, Old Man, Boy's Love, Oldman W…

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Southport - History, Local government and politics, Economy, Scouting in Southport, Transport, Sport

53°39N 3°01W, pop (2000e) 89 700. Coastal resort town in Merseyside, NW England, UK; on the Irish Sea, S of the R Ribble estuary, 25 km/15 mi N of Liverpool; the original ‘garden city’; a notable golfing area (Birkdale); railway; chemicals, engineering; annual flower show. Southport has a population of around 93,000 people, with approximately 40% of the population over 55 years old …

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Southwark - Naming, History

51°30N 0°06W, pop (2001e) 244 900. Borough of C Greater London, UK; S of the R Thames; includes the suburbs of Bermondsey, Southwark, Camberwell; formerly famous for its inns and Elizabethan theatres (site of Globe Theatre); railway; 13th-c Southwark Cathedral, Dulwich College (1621), Guy's Hospital (1721), Imperial War Museum, Shakespeare's Globe, Tate Modern. Southwark or The Borough …

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sovereignty - Notion, A brief history of the concept of sovereignty, Different views of sovereignties, Territorial sovereignty

The capacity to determine conduct within the territory of a nation-state without external legal constraint. Sovereign powers may be exercised by a legislature, as in the UK. Where legal limits are placed upon the organs of government by the constitution, as in the USA, sovereignty is claimed to reside with the people. Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e.g. …

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Soviet Union - History, Politics, Foreign relations, Republics, Economy, Geography, Population and society, Culture, Holidays, Audio

pop (1990) 290 122 000; area 22 402 076 km²/8 647 201 sq mi. Former federation of 15 republics, comprising most of E Europe and N and C Asia, which until its dissolution (1991) jointly formed the world's largest sovereign state; capital, Moscow; ethnic groups included Russian (52%), Ukrainian (16%), and over 100 others; chief religion, Russian Orthodox (18%), with 70% atheist; official …

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Soweto - History, Demographics, Suburbs, Economy, Famous Sowetans, Other Interest, Landmarks

26°15S 27°52E, pop (2000e) 1 073 000. Black African township in NE South Africa; the name derives from the official title of South-West Township; linked by rail (8 km/5 mi) to industrial W Johannesburg; resistance to the teaching of Afrikaans in schools led to student riots in June 1976, when several hundred people were killed. Soweto is an urban area in the City of Johannesburg, in …

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Soyuz (Russ - Design, Variants, Missions

A Soviet basic space capsule, consisting of three modules (orbiter, descent, and instrumentation), and carrying a crew of one to three. It has been flown on several dozen missions, and is capable of precision targeting to soft-land in C Asia (contrasting with the US ocean-recovery technique). It has been used to ferry crew to and from Salyut and, later, Mir space stations with which docking takes …

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space exploration - Timeline of space exploration

Imagined for centuries, the era began with the first artificial satellite (Sputnik, 1957, Soviet Union) and the first manned flight (Gagarin, 1961, Soviet Union), with subsequent rapidly evolving capabilities in Earth orbit and Solar System exploration (initiated by Mariner 2, 1962, USA). It has been an arena of intense international competition and, recently, co-operation. The utilitarian uses of…

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space law - International Treaties, 1998 Agreement, National Law, Multilateral treaties

A branch of international law which deals with rights in outer space.Terrestrial airspace is generally considered by states both in international agreements and their municipal laws to be synonymous with the earth's atmosphere. There is increasing interest in the use of the upper atmosphere and orbital zones for the purposes of communications. Foreign aircraft have no right to fly over the territo…

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space shuttle - Description, Launch, Landing, Further reading

A re-usable crewed launch vehicle; officially referred to as a space transportation system (STS). The first-generation US shuttle launched in April 1981, managed by NASA's Johnson and Marshall Space Centers. The first Soviet shuttle, Buran, was launched in November 1988 for a single test flight without crew, using the Energiya booster. The European Space Agency shuttle Hermes programme was cancell…

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space station - Past and present space stations, Types of space station

A long-lived crewed spacecraft in low Earth orbit; examples are the US Skylab and the Russian (formerly Soviet) Mir. It is used for the accumulation of long-duration flight experience and related biomedical research, for astronomy, for Earth observations, and for microgravity experiments. The US space station programme underwent a major redesign in 1993 to incorporate substantial participation by …

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spacecraft - Spacecraft subsystems, Fictional spacecraft, Examples of spacecraft, External articles

Vehicles designed to operate in the vacuum–weightlessness–high radiation environment of space; used to convey human crew, to acquire scientific data, to conduct utilitarian operations (eg telecommunications and synoptic weather observations), and to conduct research (eg microgravity experiments). The first spacecraft (Sputnik 1) was launched by the USSR in 1957 (4 Oct). They require highly relia…

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Spacelab - Spacelab missions

A research facility flown in the cargo bay of the NASA space shuttle; designed, built, and financed by the European Space Agency. It had flown four times by the end of 1985. It consists of a pressurized experiment module for scientist-astronaut activities, and one or more pallets upon which telescopes and Earth remote-sensing experiments are mounted. Spacelab Module was used in 25 shuttle f…

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spaghetti Western - Other "Food Westerns", List of Spaghetti Westerns

A film drama following the themes and settings of the American ‘Western’, but cheaply produced by European companies on locations in Spain and Italy. The first of this genre was A Fistful of Dollars (1964, Per un pugno di dollari), a German–Spanish–Italian co-production directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, both of whom repeated their success during the following 10 years. …

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Spain - History, Politics, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Identities, Religion, Most important media, International rankings, References and notes

Official name Kingdom of Spain, Span Reino de España Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España, short form: España), is a country located in Southern Europe, with two small exclaves in North Africa (both bordering Morocco). To the west and to the south of Galicia, Spain borders Portugal. The term Spain (España in Spanish) is derived f…

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spandrel

A triangular space on the wall of a building, defined by the curve of an arch, a vertical line drawn up from the side of the arch, and a horizontal line through its apex. Particularly in 20th-c architecture, it refers to an infill panel below a window, often of a different material to the rest of the wall. A spandrel (less often spandril or splaundrel) is the space between two arches or bet…

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spaniel - Breeds

A sporting dog belonging to one of several breeds originally developed to assist hunters; bred to retrieve game, especially birds; usually small, affectionate, with long pendulous ears; now popular pets. There has been so much interbreeding of various gun dogs over the centuries to achieve additional breeds for new subniches that it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a breed is a …

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Spanish Armada - Execution, Consequences, Ships involved, The Spanish Armada in art, Other meanings

A fleet of 130 Spanish ships, commanded by the Duke of Medina Sidonia, carrying 20 000 soldiers and 8500 sailors, sent by Philip II of Spain to invade England in 1588. The invasion was in retaliation for English support of Protestant rebels in the Netherlands, the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (1587), and raids on Spanish shipping, such as Drake's at Cádiz (1587); Philip's aim was to gain co…

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Spanish art - 20th Century

The art associated with Spain, which has flourished in the Peninsula since prehistoric times. The Roman occupation (218 BC–AD 414) saw extensive building, but most of this has perished. After the Muslim invasion of 711, Córdoba became the centre of an artistically splendid culture which exerted a deep influence on later Christian art. A recognizable national tradition began in the 9th-c with the…

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Spanish Civil War - The combatants, Prelude, Nationalist military uprising, Factions in the war, Foreign involvement, Pacifism in Spain

(1936–9) The conflict between supporters and opponents of the Spanish Republic (1931–6). The ‘Republicans’ included moderates, socialists, communists, Catalan and Basque regionalists, and anarchists. The ‘Nationalist’ insurgents included monarchists, Carlists, conservative Catholics, and fascist Falangists. The armed forces were divided. Both sides attracted foreign assistance: the Republic …

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Spanish fly - Culinary use

A slender, metallic-green beetle which exudes acrid yellow fluid from its joints; larvae eat honey of ground-dwelling bees; wing cases formerly collected as a source of blistering agent (cantharidin) and as a counter-irritant; more popularly (but completely spuriously), used as an aphrodisiac, where its high toxicity has led to many cases of fatal poisoning. (Order: Coleoptera. Family: Meloidae.) …

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Spanish literature - Early Spanish Literature and the Middle Ages, Literature from Spanish-speaking countries

The earliest major work in Spanish is the Cantar de Mio Cid (c.1140, Song of my Cid), one of the few popular epics to survive in written form. The 14th-c miscellany Libro de buen amor (The Book of Good Love) by Juan Ruiz is a more self-conscious work; but real sophistication had to await the absorption of classical and Italian influences in the 16th–17th-c. The mystical writings of St Teresa (151…

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Spanish moss - Ecology, Human Uses

A plant (Tillandsia usneoides), an epiphyte, related to pineapple, native to warm parts of America. The roots are present in the seedlings only; the mature plants are anchored by winding around tree branches and hanging in grey festoons. It is able to survive very dry conditions. The slender stems are covered with scaly hairs which absorb water directly from the atmosphere. Greenish, 3-petalled fl…

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Spanish Riding School - Location, Tourist information

A school of classical horsemanship situated in Vienna, founded in the late 16th-c. The school is famous for its Lipizzaner horses, bred especially for haute école (Fr ‘high school’) riding, and originally imported from Spain. The Spanish Riding School (de: Spanische Hofreitschule, literal translation: Imperial Court Spanish Riding School) of Vienna, Austria, is a traditional riding schoo…

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Spanish Town

17°59N 76°58W, pop (2000e) 99 000. Capital city of St Catherine parish, Middlesex county, S Jamaica; on the R Cobre, 18 km/11 mi W of Kingston; second largest city in Jamaica; capital, 1535–1872; railway; serves a rich agricultural area; cathedral (1655), ruins of the King's House (1762), court house (1819), folk museum, White Marl Arawak museum. Spanish Town is the former Spanish an…

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sparrow - Species list, Sparrows in literature

A small songbird, native to the Old World, with some introduced in the New World and Australasia; plumage usually brown/grey; inhabits open country and habitation. The name is also used for some buntings, accentors, and estrildid ‘finches’. (Family: Ploceidae, c.37 species; but some authorities place the sparrow in a separate family Passeridae.) This article is about "true sparrows," the …

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sparrowhawk

A hawk (Genus: Accipiter, 24 species), native to the Old World, and to Central and South America; inhabits scrub and woodland; eats birds, other small vertebrates, and insects. The name was formerly used for Falco sparverius, a New World falcon. …

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Sparta (Greece) - History, Constitution, State organization, Foreign Policy, Social customs, Archaeology, The Spartan World, Modern Sparta

37°05N 22°25E, pop (2000e) 16 200. Capital town of Lakonia department, S Greece; on the R Evrotas, 50 km/31 mi SW of Athens; refounded on an ancient site in 1834; trade in fruit and olive oil; carnival (Feb). Sparta (Doric: Σπάρτα, Attic: Σπάρτη) is a city in southern Greece. Sparta is now normally used for both. Coordinates: 37°4′N 22°26′E Th…

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Sparta (Greek history) - History, Constitution, State organization, Foreign Policy, Social customs, Archaeology, The Spartan World, Modern Sparta

One of the two leading city-states of ancient Greece, the other being Athens. Initially, Sparta's political and cultural development was entirely normal, but this situation changed with the revolt (c.650 BC) of Messenia, a territory crucial to her viability as a state. The need to suppress the revolt and prevent a similar recurrence led to a series of military and social reforms, traditionally ass…

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Spartacus - Ancient depictions of Spartacus, Modern depictions of Spartacus, Honours

Thracian-born slave and gladiator at Capua, who led the most serious slave uprising in the history of Rome (73–71 BC). With a huge army of slaves and dispossessed, he inflicted numerous defeats on the Roman armies sent against him, until defeated and killed by Crassus. His supporters were crucified wholesale, their bodies left hanging along the Appian Way to act as a deterrent to other would-be r…

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Spartakiad

Sporting games held every four years in the former Soviet Union, until 1979 for nationals only. They were named after the ancient Greek city of Sparta, which placed great emphasis on physical fitness. Spartakiad initially was the name of an international sports event that the Soviet Union attempted to oppose the Olympics. Eventually the Soviet Union decided to join the Olympic m…

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Sp - Historical events and politics, Religion, Trade and commerce, Science and technology, Culture, Timeline, Further reading

In German history, a transitional period from c.1300–1500 which witnessed the decline of imperial Hohenstaufen influence in favour of that of regional lords, coupled with the rise of the bourgeoisie. The cities gained in importance; the democratization of learning associated with the aspirations of the guilds was hastened by the invention of printing. A time of strife, social upheaval, and physic…

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Speaker

The officer who presides over a legislative chamber. The post originated in 14th-c England, where one member of the House of Commons was designated to speak to the king. In the UK, the Speaker presides over the House of Commons, maintains order, and interprets its rules and practice. He or she is a constituency MP elected by fellow members, but must sever party connections and be entirely impartia…

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Special Branch - United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Hong Kong, India

A branch of the British police force principally responsible for investigating offences against public order, including terrorism, sedition, treason, and contravention of the Official Secrets Act. It was formed in 1883 following a series of bomb attacks on mainland Britain by Irish Nationalists. It has a role in information-gathering and the surveillance of subversive organizations. Special…

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Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) - Definition, Purpose, Value

Rights which can be exercised by members of the International Monetary Fund to draw on a pool of mixed currencies (US dollar, British pound, Japanese yen, French franc, German mark) set up by the Fund for use in emergencies. The facility is available to solve temporary balance of payments problems. Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of Interna…

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special education - Individual Attention, See Also

The provision of education to children who have special educational needs. They may be pupils who suffer from some kind of physical or mental disability, who have learning or emotional difficulties, or whose needs cannot otherwise be catered for within the normal provision. In many cases the pattern is to provide special schools, but the trend in some countries has been for such children to be tau…

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Special Operations Executive (SOE) - History, Locations, Operations, Agents, Communications, Equipment, Transport

An organization set up with British war cabinet approval in July 1940 in response to Churchill's directive to ‘set Europe ablaze’; it later also operated in the Far East. It promoted and co-ordinated resistance activity in enemy-occupied territory until the end of World War 2. The Special Operations Executive (SOE), sometimes referred to as "the Baker Street Irregulars" after Sherlock Hol…

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special relativity - Postulates, Lack of an absolute reference frame, Consequences, Reference frames, coordinates and the Lorentz transformation

A system of mechanics applicable at high velocities (approaching the velocity of light) in the absence of gravitation; a generalization of Newtonian mechanics, due almost entirely to Albert Einstein (1905). Its fundamental postulates are that the velocity of light c is the same for all observers, no matter how they are moving; that the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames; and that …

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species - Definitions of species, Implications of assignment of species status, The isolation species concept in more detail

A group of organisms, minerals, or other entities formally recognized as distinct from other groups. In biology, the species is a group of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations, reproductively isolated from other similar groups such that exchange of genetic material cannot occur (the species barrier). Most species cannot interbreed with others; those that can, typically produce…

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specific performance

In law, a court order directed to a person in breach of a contractual obligation, ordering that he or she carry out the contract as agreed; known as a specific implement in Scottish law. The court may refuse to grant the order, where damages are an adequate remedy or the order could not be enforced. Specific performance may however be a suitable remedy for a breach of contract to sell (or buy) lan…

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speckle pattern - Speckle technique

A granular image formed where a laser beam strikes an unpolished surface. It is a form of interference pattern present only with laser light - a consequence of laser light's unique (coherence) properties. A speckle pattern is a random intensity pattern produced by the mutual interference of coherent wavefronts that are subject to phase differences and/or intensity fluctuations. Prominent …

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spectroscopy - Physical quantity measured, Measurement process

The study of energy levels in atoms or molecules, usually using absorbed or emitted electromagnetic radiation. Inner atomic electrons give spectra in the X-ray region; outer atomic electrons give visible light spectra; the rotation and vibration of molecules give infrared spectra; the precession of nuclear magnetic moments gives radio-wave spectra. Many types of spectroscopy exist, often used to i…

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spectrum - Modern meaning in the physical sciences

The distribution of electromagnetic energy as a function of wavelength or frequency. A common example is the spectrum of white light dispersed by a prism to produce a rainbow of constituent colours; the rainbow is the spectrum of sunlight refracted through raindrops. For white light the colours are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet in order of decreasing wavelength. All objects with tem…

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speech pathology - Education, Main Branches of Speech Language Therapy (UK), Methods of assessment

The study and treatment of all forms of clinically abnormal linguistic behaviour; also known as (speech and) language pathology. In several countries (eg the USA), the designation speech pathologist applies to professionals concerned with the treatment of language-handicapped people; in others (eg the UK) the equivalent profession is that of speech and language therapist. In the UK, SLTs un…

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speed (photography) - Average speed, Cultural significance

A rating of the sensitivity of a photographic material on a recognized numerical scale. Previously, ASA (in which doubling the sensitivity doubles the rating number), and DIN (a German industrial standard, where doubling sensitivity adds 3° to the rating) were used, now combined in an International Standards scale in a form such as ISO 200/24°. The arithmetic Exposure Index (EI) rating refers to…

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speed (physics) - Average speed, Cultural significance

The rate of change of distance with time; symbol v, units m/s; a scalar quantity. Speed is the magnitude of velocity, but unlike velocity specifies no direction. Speed is the rate of motion, or equivalently the rate of change of position, many times expressed as distance d moved per unit of time t. In mathematical notation, it is simply: Units of speed include: …

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speedometer

An instrument fitted in a vehicle to show its speed. Usually a cable from the vehicle road-drive rotates a magnet, which induces an eddy current in a non-magnetic conductor attached to a pointer. The interaction of the permanent magnet and the induced fields turns the pointer against a restoring spring. A speedometer is a vehicle instrument that measures the instantaneous speed. …

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spelling reform - Arguments on Reformation, English spelling reform, Dutch spelling reforms, French spelling reform, Japanese spelling reform

A movement to regularize a language's spelling system. In English, for example, the spelling system is widely perceived as being irregular, because of a relatively small but frequently used number of striking inconsistencies between sounds and letters. The irregularity was famously illustrated by George Bernard Shaw's mischievous spelling of fish as ghoti - f as in rough, i as in women, sh as in p…

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Spencer (Bonadventure) Tracy - Career, Filmography, Books

Film actor, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. After World War 1 service in the navy, he played the lead in a college play and then enrolled in drama school, making his Broadway debut in a small part in 1922. His feature film debut was in Up the River (1930). He first played gangster roles, graduated to priests and friends of the hero, and ended up playing gruff, humorous men with integrity. He wo…

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Spencer Fullerton Baird - Eponymy

Naturalist, born in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at Dickinson College, Carlisle, and in 1846 was appointed professor of natural history at Dickinson College, where he built up a vast collection of North American fauna. He published Catalogue of North American Mammals (1857) and Catalogue of North American Birds (1858), and was co-author of A History of North American Birds (1874–84). Ba…

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Spencer Perceval - Spencer Perceval's Administration, October 1809 - May 1812

British statesman and prime minister (1809–12), born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, was called to the bar (1786), and became an MP in 1796. He was solicitor general (1801), attorney general (1802), and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1807), before becoming premier. An efficient administrator, his Tory government was firmly established when he was shot while entering the lobby of the House o…

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sperm bank - External links

The storage of human sperm for long periods in a frozen state, with a view to future use in artificial insemination. In this way young men receiving treatment for malignant disease which may lead to sterility can preserve their procreative ability. Infertile couples may use stored donor spermatozoa, selected as being of above-average quality with regard to motility and numbers. A sperm bank…

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spermaceti

A waxy oil found in the head of sperm whales (almost 2000 l/440 UK galls/530 US galls per whale in Physeter catodon); solidifies in air; function unclear; formerly used as a lubricant, and in ointments and candles; name (mistakenly) means ‘whale's sperm’. Spermaceti (from Latin sperma, seed, and cetus, whale) is a wax present in the head cavities of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalu…

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Speyer Cathedral

Romanesque cathedral founded by Conrad II (c.990–1039) in 1060 at Speyer, SW Germany. The church, which is noted for its royal tombs and crypt, has required reconstruction on several occasions, most recently after World War 2. It is a world heritage site. The Speyer Cathedral in Speyer, Germany is a very large and imposing basilica of red sandstone, and one of the noblest examples of Roman…

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sphalerite

A zinc sulphide (ZnS) mineral, also known as zinc blende. Colourless when pure, it often contains iron, which darkens its colour. It occurs in hydrothermal veins, usually associated with galena and silver minerals. It is the principal ore of zinc. Sphalerite (ZnS) is a mineral that is the chief ore of zinc. The mineral crystallizes in the cubic crystal system. In the crystal str…

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sphere - Geometry

In mathematics, the locus in space of all points equidistant from a fixed point (the centre). The distance of each point from the centre is the radius r of the sphere. The surface area of a sphere is 4?r2; the volume of a sphere is . Archimedes discovered that the surface area of a sphere is equal to the curved surface area of the cylinder circumscribing the sphere, and asked that this should be c…

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sphinx - Egyptian sphinx, Greek sphinx, Similar creatures, Mannerist Sphinx, 19th century and symbolism

In ancient Greece a mythological monster with a human head and a recumbent animal body (usually a lion's); sometimes it was winged and had female breasts. Originating in the East, probably Egypt, it is found throughout the Levant and E Mediterranean. In Greek mythology, it was associated particularly with Thebes, where, until the time of Oedipus, it devoured all who could not answer its riddle: Wh…

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sphygmomanometer - Significance, Gallery, Patents

A device for measuring blood pressure. An inflatable rubber cuff is placed round a limb (usually the arm), and inflated until the pulse (heard through a stethoscope) can no longer be detected. The cuff is then slowly deflated until the sound of the pulse can be heard again. The first sound heard reflects the pressure of blood in the arteries as the heart actively contracts (systole). As the deflat…

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spice - History, Further reading, Companies

A pungent-tasting plant used to flavour or preserve food. The term is used particularly when referring to hard parts, such as dry fruits and seeds, but it can include parts such as flower buds. A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring. Spices are distinguished…

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spider - Morphology, Life cycle, Ecology, Behavior, Web types, Taxonomy, Spiders and people

A predatory, terrestrial arthropod; body divided into head (prosoma) and abdomen (opisthosoma) joined by slender waist; prosoma with 2–8 simple eyes, a pair of fangs (chelicerae) used to inject poison into prey, and four pairs of slender legs; opisthosoma bears respiratory organs (both lungs and tracheae) and usually three pairs of silk-spinning organs (spinnerets). Spider silk is used to make we…

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spider monkey - Behaviour and reproduction, Classification

A New World monkey; slender with extremely long legs and tail; thumbs small or absent; may swing from trees using fingers as hooks, but usually walks along tops of branches. (Genus: Ateles, 4 species.) Spider monkeys are New World monkeys of the family Atelidae, subfamily Atelinae. There is speculation that the alleged Loys's Ape is actually a large spider monkey, but this is st…

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spider wasp

A slender, solitary wasp; long-legged adult females usually run over ground to catch spiders; these are paralysed, and an egg is laid on each spider, which is usually left in a burrow or cup-shaped nest made of mud. (Order: Hymenoptera. Family: Pompilidae.) …

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Spike Lee - Biography, Influences, Controversy, Trademarks, Selected filmography (as director)

Film producer, director, and actor, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Growing up in a relatively well-off African-American family, he was making amateur films by age 20 and went on to graduate from the New York University Film School (1982). He became a director of promise with She's Gotta Have It (1986) and made a major move forward in both critical and popular reception with Do The Right Thing (198…

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Spike Milligan - Biography, Posthumously, Trivia, Radio comedy shows, Other radio shows, TV comedy shows, Theatre, Quotations

Humorist, born in Ahmadnagar, W India. A singer and trumpeter, he made his radio debut in Opportunity Knocks (1949), and co-wrote and performed in The Goon Show (1951–9). His unique perspective on the world, allied to an irrepressible sense of the ridiculous, has been expressed in all the artistic media and has left an indelible influence on British humour. As well as numerous stage and televisio…

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spin

A vector attribute of subatomic particles, having a precise meaning only in quantum theory, but modelled on classical mechanical spin; symbol S; units (h/2?), where h is Planck's constant (but usually values are stated with units omitted). It may thus be thought of as referring to a particle spinning on its axis, with a higher spin number corresponding to a faster rotation. In the quantum case, on…

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spin glass

A dilute mixture of a magnetic material in some other substance, often a metal (eg weak alloys of iron in gold, or manganese in copper), in which the magnetic component is randomly dispersed. It shows no long-range magnetic ordering, but is characterized by a sharp peak in magnetic susceptibility as temperature increases, which is thought to indicate a phase transition. A spin glass is a di…

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spina bifida - Types of spina bifida, Causes, Prevention, Effects, Treatment, Occurrence rates, People, Related Articles

A congenital defect of one or more vertebrae, in which the arch of a vertebra fails to develop. The condition varies in severity. In spina bifida occulta, the spinal cord and its covering membrane (meninges) are undisplaced and covered by skin; there are no adverse effects. In more serious cases, a meningocele or myelomeningocele may develop, in which the meninges, or meninges and spinal cord, pro…

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spinal cord - Structure, Injury, External Links

That part of the vertebrate central nervous system contained within and protected by the vertebral column, continuous above with the medulla oblongata of the brain. It is essentially a long, thick cable formed by thousands of parallel-running axons (white matter) surrounding a central H-shaped core of cell bodies (grey matter). It has a minute central canal (containing cerebrospinal fluid) which i…

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spinel

The name given to a group of minerals which are double oxides of divalent and trivalent metals. Its principal members are chromite (FeCr2O4), the chief source of chromium, magnetite (Fe3O4), and spinel (MgAl2O4), which may be valuable as a gemstone, particularly when coloured red because of minor impurities. They occur as accessory minerals in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The spinels are …

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Spinello Aretino

Painter, born in Arezzo, NC Italy. He spent nearly all his life between there and Florence. His principal frescoes were done for San Miniato, in Florence, for the campo santo of Pisa, and for the municipal buildings of Siena. Spinello was a pupil of Jacopo del Casentino, a follower of Giotto, and his own style was a sort of link between the school of Giotto and that of Siena. In the early p…

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spinet - Spinets as harpsichords, Spinets as pianos, Spinets as organs

A keyboard instrument resembling a harpsichord, but with a single set of strings running diagonally to the keyboard. It was particularly popular in 17th-c England. A spinet is a smaller type of harpsichord, or other keyboard instrument such as a piano or organ. A spinet is a cheaper and more compact version of the full-size original, used primarily in the home. When the te…

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spiny lobster

A lobster-like marine crustacean with a well-developed abdomen but without conspicuous pincers (chelipeds); antennae often very long; commonly exploited for food; known as crawfish in North America. (Class: Malacostraca. Order: Decapoda.) Spiny lobsters, also known as rock lobsters are a family (Palinuridae) of about 45 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia. …

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spiritualism - Origins, Characteristic beliefs, Comparisons with other faiths, Developments after the 1920s

An organized religion which believes that spirits of the deceased survive bodily death and communicate with the living, usually via a medium by means of messages, or apparently paranormal physical effects. While many different cultures, past and present, believe in spiritism (the ability of spirits of the deceased to communicate with the living), spiritualism is primarily a Western religion, most …

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spirochaete

A motile, spiral-shaped bacterium. Some spirochaetes are free-living in aquatic habitats; others inhabit the intestinal tract and genital areas of animals. They include the causative agents of such diseases as syphilis and relapsing fever. (Kingdom: Monera. Family: Spirochaetaceae.) The spirochaetes (or spirochetes) are a phylum of distinctive bacteria, which have long, helically coiled cel…

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Spitalfields - History, Art Scene, In Literature, In Film

An area in the East End of London, UK, which flourished as a centre of silk-weaving from the late 17th-c (when Huguenot weavers settled there) until the late 19th-c. It lies on the site of a 12th-c spittle-house, or hospital, from which its name derives. Spitalfields is an area in Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London, near to Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane. The area…

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spitz

A dog belonging to a group of breeds, characterized by a curled tail usually held over the back, pointed ears and muzzle, and (usually) a thick coat. …

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spleen - Anatomy, Histology, Functions, Disorders, Absence, Additional images

A soft, delicate, relatively mobile organ which is responsible for clearing the body of bacteria, protozoa, and non-living particles; the destruction of red blood cells; and the metabolism of iron, fats, and proteins. It is situated under cover of the rib-cage on the left side of the body towards the midline to the rear. It cannot normally be felt from outside unless enlarged to three times its no…

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Split - Population, History, Economy, Transportation, Culture, Sport

43°31N 16°28E, pop (2000e) 195 000. Seaport and city in W Croatia; largest town on the Croatian Adriatic coast; airport; railway; car ferries to Italy and Turkey; university (1974); shipyards, coal, fishing, tourism; Diocletian's palace (3rd-c), a world heritage site; cathedral; summer festival of drama and music (Jun–Aug), festival of light music (Jul). Coordinates: 43°30′N 16°26

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spoils system - Beginnings

The US practice of filling public offices on the basis of loyalty to the party in power: ‘to the victors belong the spoils’. It was said to have originated with De Witt Clinton, governor of New York (1817–23). In common use during the 19th-c, it was in disrepute thereafter as a result of civil service reforms. However, it is still practised to some extent. In the politics of the United S…

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Spoleto - History, Sport

42°44N 12°44E, pop (2000e) 20 000. Town in Perugia province, Umbria, C Italy, 96 km/60 mi NE of Rome; textiles, tourism; cathedral (11th-c), San Salvatore basilica (4th-c), Roman theatre, amphitheatre, bridge, triumphal arch; Festival of Two Worlds (music, drama, art, Jun–Jul). Spoleto (Latin Spoletium) is an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east central Umbria on a…

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spondylosis - Treatment

Degeneration of the vertebral bodies and of the joints between them. It especially affects the cervical and lumbar vertebrae (ie the spine in the neck and lower back). Spondylosis is the degeneration of the vertebral processes and formation of osteophytes. Spondylosis is a deformity of the joint of two vertebrae, particularly of the neck, where as the space between the two adjac…

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spontaneous symmetry breaking - Mathematical example: the Mexican hat potential, Broader concept

In physical systems, the reduction of symmetry in an unpredictable way as a system changes to one of lower energy. For example, when a ferromagnetic material such as iron is cooled to below its Curie temperature its atoms align, representing a state of reduced energy and symmetry. It is an important principle in particle physics, especially in the prediction of masses of W and Z particles in weak …

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spoonbill - Species and distribution

An ibis-like bird, native to Old World (Genus: Platalea, 5 species) or Central and South America (Ajaia ajaja); bill straight and broadly flattened at tip; eats aquatic animals and plants or insects. (Family: Threskiornithidae.) Spoonbills are a group of large, long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae, which also includes the Ibises. All have large, flat, spatula…

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sporangium

The organ in which spores are formed in certain types of plant. In algae and fungi they are unicellular; in bryophytes and ferns they are multicellular. A sporangium (pl., sporangia) is a plant or fungal structure producing and containing spores. Microsporangia are the structures on the stamens of flowers called anthers, and the pollen-producing structures on the microsporophyll…

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spore - Classification of spores, Parlance, Diaspores

A plant reproductive cell which is capable of developing into a new individual, either directly or after fusion with another spore. Spores typically function as a means of dispersal, and sometimes also as a resistant stage allowing the organism to survive periods of adverse conditions. A spore does not contain an embryo, and is thus distinct from a seed. Spores are usually haploid and unice…

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sporophyte

The asexual (spore-producing or diploid) generation in the life cycle of a plant, produced by the fusion of two haploid gametes. In ferns and flowering plants it is the dominant part of the life-cycle, being more specialized than the gametophyte, and capable of surviving in a wider range of conditions. In bryophytes it is the minor generation, at least partly reliant on the gametophyte for surviva…

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sports injuries

Damage to the body occurring during the course of physical activity and exercise, including bruises, fractures, sprains, and repetitive strain injuries. They may occur due to trauma or overuse. Minor injuries can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation; more serious injuries require medical attention. Injuries can be prevented by the appropriate use of protective equipment when engag…

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sports medicine - History, Sports medicine today, The future of sports medicine

The medical care of sportsmen and sportswomen. It involves the care and prevention of soft tissue injuries (eg strains and torn ligaments), injuries of overuse (eg inflammation in and around tendons as a result of repetitive movements), fractures from accidents or from excessive stress to bones, and trauma to the brain, as occurs in boxing. It is also concerned with methods of rehabilitation, the …

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Spotted Tail

Brûlé Sioux leader, born along the White R in present-day South Dakota or near present-day Laramie, Wyoming, USA. A signer of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, in which the US government accepted the territorial claims of the Sioux in exchange for peace, he travelled often to Washington, DC as the government-appointed chief of the agency Sioux. Sinte Gleska (Spotted Tail) was a Brulé Lako…

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sprain

Injury to a joint without fracture or displacement of bones. It is usually the result of a twisting movement, in which ligaments and tendons are torn. A sprain (from the French espraindre - to wring) is an injury which occurs to ligaments caused by a sudden overstretching (for the muscle injury, see strain). Sprains are graded in three degrees. A first degree sprain has only min…

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spreadsheet - History, Programming issues, Shortcomings, Online spreadsheets

A computer program which allows data, numbers, or text to be entered and presented in a rectangular matrix. Data can be manipulated in a variety of different ways defined by the user; for example, columns or rows of numbers can be added, interchanged, or multiplied by constants. Spreadsheets provide a powerful and relatively simple means of analysing financial and other numeric data, and are widel…

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Spring and Autumn Annals - Content and organisation, Commentaries, Sources and external links

The earliest known Chinese historical writing. Traditionally edited by Confucius (d.479 BC) it may be from that century. The work succinctly narrates events in NE China from 722 to 481 BC. The text is obscure, and explanatary commentaries elaborate the meaning. The Spring and Autumn Annals (Chinese: 春秋; The text is extremely concise, and if we excluded all of the commentaries is about 1…

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Springfield (Massachusetts) - United States places, Canadian places, European places, African places, Australasian places, People with the surname Springfield

42°06N 72°35W, pop (2000e) 152 100. Seat of Hampden Co, SW Massachusetts, USA, on the Connecticut R; railway; machinery, metal and paper products; game of basketball devised at Springfield College; Springfield Armoury (1794–1968), basketball hall of fame; Eastern States Expo (Sep). Springfield may refer to: …

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springtail

A blind, primitively wingless insect often extremely abundant in soils or leaf litter; leaps by means of a forked spring organ folded up on underside of abdomen. (Order: Collembola, c.2000 species.) Springtails (Order Collembola) form the largest of the three orders of modern hexapods that are no longer considered to be insects (along with the Protura and Diplura). …

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spruce

An evergreen conifer native to the temperate N hemisphere, especially E Asia; leaves needle-like, leaving persistent, peg-like bases on shoot when shed; cones pendulous, ripe after one year. It is a widespread forestry tree, grown for timber and for its turpentine-yielding resin. (Genus: Picea, 50 species. Family: Pinaceae.) …

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sprung rhythm - Example

A term invented by the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins to describe a rhythm founded on stress rather than syllable count, most notably used in ‘The Windhover’. Novel in the late 19th-c, this in fact relates back to Old English and Welsh alliterative verse. The rediscovery of this form of poetic composition has had a far reaching influence, notably on poets of the 20th-c, particularly T S Eliot, Dylan…

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spurge

A member of a large worldwide genus of diverse, latex-producing plants, annuals or perennials, sometimes shrubs. Some from arid regions look like cacti, having independently evolved similar adaptations to drought, and when not in flower can be distinguished from cacti only by the presence of latex. Its distinctive flower, called a cyathium, is in fact a condensed and reduced inflorescence represen…

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sputtering - Sputter deposition, Analysis, Space

The ejection of atoms from the surface of a metal, caused by the impact of ions. It may be used to produce ultra-clean metal surfaces by knocking off contaminant atoms, or as a source of metal atoms in the vacuum deposition of thin metal films, for example in the preparation of samples for scanning electron microscopy. Magnon sputtering uses magnetic fields to enhance a plasma at the target materi…

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Spyros Kyprianou

Cypriot statesman and president (1978–88), born in Limassol, S Cyprus. He attended the Greek Gymnasium, Limassol, continued his education at the City of London College, and was called to the bar in 1954. He became secretary to Archbishbop Makarios in London (1952), and returned with him to Cyprus in 1959. He was foreign minister (1961–72), and in 1976 founded the Democratic Front. He became pres…

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squall - Wind, Winter Weather, Effects on inland lakes, Literary Usage

A sudden increase in wind speed. For at least one minute, minimum velocity must increase by at least 8 m/s (26 ft/s), and reach 11 m/s (36 ft/s) before declining rapidly. A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed which usually is associated with active weather, such as rain showers, thunderstorms, or heavy snow. Squalls refer to an increase in the sustained winds over a s…

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Squanto

Pawtuxet interpreter, born on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. He is thought to have been the same as the Indian named Tisquantum, who was first captured along the Maine coast and taken to England; he evidently lived there until 1614, when Captain John Smith took him back to Cape Cod. In 1615 he was captured by another English sea captain and sold into slavery in Spain, but he escaped and made his wa…

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Square Deal

The popular name for the domestic policies of US President Theodore Roosevelt, especially the enforcement of the Anti-trust Acts. The term was coined by him during a speaking tour in the summer of 1902. …

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squid - Classification

A carnivorous marine mollusc with a streamlined body bearing fins towards the back; shell reduced to an internal cartilaginous rod; eight arms and two tentacles around mouth, used to catch prey; active swimmers; found in coastal and oceanic waters. (Class: Cephalopoda. Order: Teuthoidea.) Squid are a large, diverse group of marine cephalopods. Captured whales often have squid beaks in their…

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squirrel

A rodent of family Sciuridae (267 species), virtually worldwide except Australasia; fine fur and bushy tail; most eat seeds; range from small tree-dwelling squirrels to cat-sized ground-dwelling squirrels (including prairie dogs and marmots); ground squirrels live in extensive burrows, and may hibernate for up to nine months. …

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squirrel monkey - Gallery

A New World monkey; small, lively, with long black-tipped tail; white face with black tip to muzzle; coat short, greyish; inhabits woodland near riverbanks; troops may contain up to 100 individuals. (Genus: Saimiri, 2 species.) The squirrel monkeys are the New World monkeys of the genus Saimiri. boliviensis group Black-capped Squirrel Monkey, Saimiri boliviensis Bolivian Squirrel Monkey, …

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Sri Aurobindo - Early experiences, Final conversion, Philosophical and spiritual writings, The Mother, Contribution to Indian philosophy

Philosopher, poet, and mystic, born in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), E India. He studied at Cambridge, and became a professor in Baroda and Calcutta. Renouncing nationalism and politics for yoga and Hindu philosophy, he founded an ashram at Pondicherry in 1910. His writings include The Life Divine (1940) and Aurobindo on Himself (1953). Sri Aurobindo (Bangla: শ্রী অরবিন্

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Sri Lanka - Name, Geography and climate, Flora and fauna, Government and politics, Economy, Transport, Demographics, Culture, Media, Education

Official name Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (ශ්රී ලංකා in Sinhala, இலங்கை in Tamil; known as Ceylon before 1952) is a predominantly Buddhist island nation in South Asia, located about 31 kilometres (18½ mi) off the southern coast of India. A strategic naval link b…

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Srinagar - Origin of name, History, Economy, Government and politics, Transport, Demographics, Culture, Education, Media

34°08N 74°50E, pop (2000e) 700 000. Summer capital of Jammu–Kashmir state, N India, in the Vale of Kashmir, on R Jhelum; founded, 6th-c; capital status, 1948; birthplace of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah; airfield; shawls (cashmeres), silks, woollens, carpets; Buddhist ruins, mosque (1623). Srinagar pronunciation?(help·info) (Hindi: श्रीनगर, Urdu: سرینگر, Kashmiri: سِ

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Srinivasa Ramanujan - Life, Mathematical achievements, Hardy on Ramanujan, Narlikar on Ramanujan, Recognition, Projected films, Cultural references, Further reading

Mathematician, born in Erode, S India. The child of poor parents, he taught himself from an elementary English textbook. Although he attended college, he did not graduate. While working as a clerk, he was persuaded to send over 100 theorems that he had discovered to Godfrey Hardy at Cambridge, including results on elliptic integrals, partitions, and analytic number theory. Hardy was so impressed t…

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St Albans - History, Twinning, Miscellany

51°46N 0°21W, pop (2001e) 129 000. Town in Hertfordshire, SE England, UK; on R Ver, 40 km/25 mi NW of London; named after the first Christian martyr to be executed in Britain; Magna Carta drafted here; royal charter (1553); city status (1887); agricultural research station; railway; agricultural trade, micro-electronics, printing; cathedral (1115, founded as Benedictine abbey, 793); Roman th…

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St Andrews (Canada) - Bishop Lamberton, Sixteenth century, Seventeenth century, St. Rule's tower

45º05N 67º04W, pop (2000e) 1700. Seaside resort town in SW New Brunswick, Canada; located on Passamaquoddy Bay; founded in 1843 and settled by loyalists after the American Revolution; birthplace of Edward Bannister; Atlantic Salmon Interpretive Centre; marine science museum and aquarium; Kingsbrae Garden; water sports, whale watching; Atlantic Aquaculture Exposition (Jun). The Cathedral …

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St Andrews (UK) - Bishop Lamberton, Sixteenth century, Seventeenth century, St. Rule's tower

56°20N 2°48W, pop (2000e) 15 400. Town in Fife, E Scotland, UK; on S side of St Andrews Bay, 17 km/11 mi SE of Dundee; university (oldest in Scotland, founded 1412); textiles; tourism; St Andrews Royal and Ancient Golf Club, West Port (city gate, built 1589, restored 1843), remains of castle (1200) and cathedral (12th–13th-c); repertory theatre; arts centre; golf week (Apr); British Amateur…

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St Augustine - St Augustine's mission, External Links, Sources

Clergyman, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, born probably in Rome. He was prior of the Benedictine monastery of St Andrew in Rome, when in 596 he was sent, with 40 other monks, by Pope Gregory I to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Landing in Thanet (597), the missionaries were kindly received by Æthelbert, King of Kent, whose wife was already a Christian. A residence was assigned to t…

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St Bartholomew's Hospital

The oldest hospital in London, located SE of the Smithfield area of the City of London, founded (1123). Augustinian nuns and brethren initially supervised treatments until three lay surgeons were appointed in 1549. In the early 17th-c, the physician William Harvey oversaw the care of patients, and James Paget became a surgeon there in the mid-19th-c. The hospital expanded during the 20th-c and in …

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St Croix

pop (2000e) 56 200; area 218 km²/84 sq mi. Largest of the three main US Virgin Is, Lesser Antilles, Caribbean, 120 km/75 mi E of Puerto Rico; main towns, Christiansted (former capital of the Danish West Indies) and Frederiksted; tourism, oil refining, alumina, textiles, pharmaceuticals, rum, fragrances. Santa Cruz may refer to: …

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St David's

51°54N 5°16W, pop (2000e) 1860. Village city in Pembrokeshire, SW Wales, UK; 25 km/15 mi NW of Milford Haven on St Bride's Bay; episcopal seat; 12th-c cathedral honours the 6th-c Welsh patron saint, Dewi (David); mediaeval place of pilgrimage; smallest cathedral seat in UK; city status, 1994. St David's (Welsh: Tyddewi) is the smallest city in the United Kingdom, with a population of u…

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St Edmund - Life, Bibliography, Congregation of St. Edmund, Sources and external links

Clergyman, born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He studied and taught at Oxford and Paris, became famous as a preacher, and was commissioned by the pope to preach the Sixth Crusade throughout England (c.1227). As Archbishop of Canterbury (1234), he became the spokesman of the national party against Henry III, defending Church rights and speaking out against the king's continental policie…

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St George's Channel

Stretch of sea between the SE of Ireland (W) and Wales (E), connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Irish Sea; at its narrowest between Carnsore Point (Ireland) and St David's Head (Wales), 74 km/46 mi across. St George's Channel is a channel connecting the Irish Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. thus the Bristol Channel opened into Saint George's Channel. The name …

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St Gregory VII

Pope (1073–85), the great representative of the temporal claims of the mediaeval papacy, born near Soana, NW Italy. He became a cardinal in 1049. As pope, he worked to change the secularized condition of the Church, which led to conflict with the German Emperor Henry IV, who declared Gregory deposed in a diet at Worms (1076), but then yielded to him after excommunication. In 1080 Henry resumed ho…

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St Helens - Geography, History, Transport and infrastructure, Religion and ethnicity, Education, Media, Sport, Retail

53°28N 2°44W, pop (2001e) 176 800. Industrial town in Merseyside, NW England, UK; 18 km/11 mi E of Liverpool; railway; coal, engineering, textiles, glass. St Helens is a town in the metropolitan county of Merseyside in North-West England, and within the historic borders of Lancashire. It gives its name to the metropolitan borough of St Helens, and is the largest town within it. …

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St Ives

50°12N 5°29W, pop (2000e) 10 800. Resort town in Cornwall, SW England, UK; 12 km/7 mi NE of Penzance; of railway; tourism, water sports, fishing; festival of music and the arts (Sep). St Ives is the name of several places in the United Kingdom: St Ives is also a suburb of Sydney, Australia: St Ives is also the name of some saints: St. Ives may also …

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St John of Capistrano

Monk, born in Capistrano, S Italy. He studied law and became Governor of Perugia (1412), but was imprisoned after a civil quarrel. After his release (1416) he entered the Franciscan order, and became a famous preacher and promoter of education. In 1451 he was sent to Austria by Pope Nicholas V to counter the teachings of the followers of John Huss. When Belgrade was besieged by Mohammed II in 1456…

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St John's wort - The plant, Identification, Ecology, Hypericum poisoning (livestock), Medicinal uses of the herb, Clinical evidence, Pharmacology

An annual or perennial, sometimes a shrub, native throughout temperate regions and tropical mountains; leaves gland-dotted, opposite or whorled, very narrow to oval; flowers often large and showy, yellow, 5-petalled with numerous stamens; fruit a capsule or berry. (Genus: Hypericum, 400 species. Family: Guttifereae.) St John's wort (IPA pronunciation: [-wɝt], rhyming with hurt, or [-wɔt])…

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St Laurence or Lawrence

Christian martyr, said to have been born in Huesca, NE Spain. He became a deacon at Rome under Pope St Sixtus II. In the persecution of Valerian he was condemned to death, and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Rome, was later built over his place of burial. Feast day 10 August. Laurentius may refer to: In Catholicism: In Lutheranism: In other fields: …

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St Margaret Clitherow

One of the ‘40 martyrs’ of England and Wales, born in York, North Yorkshire, N England, UK. The wife of a York butcher, she was converted to Catholicism in 1574. She harboured priests in her home, for which she was tried and condemned to death. She was executed by being crushed to death under a large weight. She was canonized in 1970. Feast day 25 March. Middleton may refer to: …

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St Pancras

Christian martyr, the son of a heathen noble of Phrygia, one of the patron saints of children. He was baptized in Rome, but immediately afterwards was slain in the Diocletian persecutions while only a young boy. Feast day 12 May. St Pancras (or Saint Pancras) may refer to: …

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St Paul's Cathedral - The previous cathedrals, Wren's St Paul's, Images

A Baroque cathedral on Ludgate Hill, London, UK, built by Wren between 1675 and 1710 to replace the mediaeval cathedral destroyed by the Fire of London in 1666. It is surmounted by a central lantern dome which still dominates the C London skyline. St Paul's Cathedral is a cathedral on Ludgate Hill, in the City of London, England and the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dat…

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St Peter - People, Other

One of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, at first a fisherman living in Capernaum. He was renamed by Jesus as Cephas (Peter, meaning ‘rock’) in view of his leadership amongst the disciples. In the Gospels he is often the spokesman for the other disciples, and leader of the inner group which accompanied Jesus at the Transfiguration and Gethsemane. Immediately after Jesus's resurrection and ascensi…

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St Wenceslaus or Wenceslas - Parody

Duke and patron of Bohemia, born in Stochov, W Czech Republic. He received a Christian education, and after the death of his father (c.924) encouraged Christianity in Bohemia, against the wishes of his mother. Probably at her instigation, and because he had put his duchy under the protection of Germany, he was murdered by his brother, Boleslaw. He became the patron saint of Bohemia and Czechoslova…

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Staatssicherheitsdienst (SSD) - History, Influence, Recovery of Stasi archives, Museum in the old headquarters

The political force in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) controlled by the Ministerium für Sicherheit (MfS). Its task was to safeguard any areas and aspects of life in the GDR against politically dangerous developments, and to organize espionage within the GDR and other Western countries. With the fall of the Sozialistiche Einheitspartei (SED) regime in 1990, the Staatssicherheitdienst was dis…

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stabilizers (economics)

The factors in a modern economic system which help to keep the economy stable, avoiding the worst effects of trade cycle fluctuations. They mainly relate to fiscal policy, in that tax receipts will change with rises or falls in incomes (automatic stabilizers). Payments such as unemployment benefit and various other means-tested benefits also rise as incomes fall, and fall as incomes rise. The gove…

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stabilizers (shipping)

A device which limits rolling in a ship, usually in the form of movable fins. They were first fitted successfully in the P & O liner Chusan in 1950. An older form fitted in the Italian liner Conti de Savoia in 1932 was claimed to be successful, but it was never fitted in other vessels. The Stabilizers were a pop/rock duo founded in the early 1980s by musicians Dave Christenson and Rich Neve…

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Stade de France - Name, Tenants

Open-air stadium situated in Saint-Denis, near Paris. Built specifically for the soccer World Cup, hosted by France in 1998, it was the venue for the final game of this tournament when France beat Brazil 3 - 0 and became world champions. It is the largest sports stadium in France, with a capacity up to 80 000, and over 100 000 for open-air concerts. The Stade de France is a football stadi…

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stadtholder - List of stadtholders for the Low Countries provinces, Scandinavian equivalents

In Dutch history, originally the officer acting for or occupying the place of the ruler. Gradually, under the Burgundians, it developed into a permanent office as civil and military viceroy over one or more provinces. When the States renounced Philip II's sovereignty, they retained the office and functions of stadtholder, at the time held by William the Silent for Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht. Th…

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Stafford - History, Buildings and the town centre, People, Economy, Healthcare, Education, The Stafford knot, March 2006, Areas

52°48N 2°07W, pop (2001e) 120 700. County town of Staffordshire, C England, UK; railway; engineering, chemicals, electrical goods, footwear, timber; 11th-c castle, destroyed in the Civil War; Churches of St Mary and St Chad, 18th-c William Salt library, Shire Hall, Borough Hall, Guildhall; birthplace of Izaak Walton; Shugborough (6 km/4 mi E), the ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield. …

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Staffordshire - Railways, Places of interest, Local Groups

pop (2001e) 806 700; area 2716 km²/1049 sq mi. County in C England, UK; in the basin of the R Trent; county town, Stafford; chief towns include Stoke-on-Trent (new unitary authority, 1997), Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burton-upon-Trent; agriculture, coal, pottery, brewing; Potteries, Vale of Trent, Cannock Chase. Staffordshire (abbreviated Staffs) is a landlocked county in the West Midlands…

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Staffordshire bull terrier - Appearance, Breed Specific Legislation

A medium-sized terrier developed in Britain as a fighting dog or guard dog; thick-set muscular body with a short coat, broad head, long muzzle, soft ears. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium sized, short coated, old time breed of dog, originally bred for bull and bear fighting. Dogs proven in the pit were bred with others of like skill and ability and over time the Staffie was …

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stag beetle

A large, dark-coloured beetle; males up to 66 mm/2½ in long, typically with large, antler-like processes on head, formed from mandibles; larvae fleshy, living in rotting wood; adults feed on liquids and sap. (Order: Coleoptera. Family: Lucanidae, c.1200 species.) Stag beetles are a group of about 1,200 species of beetle in the family Lucanidae, the most well-known species being Lucanus c…

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stage

That part of a theatre where the performance is presented. The relationship established between performers and audience by the position of the stage is of fundamental importance to any theatrical event. Stage or stages may refer to: …

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stagecoach - Stagecoaches in Europe, Stagecoaches in the United States

A type of horse-drawn coach that appeared c.1640 offering carriage to the public on predetermined routes and stages, usually running between provincial towns and London. With the introduction by the Post Office of mail coaches in the 1780s, new standards of time-keeping and efficiency were forced upon the privately-owned stagecoach lines. The coming of the railways in the 1830s and 1840s quickly e…

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stagflation - Theories of stagflation, Historical stagflation, Responses to stagflation

An economic situation in which there is continuing inflation in spite of depressed economic conditions and high unemployment. Prior to the 1970s economists had thought that while inflation and stagnation were both unpleasant, they were at least alternatives; after the 1973–4 oil crisis they discovered that inflation and stagnation could coexist. This was very embarrassing for believers in demand …

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Stahlhelm - History, First World War variants, Inter-war and Second World War variants

Union founded in Germany in 1918 by Franz Seldte for veterans of World War 1 (after 1924 also for non-veterans). It attracted adherents of a militant nationalism and tended towards the anti-democratic parties of the right. In its fight against the Weimar Republic it sided (from 1929) on and off with the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) Harzburger Front. In 1934 it was renamed…

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stained glass - Manufacture, History

Pieces of different coloured glass mounted in lead framing to form a pictorial image or pattern. It was introduced from Byzantine art for the windows of European buildings in the late 12th-c, and flourished most splendidly in Western Romanesque and Gothic churches. It remained popular throughout the mediaeval period, and was enthusiastically revived in the 19th-c (eg by Burne-Jones, Matisse, Rouau…

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Stalinism - Stalinism as political theory, Stalinist economic policy, Points of view on Stalinism

A label used pejoratively outside the former USSR to refer to the nature of the Soviet regime when Stalin began to assume power during and after his struggle to succeed Lenin, following the latter's death in 1924; it continued until his own death in 1953. It refers to a monolithic system, tightly disciplined and bureaucratic, with the party hierarchy having a monopoly of political and economic pow…

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stamen - Plant sexuality

The male organ of a flower, consisting of a stalk-like filament bearing sac-like anthers containing pollen; collectively forming the andrecium or third whorl of a flower. The number and arrangement is often diagnostic for plant families. The stamen is the male organ of a flower. The anther is usually composed of four pollen sacs, which are called microsporangia. Typi…

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Stamp Act - Stamp acts in Britain and America, Headline text

A British Act passed in 1765 by the administration of George Grenville (1712–70), which levied a direct tax on all papers required in discharging official business in the American colonies. It was the first direct tax levied without the consent of the colonial assemblies, and it caused much discontent in the colonies, six of which petitioned against it. The Act was withdrawn by the Rockingham gov…

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Stand Watie - Early life, Civil War service, Leadership of the Southern Cherokee, Further reading

Cherokee leader and Confederate soldier, born near Rome, Georgia, USA, the brother of Elias Boudinot. He published a Cherokee newspaper with his brother, and when they and two others signed the treaty in which SE Cherokees agreed to resettle W of the Mississippi, Watie alone escaped being killed by angry tribesmen. Siding with the Confederacy, he was appointed colonel of the Cherokee Mounted Rifle…

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standard language

The variety of a language which has greatest social and political prestige within a speech community. It cuts across regional differences in usage, and tends to have a levelling effect on regional variation on account of its social and political power-base. It functions as a linguistically ‘neutral’ norm for use in the media and education, and is the variety usually employed in religious, legal,…

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standard of living

The level of welfare achieved by a nation or group; usually measured in terms of food, clothing, housing, and other material benefits. There has been a considerable long-term rise in living standards in the West, particularly since 1945; but the same has not been true of the poorer developing nations. A simple measure for comparative purposes is gross national product per head of population. This …

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Stanford Moore

Biochemist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied chemistry at Vanderbilt and Wisconsin universities, and spent his career at the Rockefeller Institute, New York City (1939–82). In the 1950s, with William Stein, he devised a general method for finding the identity of the number of amino acids in protein molecules. By 1958 they had developed an ingenious automated analyser to carry out all th…

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Stanford White - Birth, McKim, Mead and White, Homes and cottages, Mansions and social clubs, Monuments and memorials

Architect, born in New York, USA, the son of Richard Grant White. A self-taught artist, he apprenticed with H H Richardson. During his partnership in McKim, Mead & White (1879–1906), the firm became the largest architectural office in the world. White was a prolific designer of furniture, interiors, jewellery, and even magazine covers; his graceful decorations complemented McKim's classical forms…

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Stanislao Cannizzaro

Chemist, born in Palermo, Sicily, S Italy. He was professor of chemistry at Genoa, Palermo, and Rome. In 1860, while at Genoa, he marched with Garibaldi's Thousand. He was the first to appreciate the importance of Amedeo Avogadro's work in connection with atomic weights. He co-ordinated organic and inorganic chemistry, and discovered the reaction named after him. Apart from his work on orga…

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Stanislav Grof - Bibliography

Psychiatrist, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He studied at Charles University and the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, then practised in Prague until 1960, and joined Johns Hopkins University as a research scientist and professor of psychiatry (until 1973). His interest in unusual states of consciousness, and his research at California's Esalen Institute (from 1973), resulted in his book Realms …

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Stanley - Place names, Other

51°45S 57°56W, pop (2000e) 1600. Port and capital of the Falkland Is, on the E coast of East Falkland; airport (Mt Pleasant), with links to the UK and to airstrips throughout the colony; whaling, wool trade, service industries. …

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Stanley (Jasspon) Kunitz - Life, Career, Bibliography

Poet, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at Harvard, and became a literary scholar, teaching poetry at the New School for Social Research, New York City (1950–7), and at Columbia University (from 1963). His first two collections of verse were Intellectual Things (1930) and Passport to War: A Selection of Poems (1944). Success came with Selected Poems 1928–1958, which was awarded a…

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Stanley (Lawrence) Elkin - Works, Books edited by Stanley Elkin

Writer and educator, born in New York City, New York, USA. A University of Illinois PhD, he served in the US Army (1957–9) and taught at several colleges before joining the English faculty of Washington University (St Louis) (1968). He published many short stories and a number of novels, skewering contemporary American life with his elusive plots and allusive language, including Boswell (1964), G…

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Stanley Cohen

Cell biologist, born in New York City, USA. He taught at the universities of Michigan (1946–8) and Colorado (1948–52) before joining Rita Levi-Montalcini's laboratory at Washington University, St Louis (1953–9). He discovered the epidermal growth factor from mouse tissue extract, which accelerated the maturation of newborn mice. He continued his studies of this substance at Vanderbilt Universit…

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Stanley Cup - History

An end-of-season ice hockey series between the winners of the two conferences in the National Hockey League (NHL) in the USA and Canada. It was first presented in 1893 by Lord Stanley of Preston, then Governor-General of Canada. This is the current WikiProject: Ice Hockey Article Improvement Drive collaboration! The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy of the National Hockey L…

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Stanley Forman Reed

Judge, born in Minerva, Kentucky, USA. He served the Kentucky legislature (1912–16) and was general counsel to the Federal Farm Board (1929–32) and the Reconstruction Finance Corp (1932–5). He was US solicitor general (1935–8) when President Franklin D Roosevelt named him to the US Supreme Court (1938–57). Stanley Forman Reed (December 31, 1884 – April 2, 1980) was an Associate Justi…

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Stanley Holloway - Musical theatre credits, Selected filmography, Reference

Entertainer, born in London, UK. He had various occupations before making his London stage debut in Kissing Time (1920) and first film appearance in The Rotters (1921). He was an original member of The Co-Optimists revue group (1921–30). Popular on radio and in pantomime, he became widely known for his monologue readings about the adventures of Albert and the Ramsbottom family (created by his fel…

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Stanley Ketchel - Professional boxing career, Middleweight Champion, Ketchel/Johnson, Murder

Boxer, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Ranked the greatest middleweight of all time, he held the title from 1908 until his death in 1910, posting a career record of 49 wins and 4 losses, with 46 knockouts. Stanisław Kiecal, (September 14, 1886–October 15, 1910), better known in the boxing world as Stanley Ketchel was an American boxer of the Polish origin who became one of the …

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Stanley Kubrick - Early life, Film career and later life, Unrealized projects, Character, Politics, Religion, Filmography

Screen writer, film producer, and director, born in New York City, USA. He started as a staff photographer with Look magazine, before making his directorial debut in documentaries in 1950. He moved to features, and after directing Spartacus (1960), went to the UK, where he made a series of unusual features in several film genres: Lolita (1962), black comedy in Dr Strangelove (1964), psychedelic sc…

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Stanley M(arion) Garn

Physical anthropologist, born in New London, Connecticut, USA. He was a professor at Antioch College (1952–68) before becoming a professor of nutrition and fellow of the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan (1968). An evolutionist and specialist on human races, he has made major contributions to paediatrics and gerontology with research on the interaction of genet…

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Stanley Matthews - Biography, Trivia

Judge, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. An ardent abolitionist, he served as US attorney general in Ohio (1858) and in the US Senate (Republican, Ohio, 1877–9). The Senate rejected his first nomination to the US Supreme Court but approved a second nomination by President Garfield (1881–9). Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE (February 1, 1915 - February 23, 2000) was a football player. Often regarded…

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Stanley Milgram - Obedience to authority, Small World Phenomenon

Psychologist, born in New York City, USA. He studied at Harvard, then taught at Yale (1960–3) and the City University of New York (1967–84). He became concerned to understand how apparently ordinary people in Nazi Germany had committed the atrocities of the Holocaust, so he examined what factors would influence the tendency of people to obey orders in an artificial situation where they were give…

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Stanley William Hayter

Artist and engraver, born in London, UK. He studied chemistry and geology at King's College, London, and worked for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan (1922–5). He returned to London to exhibit paintings he had completed in the Middle East (1926), then moved to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian, where he learned printmaking and line-engraving. In 1927 he founded a studio in which ar…

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stapelia

A perennial native to arid areas of tropical and S Africa, superficially resembling cacti, and similarly drought-adapted; fleshy, green stems swollen with water-storage tissue; leaves reduced to deciduous scales. The large carrion flowers, with five petals surrounding an inner, horned ring, are mottled red or maroon, and produce an overpowering smell of rotten meat. (Genus: Stapelia, 75 species. F…

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star (astronomy) - Observation history, Star designations, Formation and evolution, Distribution, Characteristics, Radiation, Classification, Variable stars, Structure

A sphere of matter held together entirely by its own gravitational field, and generating energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions in its deep interior. The important distinguishing feature of a star is the presence of a natural nuclear reactor in its core, where the pressure of the overlying mass of material is sufficient to cause nuclear reactions, the principal one of which is the conversion …

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star (computing) - Observation history, Star designations, Formation and evolution, Distribution, Characteristics, Radiation, Classification, Variable stars, Structure

A topology for a computer network in which one computer occupies the role of a central node and all the remaining computers are linked solely to that central node. Communication between any two of the computers must pass through the central node. A star is a massive, light-emitting spherical body of plasma. Astronomers can determine the mass, age, chemical composition and many o…

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star cluster - Globular clusters, Open clusters, Intermediate forms, Astronomical significance of clusters

A group of stars physically associated in space. Loosely packed, open clusters in a galactic plane contain a few dozen to a few hundred stars and are young. Dense, globular clusters are found scattered in a halo around galaxies. They are spherical, have hundreds of thousands of stars, and are very old, of similar age to the Galaxy itself. Globular clusters are roughly spherical groups of an…

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Star of Bethlehem - Biblical narrative, Prophecies and miraculous births, Proposed explanations for the star

A star mentioned in Matt 2.1–12, depicted as heralding Jesus's birth and guiding Magi from the East to the birthplace in Bethlehem. Although sometimes considered a comet (Halley's comet c.11 BC), a supernova, or a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Pisces (c.7 BC), it is doubtful that these can explain the sustained presence or movement that is described. An even more spectacu…

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Star of David - As a Jewish symbol, Use by the Nazis, Magen David Adom

A six-pointed star, consisting of two crossed equilateral triangles, which in the last two centuries has come particularly to symbolize Jewry, although it is a very ancient symbol. It appears on Israel's national flag today as a blue design against white. It has also symbolized the Zionist movement, and a red version signifies the society in Israel that corresponds to the Red Cross. The Sta…

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star system - Binary star systems, Multiple star systems

The process of building up an individual leading actor or actress in motion pictures as an internationally recognized personality, which took root in Hollywood before 1920 and developed with the power of the major studios. The studios combined worldwide publicity with tight control of the artistes, who were their ‘property’ and their best guarantee of box-office success. A star system or …

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starch - Biochemistry, Starches as food, Non-food applications, Tests, Starch derivatives

(C6H10O5)n. A carbohydrate; a condensation polymer of glucose, and isomeric with cellulose, found as a reserve material in living cells. Partial hydrolysis gives amylose (an oligomer) and maltose (a dimer). Its non-food uses include adhesives, pill fillers, and paper sizing. Biochemically, starch is a combination of two polymeric carbohydrates (polysaccharides) called amylose and amylopecti…

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stargazer

Heavy-bodied, bottom-living marine fish of the family Uranoscopidae (3 genera); distinguished by a large vertical mouth and tiny eyes placed on top of a robust flattened head; fins well developed, gill cover bearing a strong poison spine; powerful electric organs located behind the eyes; widespread in tropical to temperate seas, typically living buried in soft sediments. …

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Stark Young - Biography

Drama critic and novelist, born in Como, Mississippi, USA. Giving up his career as an academic at the University of Texas, Austin (1903–14) and Amherst College (1915–21), he turned to writing as an editor of New Republic (1922–47) and Theatre Arts Magazine (1922–48). He also contributed theatre criticism to the New York Times. Regarded as one of the first serious American critics of current th…

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starling - Species list, Cultural references

A songbird, native to the Old World, with some introduced to the Americas; plumage often with metallic sheen, usually dark but sometimes colourful; inhabits woodland, open country; omnivorous; gregarious; flocks often a major nuisance on city buildings and large structures (eg the Forth Bridge, Scotland). The name is also used for the military starling (Leistes militaris), an American oriole. (Fam…

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START

Acronym for Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, held between the USA and USSR in 1982 and 1983, adjourned, then resumed at the end of the decade between Presidents Reagan and Bush and General Secretary Gorbachev. While the early talks had become bogged down in disputes over the types and numbers of nuclear missiles and warheads which should be included in agreements, the later talks were more successf…

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state (politics) - Etymology, State forms over time, Changing roles of states, Legal status

A form of political association which in the main enjoys the unique right of being able to use legitimate coercion over a particular territory. The rights and duties of office holders of the state are set down in law, including constitutional law. Many regard it as the means for achieving national unity, and throughout history several writers have attributed a mission or wider purpose to the state…

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Staten Island - History, Government

pop (2000e) 443 700; area 153 km²/59 sq mi. Borough of New York City, USA, co-extensive with Richmond Co; an island separated from New Jersey by Kill van Kull and Arthur Kill Channels, and from Long Island by the Narrows; oil refining, shipbuilding, paper, printing; first settled in 1641; named by early Dutch settlers after the Staaten or States General of 17th-c Holland. Staten Islan…

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states' rights - Controversy of states' rights to 1865, States' rights since 1865, The civil rights movement

A US Constitutional doctrine that the separate states enjoy areas of self-control which cannot be breached by the federal government. The doctrine flourished among white Southerners between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, and amounted to a code term for white supremacy. States' rights refers to the idea that U.S. states possess certain rights and political powers in the politi…

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Stations of the Cross - Stations of the Cross, Background, Modern Usage, Other pictures related to the Stations of the Cross

A popular form of devotion in the Roman Catholic and some Anglican Churches. It consists of meditating on a series of 14 pictures or carvings recalling the passion of Christ from his condemnation to his burial. The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer to the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most …

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statistical mechanics - Fundamental postulate, Microcanonical ensemble

A branch of physics which provides a link between large-scale phenomena involving many atoms or molecules, and the microscopic properties and interactions of individual atoms and molecules. Observable macroscopic properties correspond to the combination of the average value of some attribute (eg velocity) for a single atom with the distribution of that attribute over the entire collection of parti…

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statistics - History, Conceptual overview, Statistical methods, Specialized disciplines, Software, Criticism

The branch of mathematics which deals with the collection and analysis of numerical data. From an analysis of the data, a statistician will produce numbers giving information. Numbers commonly found useful are those representative of a set of data - ‘averages’, such as mean, median, and mode, and those indicating variation in the data, describing the spread or dispersion, such as range and stand…

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Statius - Life, Works, In later literature

Epic and lyric poet, born in Naples, SW Italy. He won a poetry prize in Naples, and went to Rome, where he flourished as a court poet and a brilliant improviser until 94, when he retired to Naples. His major work was the Thebaïd, an epic in 12 books on the struggle between the brothers Eteocles and Polynices of Thebes. Of another epic, the Achilleïs, only a fragment remains. His collection of oc…

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Stavanger - Population, History, Modern Stavanger, Stavanger 2008, - European Capital of Culture 2008, Tourism, Sister cities

58°58N 5°45E, pop (2000e) 103 000. Seaport capital of Rogaland county, SW Norway; on a S branch of the Bokn Fjord, 304 km/189 mi SW of Oslo; founded, c.8th-c; airport; rail terminus; important North Sea oil centre; oil refinery, fish-canning, shipyards, oil-rig construction; St Swithin's Cathedral (12th-c). Coordinates: 58°57′N 5°43′E Stavanger is a city and municipa…

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Stavros (Spyros) Niarchos

Shipowner, born in Athens, Greece. He served during World War 2 in the Royal Hellenic navy, then became controller of one of the largest independent fleets in the world, pioneering the construction of supertankers, in competition with his brother-in-law Aristotle Onassis. He was also a major art collector. Stavros Niarchos (3 July 1909 – 16 April 1996) was born in Athens to a wealthy fami…

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steam - Uses

The vapour phase of water (H2O); also called live steam, to distinguish it from dead steam, visible droplets of recondensed vapour. In physical chemistry, and in engineering, steam refers to vaporized water. Pure steam (unmixed with air, but in equilibrium with water-liquid) has a temperature of around 100 degrees Celsius at standard atmospheric pressure, and occupies about 1,600 time…

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steam engine - Invention and development, Reciprocating engines, Turbine engines, Other engines, Applications, Advantages, Efficiency

An external combustion engine, in which the engine's working fluid (steam) is generated in a boiler outside the engine. The steam is brought into the engine by valves, and through its pressure and expansive properties a piston is made to oscillate within a cylinder. This oscillatory motion is then converted into rotary motion by means of a crankshaft mechanism. A steam engine is an external…

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stearic acid - Metabolism

C17H35COOH, IUPAC octadecanoic acid, melting point 71°C. A waxy solid, the commonest of the fatty acids obtained from the saponification of animal fat. It is used in soap and candle manufacture. Stearic acid (IUPAC systematic name: octadecanoic acid) is one of the useful types of saturated fatty acids that comes from many animal and vegetable fats and oils. Stearic acid is prep…

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steel - Iron and steel, History of iron and steelmaking, Types of steel, Uses of steel

The chief alloy of iron, and the most used of all metals. It consists of iron hardened by the presence of a small proportion of carbon. It was made in small amounts in ancient times by heating cast-iron to reduce surface carbon, and was later made in crucibles in small quantities for tools. Steel production began in China before the 6th-c AD. Western large-scale manufacture for constructional purp…

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Steen Steensen Blicher - Works, Blicher works in English

Poet and novelist, born near Viborg, NC Denmark. His home province of Jutland forms the background of much of his work. He became a teacher and clergyman, and took a great interest in the social and spiritual problems of his day. His major works include a collection of poetry, Traekfuglene (1838, The Migratory Birds), and his books of short stories, often in dialect, such as E Bindstouw. St…

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steeplechase (athletics) - Rules, History, Records

A track event over 3000 m. The competitors have to negotiate 28 hurdles and seven water jumps. Each obstacle is 3 ft (0·9 m) high. The steeplechase is an obstacle race in athletics, which derives its name from the steeplechase in horse racing. The length of the race is usually 3000 m, seven and a half laps of the 400m track. Four of the barriers are on level ground, and the …

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steeplechase (horse racing) - History, Steeplechase racing in the United States, Eventing

A form of National Hunt racing in which the horses have to negotiate fixed fences normally 3–4 ft (0·9–1·2 m) high. The first steeplechase was in Ireland in 1752, when a Mr O'Calloghan and a Mr Blake matched their horses to race over 4½ mi (7·2 km) across country between Buttevant Church and St Mary's, Doneraile. The world's most famous steeplechase is the Grand National. The stee…

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Stefan Banach - Work, Quotes

Mathematician, born in Kraków, S Poland. He studied at Lvov (Lwow), where he became lecturer in 1919, and professor in 1927. He is regarded as one of the founders of functional analysis, and he founded an important school of Polish mathematicians. Stefan Banach (Bah-nahh - the 'ch' at the end is pronounced) (March 30, 1892 in Kraków, Austria-Hungary now Poland – August 31, 1945 in L'viv…

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Stefan George - Biography, Work, Influence, Online texts, Bibliography

Poet, born in Büdeshein, W Germany. He studied in Paris, Munich, and Berlin, and travelled widely. In Germany he founded a literary group, and edited its journal. His poems show the influence of the French Symbolists, dispensing with punctuation and capitals, and conveying an impression rather than a simple meaning. In Das neue Reich (1928, The New Reich) he advocated a new German culture, not in…

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Stefan Heym - Life, Works, Literature and Links

Writer, born in Chemnitz, E Germany. Initially a journalist, he left for Czechoslovakia in 1933, then went to the USA. Returning to Germany as an American soldier, he founded Die Neue Zeitung (1945) in Munich but was sent back to the USA for his Communist beliefs, moving to East Germany in 1952. He wrote most of his early novels initially in English, such as English Hostages (1942, trans Der Fall …

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Stefan Lochner

Religious painter, born in Meersburg am Bodensee, SW Germany. He may have studied in the Netherlands before settling in Cologne c.1440, where he became the principal master of the Cologne school, marking the transition from the Gothic style to Naturalism. His best-known work is the great triptych, ‘Adoration of the Kings’, in Cologne Cathedral. His style, famous for its clean appearance, …

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Stefan Wolpe - Listening

Composer, born in Berlin, Germany. Active in German theatre productions with Brecht and others in the 1920s, he studied with Busoni and Webern before fleeing the Nazis in 1934. In the USA from 1938, he taught in various schools including Black Mountain (1952–6) and Long Island University (1957–68). From a variety of influences ranging from jazz to 12-tone technique, he composed in a highly contr…

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Stefan Zweig - Life and work, Bibliography

Writer, born in Vienna Austria. He became known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer, short-story writer, and novelist, his work being characterized by his psychological insight into character. His best-known work was his set of historical portraits, Sternstunden der Menschheit (1928, trans The Tide of Fortune). He emigrated to London in 1934, and acquired British nationality, later movi…

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Stefano Benni

Writer and journalist, born in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, N Italy. He writes political science-fiction satirizing modern Italian life in novels such as Terra! (1983), La compagnia dei Celestini (1992), and Elianto (1995). In Comici spaventati guerrieri (1986) he uses conventions normally associated with the popular-style novel - in this case, the detective story - to write something totally differen…

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Stefano D'Arrigo - Biography

Writer and art critic, born in Alì Marina, Sicily, S Italy. He created a grandiose marine scenery of epic proportions for the novel Horcynus Orca (1975), and his universe is populated by monsters, ghosts and ancestral memories. Among other works is the collection of poems Codice siciliano (1957), and Cima delle nobildonne (1985). Stefano D'Arrigo (October 15, 1919 - May 2, 1992) was an Ita…

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Stefano della Bella

Engraver, born in Florence, NC Italy. He worked for Cardinal Richelieu and for the Grand Duke of Tuscany. His engravings were in the manner of Jacques Callot, and his enormous output consisted of battle-pieces, landscapes, and animal and masque designs. Stefano della Bella (18 May 1610 - 12 July 1664) was an Italian printmaker known for engraved prints of military subjects. but some prints …

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Stefano Jacini

Italian politician and economist, born in Casalbuttano, Lombardy, N Italy. He was a deputy of the ‘historic right’ from 1860, and a senator from 1870. He was public works minister under Cavour, La Marmora, and Ricasoli, and worked to improve the country's road and rail network. When the left came to power, he was put in charge of the Land Report (1877–84) which took his name. Count Stefa…

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Stefano Landi - Biography, Music and influence, References and further reading

Writer, born in Rome, Latium, Italy. The son of Luigi Pirandello, he wrote poems and the novel Il muro in casa (1935), but wrote mainly for the theatre. His plays, Un padre ci vuole (1936), L'innocenza di Coriolano (1939), and La scuola dei padri (1955), have family conflict as their main theme, dealt with in strong dramatic tones. Stefano Landi (baptized February 26, 1587 – October 28, 1…

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Steffi Graf - Grand Slam singles finals, Major tournament singles performance timeline

Tennis player, born in Brühl, near Heidelberg, SW Germany. In 1982 she became the youngest person to receive a World Tennis Association ranking, aged 13, and reached the semi-final of the US Open in 1985. She won the French Open in 1987, and took all four major titles in 1988, as well as the Olympic crown - a unique feat. She beat Natalya Zvereva 6-0 6-0 to win the Australian title, the first shu…

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stele - Notable individual stelae

In ancient Greece, a carved or inscribed upright rectangular stone which could be used as a gravestone, a boundary marker on property, or a permanent display board for public laws and documents. Stelae were also used as territorial markers, as the boundary stelae of Akhenaton at Amarna, or to commemorate military victories. They were widely used in the Ancient Near East, Greece, Egypt, …

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Stella (Dorothea) Gibbons

Writer, born in London, UK. She worked as a journalist, and later began a series of successful novels, as well as writing poetry and short stories. Her Cold Comfort Farm (1932), a light-hearted satire on melodramatic rural novels - notably those of Mary Webb (1881–1927), including Gone to Earth (1917) and Precious Bane (1924) - has established itself as a classic of parody. Stella Dorothea…

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Stella McCartney - Biography, Chloé, Gucci Group, Adidas, H, Criticism, Personal life, Trivia

British fashion designer, the daughter of Sir Paul McCartney. At age 15 she began an apprenticeship working with Christian Lacroix on his first couture collection, and later spent several years training on Savile Row. She then studied at St Martin's College of Art and Design, London, graduating in 1995, and was appointed chief designer at the French couture house Chloé in 1997. At the 2000 Vogue …

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stellar evolution - Birth, Maturity, The later years and death of stars

The sequence of events and changes covering the entire life-cycle of a star. The principal stage of evolution is the nuclear burning of hydrogen to form helium, with a consequential release of energy. Eventually the hydrogen in the core is exhausted, and the star becomes a red giant. In the final stages of evolution there are several paths, depending on the mass of the star: the formation of a whi…

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stem (botany)

The main axis of a plant, usually but not always above ground, and bearing the buds, leaves, and reproductive organs. It is formed from the apical end of the embryonic axis lying above the cotyledons in the seed, developing into the plumule or embryonic shoot. This may form one or several stems, often branched to display the leaves to best advantage for photosynthesis. The stem contains a vascular…

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Stendhal - Biography, Stendhal Syndrome, Crystallization, Works

Writer, born in Grenoble, E France. He was a soldier under Napoleon, settled in Paris in 1821, and after the 1830 revolution was appointed consul at Trieste and Civitavecchia. He wrote biographies, and critical works on music, art, and literature, but was best known for his novels, notably Le Rouge et le noir (1830, Scarlet and Black) and La Chartreuse de Parme (1839, The Charterhouse of Parma). H…

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step dance

A social and often competitive form of dance relying on rhythmically complex footwork using parts of the foot, heel, and toe beats, often performed in clogs. It has been maintained through folk festivals both as a social and an exhibition dance. The structure is part fixed and part improvised in performance. Step dance is the generic term for dance styles where the footwork is the most impo…

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Stepan Timofeyevich Razin

Russian Cossack, and leader of a Cossack and peasant revolt (1670–1) directed against the boyars and landowning nobility. In April 1671 he was captured, taken to Moscow and publicly executed. He became a folk-hero celebrated in later legend and song as the embodiment of popular rebellion against authority. …

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Stephan Hermlin - Awards

Writer, born in Chemnitz, E Germany. He became a member of the youth wing of the Communist Party (1931), then left the country (1936), taking part in the Spanish Civil War and later working for the French resistance. He returned to Germany in 1945 and moved to the East in 1947. His writing, which includes poetry and prose, focuses on the anti-fascist resistance during the Third Reich and the rebir…

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stephanotis

A twining, evergreen perennial (Stephanotis floribunda), native to Madagascar; a clustered waxy flower; stems to 3 m/10 ft or more; leaves glossy, oblong-elliptical; flowers in axillary clusters, tubular with five spreading lobes, white, strongly fragrant; also called Madagascar jasmine. (Family: Asclepiadaceae.) Stephanotis is a genus of plants belonging to the family Asclepiadaceae. …

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Stephen - Equivalents of Stephen in various languages, Historical figures known by the name Stephen

Last Norman king of England (1135–54), the son of Stephen-Henry, Count of Blois, and Adela, the daughter of William the Conqueror. He had sworn to accept Henry I's daughter, Empress Matilda, as queen, but seized the English crown and was recognized as Duke of Normandy on Henry's death in 1135. Though defeated and captured at the Battle of Lincoln (Feb 1141), he was released nine months later afte…

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Stephen (Bantu) Biko - Influences and formation of ideology, Quotations, References in the arts, Trivia

South African political activist, founder and leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, born in King William's Town, Eastern Cape province. He became involved in politics while studying medicine at Natal University, and was one of the founders (and first president) of the all-black South African Students Organization (1969). In 1972 he became honorary president of the Black People's Convention, …

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Stephen (Butler) Leacock - Early life, Academic and political life, Literary life, Death and tributes, Bibliography, Quotable quotes

Writer and humorist, born in Swanmore, Hampshire, S England, UK. He studied at Toronto, Canada, becoming head of the economics department at McGill University, Montreal (1908). He wrote several books on his subject, including The Economic Prosperity of the British Empire (1931), but it is as a humorist that he became widely known. Among his popular works are Literary Lapses (1910), Winsome Winnie …

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Stephen (Collins) Foster - Early Life, Adulthood, Death and Memorials, Sources, Trivia / References in Popular Culture

Composer and lyricist, born in Lawrenceville (now part of Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, USA. By the time he was eight he was teaching himself piano and flute. He learned African-American spirituals from Olivia Pise, a household slave, and at age nine put on minstrel shows for family and friends. After only a week in college, he quit to devote himself to music, and published his first song in 1844. He…

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Stephen (Edwin) King

Writer, born in Portland, Maine, USA. He graduated from his state university and continued to live in Maine, at first supporting himself with odd jobs while establishing his writing career. The success of his first horror novel, Carrie (1974), enabled him to publish earlier work under the pseudonym Richard Bachman (1977–84), a ploy which disguised the true extent of his prolific output of novels,…

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Stephen (Gordon) Hendry - Tournament wins

Snooker player, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He became a professional in 1985, won the Scottish championship in 1986, and went on to dominate the game in the 1990s. His wins include seven Embassy world championships (1990, 1992–6, 1999), and he holds the record for the most titles won in a season (9 in 1991–2). In 1997–8 he won his 29th ranking event, beating the career record previously…

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Stephen (John) Byers - Early career, Minister, Railtrack, Political troubles, Alleged misfeasance in public office, MG Rover

British statesman, born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, C England, UK. He studied at Liverpool University, and was a university lecturer before becoming Labour MP for Wallsend (1992– ). A former deputy leader of North Tyneside council and leader of the Council of Local Education Authorities, he was an opposition whip (1994–5) and spokeman on education and employment (1995–7) before becoming se…

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Stephen (John) Fry - Childhood and education, Career, Personal life, Quotations, List of works, Trivia

Writer, actor, and comedian, born in London, England, UK. He grew up in Norfolk, and studied at Queens' College, Cambridge (1979–82). He joined the University Footlights Revue where he met Hugh Laurie (1959– ) and they formed a prolific comedy writing partnership producing the television series A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1987–95). He also appeared in the series Blackadder (1986) and Jeeves and Wo…

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Stephen (Joshua) Sondheim - Early life, Career, Major works, Minor works, Awards and recognitions, Sources

Composer and lyricist, born in New York City, New York, USA. He received tutoring from family friend Oscar Hammerstein II, and at age 17 was a production assistant for Richard Rodgers and Hammerstein. He wrote some music for television shows and for the play Girls of Summer (1956) before making his debut on Broadway by writing lyrics for Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story (1957) and Jule Styne's …

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Stephen (Meredith) Potter - Foundations of his literary career, Satire and more, Close of his oeuvre, Personal life, His Bibliography

British writer and radio producer. He joined the BBC in 1938, and was co-author with Joyce Grenfell of the How series. He wrote a novel, The Young Man (1929), and an educational study, The Muse in Chains (1937), but made his name with a series of humorous books on the art of demoralizing the opposition - The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship; or the Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating…

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Stephen (Pearl) Andrews - Quote, Bibliography, External Links

Abolitionist, linguist, and social thinker, born in Templeton, Massachusetts, USA. The son of a Baptist minister, he went to Louisiana at age 18 and studied and practised law there. He was appalled by the slavery he saw and became an abolitionist. Having moved to Texas (1839), he and his family were almost killed because of his abolitionist lectures and had to flee (1843). He moved to England, whe…

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Stephen (Townley) Crane - Biography of Stephen Crane, Bibliography, References and further reading

Writer and poet, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. He studied at Claverack College and Hudson River Institute, New York (1888–90), and briefly at Lafayette College, PA and Syracuse College, NY (1891). He moved to New York City (1892), worked as a journalist, published his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893), and also wrote poetry. In 1895 he published his most famous work, The Red Ba…

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Stephen (William) Hawking - Biography, Research fields, Illness, Distinction, Comments on global warming, Losing an old bet, Selected publications, Awards

Theoretical physicist, born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He studied at Oxford, then spent his career in Cambridge, holding a chair there from 1977. His work has been concerned with cosmology in a variety of aspects, dealing with black holes, singularities, and the ‘big bang’ theory of the origin of the universe. His popular writing is also notable, especially A Brief History of Time (…

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Stephen Daldry - Quotes

Film and theatre director, born in Dorset, S England, UK. He studied at Sheffield University, and began his career with the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (1986–8). He later moved to London where he became artistic director of the Gate Theatre (1990–2) and the English Stage Company (1992–9), and directed An Inspector Calls (1992, Tony Award) for the National Theatre. In 1999 he was appointed assoc…

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Stephen Decatur - Early civilian life, Military career, Death, Further reading

US naval commander, born in Sinepuxent, Maryland, USA, the son of Stephen Decatur (1752–1808). He became a midshipman (1798), and joined the Tripoli Squadron as a first lieutenant in 1801. He led a daring raid into the harbour of Tripoli and burned the captured USS Philadelphia (1804). He held various commands in home waters (1805–12) and served on the court martial that suspended Captain James …

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Stephen Decatur - Early civilian life, Military career, Death, Further reading

US naval officer, born in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. The father of Stephen Decatur (1779–1820), he commanded five different privateer vessels during the American Revolution and became a captain in the US Navy (1798). In command of the USS Delaware he captured the first prize in the undeclared war with France. Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr. (January 5, 1779 – March 22, 1820) was an Ameri…

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Stephen Dillane - External Links

British actor. After training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, his early theatre included repertory seasons at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Contact Theatre in Manchester, and Chester Gateway Theatre. He then played leading roles at the Royal National Theatre including Archer in The Beaux' Stratagem (1989), Gerry Evans in Dancing at Lughnasa (1990), and Prior Walter in Angels in America (1992). He…

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Stephen Dodson Ramseur - Early life, Civil War, Further reading

US soldier, born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, USA. He trained at West Point (1860), then joined the Confederate army and fought in the Seven Days' Battles and Malvern Hill. He led a North Carolina brigade at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania, where his attack drove Union forces from the famous ‘Bloody Angle’. He was mortally wounded in action at Cedar Creek, VA, ha…

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Stephen Gardiner

Clergyman, born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, E England, UK. Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he became Wolsey's secretary in 1525. Between 1527 and 1533 he was sent to Rome to further Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragón, and was made Bishop of Winchester in 1531. He supported the royal supremacy in his De vera obedientia (1535), helped to encompass Thomas Cromwell's downfall, and was …

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Stephen Girard

Businessman and philanthropist, born near Bordeaux, SW France. He went from cabin boy to fleet owner and banker, and settled in Philadelphia in 1769. During the war of 1812 his bank provided most of the finance needed by the US government. He left most of his fortune for social welfare projects, including the Girard College in Philadelphia for male orphans. After the charter for the First B…

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Stephen Greenblatt - Biographical information, Literary interests, influences and personal favourites, Works, Honours, Selected works, Quotations

Literary historian, born in Newton, Massachusetts, USA. After gaining a BA and PhD at Yale, with two years on a Fulbright scholarship at Cambridge University, UK, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley (1969, professor 1980). Later posts include Levin Professor of Literature at Harvard. He soon emerged as the most brilliant proponent of a new school of literary historian-c…

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Stephen Hales

Botanist and chemist, born in Bekesbourne, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied theology at Cambridge, and became in 1709 perpetual curate of Teddington. He developed gas-handling methods, discovered that plants take in a part of the air for their nutrition, and measured the pressure of rising sap. His Vegetable Staticks (1727) was the foundation of plant physiology. In Haemastaticks (1733) he discuss…

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Stephen Harriman Long - Major Long and the Long Expedition

US soldier, explorer, and engineer, born in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, USA. A Dartmouth graduate, he entered the army (1814) and established Fort Smith (1817), now a city in Arkansas. He began to lead expeditions for the army, and in 1820 led an exploration party into the Rocky Mts, discovering the peak outside Denver, CO named after him. He explored the sources of the Minnesota R (1823) and helped…

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Stephen Hawes - Reference

English poet, about whose early life very little is known, except that he was attached to the court from 1502 as groom of the chamber to Henry VII. His chief work is the allegory, ‘The Passetyme of Pleasure’ (1509), dedicated to the king. He also wrote ‘The Example of Virtue’ (1504), an allegory of life spent in the pursuit of purity. The Passetyme of Pleasure is a long allegorical poem…

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Stephen J(ohnson) Field

Judge, born in Haddam, Connecticut, USA. The brother of David Dudley Field and Cyrus W Field, he served on California's state legislature (1850–7) and supreme court (1857–63) before President Lincoln named him to the US Supreme Court (1863–97). A staunch conservative, he frequently dissented from the court's majority opinion. Stephen Johnson Field (November 4, 1816 – April 9, 1899) was…

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Stephen Jay Gould - Personal life, Gould as a scientist, Gould as a public figure, Controversies

Palaeontologist and writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. Influenced by a visit at age five to the Museum of American History, he became interested in biology and evolution. He studied at Antioch College (1963 BA) and earned his PhD from Columbia University, doing his dissertation on the fossil land snails of Bermuda. He joined the Harvard faculty (1967) as a professor of geology, and spen…

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Stephen Langton - Life, Works

Theologian, probably born in Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He studied at the University of Paris, was made a cardinal by Pope Innocent III in 1206, and became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1207. His appointment was resisted by King John, and Langton was kept out of the see until 1213, living mostly at Pontigny. He sided warmly with the barons against John, and his name is the first of the subscribin…

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Stephen Lawrence - Murder, trials and aftermath, Lawrence remembered, Public inquiries into the police investigation, Bibliography

Teenage victim of racist murder, born in Plumstead, S London, UK. In 1993 Stephen, a black student, was murdered in Eltham, SE London, by a group of white youths. At the inquest, the five suspected of the crime claimed their right to silence and refused to answer questions in the witness box. Lawrence's parents complained that the police were not doing enough to find their son's killers, and after…

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Stephen Poliakoff - Personal life, Other Poliakoff films

Playwright and film director, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and started to write plays as a teenager. A run of his plays produced by the Bush Theatre, including Hitting Town and City Sugar (both 1975) established him as a prolific, original playwright with an instinct for powerful contemporary metaphors. He was writer-in-residence at the National Theatre (1976–7), and had several p…

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Stephen Samuel Wise - Education and Early Career, Zionist activism, Public Office, Criticism of Wise, Translations, Death

Rabbi, social activist, and Zionist leader, born in Budapest, Hungary. Brought to the USA as a baby by his rabbi father, he grew up in New York City, studied to be a rabbi there and in Vienna, and by age 19 was the rabbi of New York's Congregation B'nai Jeshurun. Outspoken in his sympathies for labour and other social causes, he refused an offer to be rabbi of New York's most prestigious temple, E…

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Stephen Smale

Mathematician, born in Flint, Michigan, USA. A National Academy of Sciences member, he contributed largely to topology with his h-cobordism theorem. This work won him the Fields Medal (1966), and as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley (1960), his research spanned from n-dimensional geometry to applied science. Stephen Smale (born July 15, 1930) is an American mathematician…

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Stephen Tyng Mather

Conservationist, born in San Francisco, California, USA. A descendant of the Mathers of early colonial Massachusetts, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley (1887) and worked as a newspaper reporter in New York City before joining the Pacific Coast Borax Co (1893). He later became president of the Sterling Borax Co. In 1915 he joined the Interior Department as assistant to the …

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steppe

The extensive grassland, treeless region of Eurasia. It extends from the Ukraine through SE European and C Asian Russia to the Manchurian plains. Large areas of steppe are important for wheat growing (eg in the Ukraine). In physical geography, a steppe (Russian: степь - step', Ukrainian: степ - step, Kazakh: дала - dala), pronounced in English as step, is a plain without …

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steradian - Definition

SI unit of solid angle; symbol sr; an area drawn on the surface of a sphere equal to the square of the radius of the sphere subtends a solid angle of 1 steradian at the centre of the sphere; the total area of a sphere subtends a solid angle of 4? sr at the centre. The steradian (symbol: sr) is the SI unit of solid angle. The steradian is defined as "the solid angle subtended at…

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stereochemistry

The study of the spatial relationships between atoms in molecules, especially the configuration of the atoms bonded to a central atom and the occurrence of geometrical and optical isomers. Stereochemistry, a subdiscipline of chemistry, involves the study of the relative spatial arrangement of atoms within molecules. An important branch of stereochemistry is the study of chiral molecul…

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stereophonic sound - Stereo recording, Various methods of stereo recording, Binaural recording, Playing back stereo recordings, Broadcasting in stereo

The recording and transmission of sound which, when reproduced, appears to the listener to come from different directions and to reproduce a sound field similar to that where the sound was originally recorded. It normally uses two microphones, and two loudspeakers to reproduce the sound which has been recorded on two separate channels. Two-track stereo tape recordings appeared in 1954; the first s…

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Sterkfontein

A valley near Krugersdorp, Transvaal, South Africa, containing limestone caverns with important early hominid remains. The Sterkfontein site itself has yielded many specimens of Australopithecus africanus (2·4–2·8 million years ago) and Homo habilis (1·5–2·0 mya). The nearby sites of Kromdraai (2+ mya) and Swartkrans (1·0–2·0 mya) contain remains of Australopithecus robustus. Co…

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sterling - Places

The name of the currency of Britain, usually used to distinguish the British pound from other currencies (pound sterling). The name derives from the Norman coin known as a steorling, which had a star on one face. The sterling area was the name given to countries which kept their reserves in sterling - mainly the British Commonwealth nations. Sterling is no longer a reserve currency, this role havi…

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sternum - Overview, Structure, Articulations, Fractures of the sternum

An elongated, almost flat bone lying in the midline of the front wall of the thorax; also known as the breastbone. It articulates with the clavicle (providing the only point of attachment of the upper limb and pectoral girdle to the axial skeleton) and the ribs, and overlies a large proportion of the heart, thereby affording it some protection. The sternum or breastbone is a long, flat bone…

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steroid - Anery Sharpe, Origin

Any of several natural products, including many hormones, bile acids, and the sterols, derived from the non-glyceride portion of fats, the best known of which is cholesterol. The molecule contains the cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene nucleus. Steroids are responsible for maintaining many vital functions, including sexual characteristics, salt and water balance, and muscle and bone mass. Som…

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