Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 72

Cambridge Encyclopedia

stethoscope - History, Current practice, Methods of examination, Trivia

A medical instrument used for detecting sounds within the body, invented by French physician René Laënnec in 1816. The first stethoscopes consisted of simple tubes or cones made of paper or wood. Modern instruments consist of a bell or diaphragm made of metal or plastic that is placed on the patient's body to pick up and amplify sound and conduct it via a flexible Y-shaped rubber tube to earpiec…

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Steve Carlton - Philadelphia Phillies, Post-Phillies career, Legacy

Baseball player, born in Miami, Florida, USA. During his 23-year career as a left-handed pitcher (1965–87), mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies, he won 329 games and received the Cy Young Award four times. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. Steven Norman Carlton (born December 22, 1944 in Miami, Florida) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, from …

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Steve Cauthen - Major Winners

Jockey, born in Covington, Kentucky, USA. Born into a farming and horse-raising family, he was riding ponies at age two and began to race professionally at age 16. In 1977 he set a new American record by riding 487 winners and earning $6 million in prize money. In 1978 he won the Triple Crown – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes – on Affirmed. Within a few months he hit a …

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Steve Cram

Athlete, born in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK. The European junior champion at 3000 m in 1979, he won senior titles at 1500 m in 1982 and 1986. He won the World Championship gold medal at 1500 m in 1983, and the Commonwealth Games gold medals at 1500 m (1982, 1986) and 800 m (1986). In 1985 he set three world records in 20 days at 1500 m, 1 mi, and 2000 m. His time for the mile…

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Steve Davis - Snooker career, Outside snooker

Snooker player, born in London, UK. He turned professional in 1978 and dominated snooker in the 1980s, winning the world championship six times: 1981, 1983–4, and 1987–9. His first major honour was the Coral UK Championship in Preston (1980), thereafter winning every major honour the game had to offer. In Oldham, during the Lada Classic (1982), he became the first man to compile a televised maxi…

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Steve Donoghue - Background, Classic Race Victories

Jockey, born in Warrington, Cheshire, NWC England, UK. He won the Derby six times, including a record three consecutive wins (1921–3). Champion jockey in 10 successive years (1914–23), he won a total of 14 classics. Steve Donoghue (1884 - 1945) was a leading English flat-race jockey in the 1910s and 1920s. Born in Warrington, Cheshire, England, Steve was apprenticed to John Po…

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Steve Irwin - Early years, Career, Personal life

Naturalist, environmentalist, and television presenter, born in Melbourne, Victoria, SE Australia. He spent his childhood in Queensland, where his parents ran a reptile and fauna wildlife park. In 1991 he took over management of the park, renaming it Australia Zoo, and the next year married Terri, an American visitor to the zoo. She became his business partner and collaborated with him on the Croc…

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Steve Lacy

Saxophonist, born in New York City, USA. He studied music at Boston and Manhattan before concentrating entirely on the soprano saxophone, becoming a sideman of some the best soloists during the 1950s. He travelled the world, spending 30 years in Paris, and drew influences from poetry, dance and various aspects of foreign cultures. In 1960 he recorded with Thelonius Monk, and Soprano Today (1957) w…

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Steve Martin

Film actor and writer, born in Waco, Texas, USA. As a comedy writer for television he won an Emmy Award for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1968) and a nomination for Van Dyke and Company (1975). He made his film debut in The Absent Minded Waiter (1977), which received an Oscar nomination for best short film. An inspired performance of lunacy in All Of Me (1984) brought him a New York Film Crit…

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Steve McManaman - Club career, International career, Career

Footballer, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. A midfielder, he served an apprenticeship at Liverpool, then joined the club (1989–99), before moving to Real Madrid. He joined Manchester City in 2003, retiring from football in 2005. His achievements include FA Cup winner (1992) and League winner (1995) with Liverpool, and twice winner of the UEFA Champions League (2000, 2002) at Real M…

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Steve Ovett - Personal bests

Athlete, born in Brighton, East Sussex, SE England, UK. Gold medallist in the 800 m at the 1980 Olympics, he also won a bronze in the 1500 m. He broke the world record at 1500 m (three times), at one mile (twice) and at two miles. In 1986 he won the Commonwealth Games title at 5000 m. An outspoken and sometimes controversial figure, he occasionally upset the press, but remained generally popul…

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Steve Paxton

Experimental dancer and choreographer, born in Tucson, Arizona, USA. His training included three years with Merce Cunningham and a year with José Limón. A founder member of the Judson Dance Theater, he performed works by Yvonne Rainer and Trisha Brown. He was a founding member of the experimental Grand Union, and in 1972 invented the dance form known as contact improvisation, a form of dance tha…

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Steve Reich - Early life and work, Process music and Minimalism, The 1980s, New directions, Influence, Reich on himself

Composer, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the Juilliard School, New York City, and at Mills College, and in 1965 formed a New York ensemble. Strongly influenced by Stravinsky, jazz, African and Balinese music, and his training in drumming, he has evolved a style of vigorous tonality, repetitive contrapuntal patterns, and percussive virtuosity. He uses a variety of vocal and instrumental …

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Steve Van Buren

Player of American football, born in La Ceiba, Honduras. Although known for his blocking at Louisiana State University, he proved a bruising, all-pro runner for the Philadelphia Eagles. He led the National Football League in rushing four times (1945, 1947–9), becoming the first man to run for over 1000 yards in two different seasons. His powerful rushes helped his team win league championships in…

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Steven Berkoff - Further reading

Playwright, actor, and director, born in London, UK. After studying at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, he founded the London Theatre Group, for whom he directed his own adaptations from the classics, including Kafka's Metamorphosis (1969). His own plays include Greek (1979, a variant of the Oedipal myth transferred to contemporary London), Decadence (1982),West (1983, an adaptation of the Beowul…

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Steven Bochco - Biography, Awards, Bibliography

Television writer and producer, born in New York City, New York, USA. He worked as a screenwriter and story editor for shows such as Colombo during the 1970s. He created Hill Street Blues (1981–7) and LA Law (1986) for NBC, both dramatic series with ensemble acting and overlapping plots. Under contract to ABC, he introduced Doogie Howser, MD (1989) and the controversial NYPD Blue (1993– ). Later…

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Steven Soderbergh - Breakthrough: sex, lies, and videotape, More success: 1999 and 2000

Director, producer, and screenwriter, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He gained recognition with his directorial debut, sex, lies, and videotape (1989), which was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Later films include Kafka (1991), The Limey (1999), Erin Brockovich (2000), Traffic (2000, Oscar, Best Director), Ocean's Eleven (2001, sequels 2004, 2007), and Solaris (200…

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Steven Spielberg - Early Life, Blockbuster King (1975-1993), Darker years (1993 onwards), Style, Television work

Film-maker, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. An amateur film-maker as a child, he became one of the youngest television directors at Universal Studios. A highly praised television film, Duel (1972), brought him the opportunity to direct for the cinema, and a string of hits have made him the most commercially successful director of all time. His films have explored primeval fears, as in Jaws (1975, t…

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Steven Weinberg - Life and career

Physicist, born in New York City, New York, USA. He was an instructor at Columbia University (1957–9) before moving to the University of California, Berkeley (1959–69). In 1967 he produced a gauge symmetry theory that correctly predicted that electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces are identical at extremely high energies. The theory also predicted the weak neutral current, confirmed by particle…

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Stevenage - Place-name meaning, History, Modern Stevenage, Famous inhabitants, Schools, Churches

51°55N 0°14W, pop (2001e) 77 700. Town in Hertfordshire, SE England, UK; 45 km/28 mi N of London; the first ‘new town’, 1946; railway; wide range of light industries. Stevenage is a town and district in Hertfordshire, England. Its population was 1,430 in 1801, 4,049 in 1901 and 79,724 in 2001 - the biggest rise being in the 1950s and 1960s, after becoming a new town. …

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Stevenson screen

A shelter for meteorological instruments, particularly thermometers, providing protection from solar radiation. It is a white, wooden box with louvred sides to give ventilation. The thermometers within the screen should be 1·25 m/4·1 ft above the ground to avoid strong temperature gradients at ground level, and to give comparability from screen to screen. It was invented by Thomas Stevenson (1…

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Stevie Ray Vaughan - Life and career, Musical influences and style, Vaughan's guitars and musical equipment, Discography

Rock musician, born in Dallas, Texas, USA. A virtuoso guitarist, he played with teenage bands in Dallas before moving to Austin (1972), where he played with a succession of local blues bands. In 1981 he formed Double Trouble, a blues-rock trio, and performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, attracting widespread acclaim. He recorded with David Bowie in 1982, and the following year rel…

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Stevie Smith - Life, Career, Bibliography

Poet and novelist, born in Hull, NE England, UK. Educated in London, she worked in publishing, then began to write herself. In 1935 she took her first collection of poems to a publisher, who rejected them and advised her to try a novel. The result was Novel on Yellow Paper (1936), a largely autobiographical monologue in a humorous conversational style. Her first book of poetry, A Good Time Was Had…

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Stevie Wonder - Discography, Awards and recognition

Musician, born in Saginaw, Michigan, USA. A premature baby, he was blinded by receiving too much oxygen in the incubator. He began playing the harmonica at an early age and was signed to a long-term contract with Motown Records in 1960. In 1963 he released his first album, Little Stevie Wonder: The 12 Year Old Genius, and its single release ‘Fingertips - Pt. 2’ became his first million seller. D…

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Stewart (Lee) Udall

US public official and conservationist, born in St John, Arizona, USA. Educated at the University of Arizona, he served in the air corps during World War 2, then practised law for several years before serving as a Democrat in the US House of Representatives, where he developed a reputation as a conservation advocate. As secretary of the interior in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1961–9)…

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Stewart Alsop

Journalist, born in Avon, Connecticut, USA. A self-described New Deal liberal, he wrote a widely syndicated political column with his brother, Joseph Alsop. Later a columnist for Newsweek, he wrote Stay of Execution (1973) about his final battle with leukaemia. Stewart Johonnot Oliver Alsop (17 May 1914 – 26 May 1974) was an American newspaper columnist and political analyst. …

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Stewart Brand - Life and work, Books

Editor and writer, born in Rockford, Illinois, USA. He studied at Stanford, and became associated with the Merry Pranksters, a west-coast group of bohemian writers and intellectuals. He then became the founding editor of the counterculture The Whole Earth Catalogue series (1968–71), and later editor-in-chief of The Whole Earth Software Catalogue (1983–5). He became a research scientist at the Me…

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Stewart Granger - Selected films

Film actor, born in London, UK. He studied at Epson College and at the Webber-Douglas School of Dramatic Art, then worked in repertory companies and as a film extra before being cast as the romantic lead in So This Is London (1938). He assumed his professional name in the 1930s, to avoid confusion with actor James Stewart. The success of the film The Man In Grey (1943) swept him to star status in …

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stibine - Preparation and properties, Uses, Safety, Toxicology

SbH3. A highly poisonous gas formed by the reduction of antimony compounds. Stibine, also called stibane or antimony trihydride, is SbH3. SbH3 is generally prepated by the reaction of Sb equivalents:↑? Alternatively, sources of Sb3− react with protonic reagents (even water) to also produce this unstable gas: The chemical properties of SbH3 resemble th…

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stibnite

An antimony sulphide (Sb2S3) mineral found in low-temperature hydrothermal veins, lead-grey in colour, often occurring as long prismatic crystals. It is the chief ore of antimony. …

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stickleback

Small marine or freshwater fish of the family Gasterosteidae (5 genera), common throughout the N hemisphere; body typically elongate with a number of strong dorsal spines; mouth small and protruding; male builds nest, and guards developing eggs; includes the familiar and ubiquitous 3-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), found in streams and lakes as well as shallow marine habitats; length u…

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Stigand - Reference

English clergyman. He was probably chaplain to King Canute, and chief adviser to his widow, Emma. He was appointed chaplain by Edward the Confessor, then became Bishop of Elmham (1044), Bishop of Winchester (1047), and Archbishop of Canterbury (1052). On the death of Harold II, Stigand supported Edgar Ætheling, and was thus deprived of his offices by William I. He died a prisoner at Winchester. …

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stigma

In flowering plants, the part of the carpel receptive to pollen. Sticky secretions, corrugated surfaces, or hairs may help collect and retain pollen grains. Those of wind-pollinated flowers are often feathery, to increase the contact area, while those of insect-pollinated flowers are often borne on elongated styles which present the stigma in the appropriate position to pick up pollen from the ins…

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stigmata - Description, History, Famous stigmatics, Skepticism, Psychosomatic explanation

Marks or wounds appearing on the human body, similar to those of the crucified Jesus. They may be temporary (related to ecstasy or revelation) or permanent, and are alleged to be a sign of miraculous participation in Christ's passion. Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. An individual bearing stigmata i…

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Stijn Streuvels - Published work, Awarded prizes, Related websites

Flemish novelist and short-story writer, born in Heule, NW Belgium. After a short career as a confectioner, he turned to writing full-time after achieving fame with his first collection Lenteleven (1899, The Path of Life), and dedicated himself to literature from 1905. His source of inspiration was the forces of nature in the Flemish countryside, which he describes with passion. They include Langs…

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still life

In art, the representation of objects such as books, candles, cooking utensils, musical instruments, fruit, flowers, etc. Still life was painted in antiquity; in W Europe it flourished above all in the Netherlands in the 17th-c. Some still lifes are obviously symbolic; others seem to be demonstrations of painterly skill. A "still life" is a work of art depicting inanimate subject matter, ty…

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stilt

A long-legged wading bird, especially Himantopus himantopus (from warm regions worldwide, with many names for different races); also the banded or red-breasted stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephala), from Australia and New Zealand. (Family: Recurvirostridae, 2 species.) Stilts are waders in the same bird family as the avocets. …

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Sting

Singer, songwriter, and actor, born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK. Former vocalist and lyricist of The Police, his first film role came in Quadrophenia (1978), and his first solo hit song was ‘Spread A Little Happiness’ (1982), taken from the soundtrack of the television film Brimstone and Treacle, in which he also starred. His debut album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles (…

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stinging nettle - Uses

A perennial with creeping rhizomes (Urtica dioica) often forming large patches, native or introduced throughout temperate regions; leaves heart-shaped, toothed; flowers tiny, green, in drooping spikes; males and females on separate plants. The whole plant is covered in stinging hairs acting like hypodermic syringes, each with a bulbous base containing acid, and a brittle, needle-like tip. When tou…

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stingray - Feeding habits, As food, Viewing, Species

Any of several bottom-living rays (Families: Dasyatidae, Potamotrygonidae, Urolophidae) in which the tail is whip-like and armed with one or more sharp poison spines; includes the large European stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, common in shallow inshore waters from the North Sea to the Mediterranean; body length up to 2·5 m/8 ft. Dasyatidae is a family of rays, cartilaginous marine fishes, …

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stinkhorn

The fruiting body of some fungi of the order Phallales; body initially phallus-like, with a white stem and swollen ovoid cap; cap dissolves into putrid slime, containing spores that are dispersed by flies attracted over great distances by the fetid odour. (Subdivision: Basidiomycetes.) Stinkhorns are a type of fungi which produce a foul-scented, rod-shaped mushroom. …

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Stirling - History, Geography and Climate, Areas of Stirling, Demographics, Government and Politics, Economy, Sport, Education, Twinned Cities

56°07N 3°57W, pop (2000e) 30 300. City and capital of Stirling council, C Scotland, UK, on S bank of R Forth, 34 km/21 mi NE of Glasgow; city status granted 2002; railway; university (1967); machinery, textiles, brick making, coachbuilding; Stirling castle (12th-c), former residence of Scottish kings; ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey (1147), scene of Bruce's parliament (1326); Church of the Holy…

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Stirling Range - Geology, Climate, History

Mountain range in SW Western Australia; extends 64 km/40 mi parallel with SW coast; rises to 1109 m/3638 ft at Bluff Knoll. The Stirling Range is a range of mountains and hills in the South West region of Western Australia, 337 km south-east of Perth. Notable features include Toolbrunup, Bluff Knoll (the tallest peak for a thousand kilometers or more in any direction and most popu…

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stoat - Stoats and humans, Heraldry, Subspecies

A mammal of family Mustelidae, native to Europe, Asia, and North America (Mustela erminea); in summer, resembles a large weasel (length, 50 cm/20 in) with black tip to tail; winter coat (ermine) white, with black tail tip; inhabits woodland and tundra; eats mainly rabbits. The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the short-tailed weasel or the wild otter, is a small mammal of the family…

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stock - Type of stock, Stock Derivatives, History, Shareholder, Application, Trading, Stock price fluctuation

An annual or perennial, growing to 80 cm/30 in, native to Europe and Asia; slightly woody stems; leaves greyish; flowers in spikes, purple, red or white, cross-shaped, often double in cultivars. It includes garden stock or gilliflower (Matthiola incana) and night-scented stock (Matthiola bicornis). (Genus: Matthiola, 55 species. Family: Cruciferae.) A person or organization which holds sh…

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stock exchange - History of the stock exchange, The role of the stock exchange, International Stock Exchanges, Listing requirements

An institution through which stocks, shares, and bonds are traded under standard rules. Originally a stock exchange would have a single building where deals were arranged in person; nowadays trading is normally by telephone and computer networks. Many major cities in the West have a stock exchange, Wall Street in New York City being the largest, and there are important stock exchanges in Tokyo, Ho…

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stock market - Definition, Trading, Market participants, History, Importance of stock markets, Stock market index, Derivative instruments, Leveraged Strategies

The system of buying and selling stocks and shares; also, a building in which these transactions take place (the stock exchange). A stock market ‘crash’ refers to a situation when the prices of stocks fall dramatically, resulting in many bankruptcies. The most famous case was the Wall Street crash of 1929; a less dramatic crash also occurred in October 1987 in most world stock markets. A …

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Stockholm - History, Politics and government, Economy, Education, Demographics, Culture, Transport, Twin towns

59°20N 18°03E, pop (2000e) 709 000. Seaport and capital of Sweden; on a group of islands and the adjacent mainland, where L Mälar joins the Saltsjö, an arm of the Baltic Sea; largest city in Sweden; founded, 1255; important trading centre of the Hanseatic League; capital, 1436; bishopric; airport; railway; underground railway; university (1878); metalworking, engineering, textiles, foodstuff…

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Stockholm syndrome - Origin of the name, Other uses, Evolutionary and psychoanalytic explanations, Fictional uses

The unnaturally close relationship that occasionally develops between a hostage of a criminal or terrorist and his or her captor. It was first described in a woman held hostage in a bank in Sweden who remained faithful to the thief during his imprisonment. The Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage exhibits loyalty to the h…

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Stockport - History, Demographics, Administration, Parliamentary representation, Industry and commerce, Places of interest, Transport, Sport, Notable residents, References

53°25N 2°10W, pop (2001e) 284 500. Town in Greater Manchester, NW England, UK; at junction of the Tame and Goyt Rivers which join to form the R Mersey, 10 km/6 mi SE of Manchester; birthplace of Joan Bakewell; railway; Manchester airport nearby; electronics, computers, aerospace, textiles (especially cotton), printing, engineering, foodstuffs; football league team, Stockport County. S…

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stocks - Historical uses, Current uses, Examples

In economics, a term used in two main senses, both of which refer to amounts at a given moment; opposed to flows, which refer to changes over time. 1 Stocks of goods (or inventories), are raw materials, fuels, or unsold products in store at a given date. 2 The term is also used to mean financial assets: in the UK, for example, government debt is called government stock, and is traded on the stock …

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Stockton-on-Tees - History, Industry, Famous citizens, Stockton today, Stockton: the future

54°34N 1°19W, pop (2000e) 90 000. Town in NE England, UK, on the R Tees estuary; unitary authority, 1996 (pop (2000e) 180 000); developed with the opening of the Stockton–Darlington railway in 1825; ship repairing, engineering, chemicals; Saltholme Nature Reserve with planned wetland complex nearby. Stockton-on-Tees is a town in North East England. Stockton began as an An…

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Stoicism - Brotherhood, Stoicism's influence on Christianity, Modern Usage, Quotations, Books

A philosophical movement which flourished in the Hellenistic Roman period from c.320 BC–AD 200 alongside and in competition with Epicureanism and Scepticism. The Stoics, named after the ‘Painted Stoa’ (colonnade) where they met, believed in a rational, materialistic, and deterministic universe in which virtue consisted in understanding natural necessity and then cheerfully accepting it; the ind…

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Stoke-on-Trent - Confusion, Stoke Minster, The King's Hall, The Potteries, Stoke today

53°00N 2°10W, pop (2001e) 240 600. Industrial city and (from 1997) unitary authority in Staffordshire, C England, UK; part of the Potteries urban area; on the R Trent, 217 km/135 mi NW of London; an amalgam (1910) of the former Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Fenton, and Longton municipal authorities; railway; University of Keele (1962) nearby; Staffordshire University (1992, form…

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Stokely Carmichael

Radical activist, born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. He emigrated to the USA in 1952, and was shocked by the racism he encountered. Involved in Civil Rights while attending Howard University (1960–4), he was elected leader of the Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee, and changed the group's focus from integration to black liberation. He popularized the phrase ‘black power’, and as a Black P…

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Stokes' law

In physics, a law expressing the viscous drag force F acting on a spherical object of radius r moving with velocity v through a fluid of viscosity ? as F = 6??rv; stated in 1845 by British physicist George Stokes (1819–1903). It determines the terminal velocity of small raindrops, or small bubbles in water. In 1851, George Gabriel Stokes derived an expression for the frictional force exe…

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STOL - List of some STOL aircraft

Acronym used for a fixed-wing aircraft specially designed for Short Take-Off and Landing. These aircraft usually accomplish their function by special aerodynamic devices providing high lift. The ability to have short take-offs is highly dependent on the aircraft being able to perform well at low forward speeds, and until World War 2 this was not a major problem because of the generally low speeds …

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stomach - Anatomy of the human stomach, Histology of the human stomach, Control of secretion and motility, Ruminants

A digestive pouch between the oesophagus and the duodenum, which stores food, secretes gastric juice (that kills ingested bacteria and initiates protein digestion) and, by wave-like contractions, churns and releases its contents into the duodenum at a controlled rate. Its size and position in humans is related to body build, but varies within the same individual with posture (standing, lying down)…

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stomach cancer - Epidemiology, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Staging, Treatment

A cancer arising in the lining of the stomach. It usually affects people in late middle-age, and tends not to be recognized until a late stage, when it has invaded through the stomach wall and infiltrated adjacent organs. It also spreads in the blood to the liver. Presentation is with weight loss, upper abdominal pain, and nausea. The lesion may obstruct the passage of food through the stomach, le…

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stonefish

Grotesque fish found in shallow inshore waters of the Indo-Pacific region, especially around coral reefs; body strongly camouflaged in shape and colour; length 30–60 cm/12–24 in; dorsal fin armed with sharp poison spines that can inflict extremely painful stings. (Genus: Synanceia. Family: Synanceiidae.) …

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Stonehaven - History, Commerce and culture, Nearby places of interest

56º58N 2º13W, pop (2000e) 10 300. Fishing port and burgh in Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland, UK; located on the E coast, 22 km/14 mi S of Aberdeen; Robert Barclay-Allardice born nearby; railway; Tolbooth Museum (16th-c); distilling, net manufacturing. Stonehaven (Steenhive in the Doric dialect of Scots) is a town on the North-East coast of Scotland. Stonehaven is the site of pr…

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Stonehenge - Etymology, Development of Stonehenge, Theories about Stonehenge, Excavations at Stonehenge, Myths and legends, Recent history

A prehistoric monument near Amesbury, Wiltshire, S England, UK, 130 km/80 mi W of London; a world heritage site. It was constructed in three major phases within the Middle–Late Neolithic period: 2950–2900 BC, a circular ditch with low inner and outer banks, c.110 m/360 ft in diameter, and a circle of pits known as ‘Aubrey Holes’ which perhaps held timber posts; 2900–2400 BC, posts were se…

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stoneware

A type of ceramic midway between pottery and porcelain, made of clay and a fusible stone. It is fired to a point where partial vitrification renders it impervious to liquids, but unlike porcelain it is seldom more than slightly translucent. Stoneware is a category of clay and a type of pottery distinguished primarily by its firing and maturation temperature (from about 1200°C to 1315 °C).…

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stoolball

An 11-a-side bat-and-ball game resembling cricket and rounders. The batter defends his wicket, a 1 ft (30 cm) square wooden board 4 ft 8 in (1·4 m) from the ground, which the underarm bowler attempts to hit. Runs are scored in a similar way to cricket. The bat is wooden, but similar in shape to a tennis racket. Stoolball is a ball game that dates back to the 14th century, originating …

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stork

A large bird, native to warm regions worldwide; long legs, neck, and long stout bill; flies with neck and legs outstretched; inhabits forest, dry country, or water margins; eats invertebrates, small vertebrates, or carrion. The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is the stork of fable, a summer visitor to Europe, which prefers to nest on buildings; its numbers in N Europe diminished in the 20th-c. (Fami…

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storm - Formation, Types, Classification, Extraterrestrial storms

An intense meteorological disturbance, categorized on the Beaufort scale as force 10 (storm) or force 11 (violent storm). Wind speeds range from 25–32 m/s (55–72 mph). Storms are created when a center of low pressure develops, with a system of high pressure surrounding it. This combination of opposing forces can create winds and result in the formation of storm clouds, such as the…

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storm surge - Hurricane storm surge; potential for disaster, Mechanics of the storm surge, Storm surge barriers

A localized rise in sea level produced by on-shore winds and reduced atmospheric pressure caused by large storms. Much of the flood damage produced by hurricanes, typhoons, and other major storms is the result of storm surge. Along the coasts of India and China these surges have resulted in death tolls of hundreds of thousands. One of the most devastating surges in recent history occurred in the N…

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Stormont

A suburb of Belfast, NE Northern Ireland, UK, in which are situated Parliament House (built in 1932 to house the parliament of Northern Ireland, then the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly), Stormont House, and Stormont Castle. Stormont may refer to: …

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Stornoway - About the Town, Stornoway in Popular Media, Stornoway's Sabbath

58°12N 6°23W, pop (2000e) 8490. Port capital of Western Isles, NW Scotland, UK, on E coast of Lewis; airfield; fishing, oil supply services, tweeds, knitwear, tourism; An Lanntair art gallery, Museum nan Eilean Steornabhagh. Stornoway (Steòrnabhagh in Scottish Gaelic) is a burgh on Lewis (Leòdhas), in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, with a population of approximately 5,600 people …

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Stow Wengenroth - Selected collections

Lithographer, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied at the Art Students League and the Grand Central School of Art, and lived in Greenport, Long Island, and Rockport, ME. Known as a celebrated New England lithographer, as in ‘Black Weather’ (1932) and ‘Untamed’ (1947), he was praised by Andrew Wyeth as ‘the greatest black-and-white artist in America’. Stow Wengenroth (1906-…

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Stow-on-the-Wold - Location, History, Places to Visit, Trivia

51º56N 1º44W, pop (2000e) 2100. Town in Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK; located at several crossroads, high in the Cotswold Hills; granted royal charter, 1107; birthplace of Sir Frederic Bartlett; many buildings are of the distinctive local honey-coloured limestone; dry stone walls form alleyways called tures formerly used on market days for sheep sales; town's prosperity built on former wool…

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Strabane - Recent history, 2001 Census, Local Politics, Culture, Places of interest

54°49N 7°27W, pop (2000e) 12 000. Market town in Strabane district, Tyrone, W Northern Ireland, UK; administrative centre of the district of Strabane, pop (2000e) 37 500; on the Mourne and Finn Rivers, where they meet to form the R Foyle; Irish border town; textiles, engineering, salmon fishing. Strabane (IPA: [strə'ban]) (Irish, an tSraith Bhán, Fair River Valley or White Strand) i…

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Strabo - The Geography

Geographer and historian, born in Amaseia, Pontus. He spent his life in travel and study, was at Corinth in 29 BC, explored the Nile in 24 BC, and seems to have settled at Rome after AD 14. Of his great historical work in 47 books, Historical Studies, only a few fragments survive; but his Geographica in 17 books has come down almost complete, and is of great value for the results of his own extens…

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Straits Settlements

The name given to the former British crown colony which consisted of Singapore, Malacca, the Dindings, Penang, and Province Wellesley. All became part of Malaysia in 1963, and Singapore became independent in 1965. The Straits Settlements were a collection of territories of the British East India Company in Southeast Asia, which were given collective administration in 1826 as a crown colony,…

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strangeness

In particle physics, an internal additive quantum number conserved in strong and electromagnetic interactions, but not in weak interactions; symbol S. It was introduced during the 1930s to explain ‘strange’ reactions observed in cosmic ray experiments. Strange quarks are those having strangeness S = ?1; strange particles contain at least one strange quark. In particle physics, strangene…

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Strangford Lough

Inlet of the North Channel, E Northern Ireland, UK; separated from the sea (E) by the Ards peninsula; length, 27 km/17 mi; width, 6 km/4 mi; entrance c.1 km/¾ mi wide, 8 km/5 mi long; contains several islands. Strangford Lough (Loch Cuan in Irish) is a lough in County Down, Northern Ireland, separated from the Irish Sea by the Ards Peninsula. The island studded sea loug…

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Stranraer

54°54N 5°02W, pop (2000e) 10 100. Port in Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland, UK; at the head of Loch Ryan; railway; ferries to N Ireland; footwear, metal products, transport equipment; Wigtown district museum. Stranraer (An t-Sròn Reamhar in Gaelic) is a town in the south of Scotland in the west of the region of Dumfries and Galloway and was formerly in the county of Wigtownshir…

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Strasbourg - Geography, History, Demography, Education, Transport Systems, European role, Miscellaneous, Others, See also

48°35N 7°42E, pop (2000e) 264 000. Industrial and commercial city, and capital of Bas-Rhin department, NE France; on the R Ill, W of its junction with the R Rhine; sixth largest city in France; important transportation centre and largest river-port in France; part of a bishopric since 1003; free imperial city in 13th-c; ceded to France, 1697; taken by Germany, 1871; returned to France, 1918; r…

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Stratford-upon-Avon - Industry, History and Geography, Travel, Tourist attractions, Educational establishments, Churches, Trivia, Town twinning

52°12N 1°41W, pop (2001e) 111 500. Town in Warwickshire, C England, UK; on the R Avon, 13 km/8 mi SW of Warwick; birthplace of William Shakespeare; railway; tourism, engineering, boatbuilding, textiles; Royal Shakespeare Theatre (season Apr–Jan); Anne Hathaway's Cottage; Holy Trinity Church (where Shakespeare and his wife are buried); Shakespeare's birthday and St George's Day (23 Apr); Mop…

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Strathclyde

pop (2000e) 2 293 000; area 13 537 km²/5225 sq mi. Former region in W and C Scotland, UK, established in 1975, and replaced in 1996 by 10 local councils: Argyll and Bute, West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, City of Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire. Strathclyde Region was named after the Kingdom of Strathclyde, …

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stratification

A geological term for the formation of layers in sedimentary rock in which breaks in the deposition or changes in the nature of the deposited material define visible bedding planes. The term is also used in describing sequences of lava flows. Stratification is the building up of layers, and can have several variations of meaning: …

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stratigraphy - Lithologic stratigraphy, Biostratigraphy, Chronostratigraphy, Magnetostratigraphy, Archaeological stratigraphy

A branch of geology concerned with the study of sequences of layers of rock, usually sedimentary. It aims to unravel changes in their depositional environment, and to correlate rocks of the same age in different places by their rock type and fossil content. Stratigraphy, a branch of geology, is basically the study of rock layers and layering (stratification). Stratigraphy includ…

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stratosphere - Ozone Depletion

The layer of the Earth's atmosphere at a height of c.15–50 km/10–30 mi, separated from the troposphere below by the tropopause, and from the mesosphere above by the stratopause. A stable layer, unaffected by the weather, it has a gradually increasing temperature with height from about ?50°C to around 0°C. It contains the ozone layer. The stratosphere is a layer of Earth's atmosphere t…

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strawberry

A perennial with arching runners rooting at nodes to form new plants, native to North and South America, Europe (N as far as Ireland), and Asia; leaves in a basal rosette, with three toothed leaflets; flowers 5-petalled, white; fruit consisting of swollen, fleshy, red receptacle bearing brown, dry, achenes (the ‘seeds’) on the surface. The wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) has fruits 2 cm/¾ in…

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strawberry tree

An evergreen shrub or small tree (Arbutus unedo), native to the Mediterranean and W Europe north to Ireland; leaves reddish, leathery; flowers white, bell-shaped, in drooping clusters; fruits red, spherical, covered with soft warts. (Family: Ericaceae.) The Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo L.) is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the family Ericaceae, native to the Mediterranean region and …

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stream of consciousness - Notable examples, Trivia

A term introduced by William James in his Principles of Psychology (1890) to describe the continuous, random activity of the mind. It has been adopted by writers and critics to refer to the techniques used to register this inner experience in writing and may be traced back to John Locke's notion of ‘the association of ideas’, used for a similar purpose by Sterne in Tristram Shandy (1760–7). Not…

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street dance - Origins, Characteristics, Competitions, Styles

Forms of competitive dance that started in the early 1970s among gangs of youths in New York City, such as the Zulu Kings (showing African links) and the Rock Steady Crew. The dance movement known as ‘King Tut’ uses head and arm movements typical of Egyptian dance. Break dancing was part of the Bronx graffiti art and rapping culture. It aims to develop control and co-ordination to perform acroba…

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streptomycin - History, See Also, Uses

An antibiotic discovered in 1944 which became the first clinically effective drug for the treatment of tuberculosis. Side-effects occur quite frequently, most commonly deafness. Although drug resistance developed during its first years of use, it is still occasionally used in a cocktail of several drugs for treating tuberculosis. It is also used in the treatment of unusual infections not responsiv…

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stress (physics) - Stress in one-dimensional bodies, Stress in two-dimensional bodies

A force per unit area which acts on an object, attempting to deform it. A force F applied along the axis of a bar of cross section A produces a linear stress of F/A, units Pa (pascal). Such a force is involved in attempts to pull apart layers of atoms (tensile stress) or to push them together (compressive stress). A twisting force causes shear stress, which tries to slide layers of atoms over one …

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stress (psychology)

In psychology, effects arising when certain external circumstances (stressors) lead to stereotyped non-specific behaviours from a person (the stress response). Stressors may be physical (noise, heat) or psychological (bereavement, unemployment), but their effect depends on their interpretation by the recipient. The stress response, physiologically, consists of cortical desynchronization and releas…

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stress analysis

A means of predicting and monitoring stress within a structure. Stress is a measure of the deforming force applied to a body. The two main types are normal or direct stress (such as pulling (tension) or pressing (compression)) and shear, which is a sideways stress. Stress concentrates at points where the material changes shape. The more severe the change in shape, the higher the stress concentrati…

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strict liability

A legal principle found, in certain circumstances, in both criminal and civil law which places liability for an act or occurrence and its consequences on the person actually responsible for the act, despite that person having no wilful intent to commit the act, nor being reckless or even negligent in relation to the act's occurrence; sometimes termed absolute liability. In criminal law, strict lia…

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stride piano

A jazz piano style developed in the 1920s and 1930s in Harlem, New York. It was popularized by James P Johnson, Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller, and others, and was incorporated into more sophisticated styles by Art Tatum and Duke Ellington. Left-hand chords and single bass notes provide a steady ‘striding’ beat while the right hand improvizes. Stride is a type of piano playing, used primarily in …

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string instrument - Types of string instruments, String length or scale length, Contact points along the string

A musical instrument in which the sound is produced by the vibrations of one or more taut strings made from gut, metal, or (more recently) nylon. The vibrations are produced either by drawing a bow across the strings, or by plucking or striking the strings. The number of strings and their tuning have varied, but the difficulty of bowing one inner string without touching its neighbours, obviated to…

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string quartet - Background, Important string quartets, String quartets (ensembles)

An ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello; also, a piece of music for such an ensemble. Since the mid-18th-c the string quartet has been regarded as the most satisfying medium for serious chamber music. The first important composer of string quartets was Haydn, who established the four-movement structure and wrote some of the earliest masterpieces in the form. The other Viennese masters, Mozart…

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strobilus

A cone-shaped group of leaves or leaf-like structures bearing sporangia and found in spore-bearing vascular plants. In gymnosperms it has become the woody cone, and is still recognizable in some primitive flowering plants, such as magnolia. …

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stroboscope - History, Applications, Other effects

A device for producing a succession of short pulses of light, usually using light from a mercury arc lamp. The pulse frequency is variable, with several thousand flashes per second possible. In photography, it may be used to produce several images of a moving object in a single picture. A stroboscope, also known as a strobe, is an instrument used to make a cyclically moving object appear to…

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stroke - Types of stroke, Signs and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Risk factors and prevention, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, History

A sudden interference with the blood supply to the brain which results in the death of nerve tissue followed by varying degrees of disability of speech, sight, understanding, movement, or sensation, depending on the part of the brain affected. Typically, death of nerve cells on one side of the brain leads to paralysis on the opposite side of the body. If the part of the brain that controls vital f…

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strong interaction - History

The strong short-range force binding together protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei, and quarks in protons and neutrons; also called strong nuclear force. It is independent of and stronger than electromagnetic force, and governs nuclear fission, fusion, and alpha decay. The widely accepted theory of strong force is quantum chromodynamics. The strong interaction or strong force is today unde…

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strontium

Sr, element 38, melting point 769°C. A very reactive metal, similar to calcium, both being alkaline earth elements. Not found uncombined, its main sources are the sulphate and the carbonate, SrSO4 and SrCO3. Its main importance is that it will replace calcium in most crystals, and this is particularly serious since one isotope, strontium-90, is an important product of nuclear fission, with a half…

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Strozzi - Filippo Strozzi, Other family members, Family fortune

A Florentine family in the banking sector with branches all over Europe. Palla (1372–1462) was exiled for opposing the Medicis. Filippo (1428–91) was exiled and made a fortune abroad. Back in Florence, he built the famous Strozzi Palace. Giovanni Battista, known as Filippo (1489–1538), married a Medici, Clarice, and accumulated vast riches as the pope's finance administrator. He was forced into…

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structuralism - History, Structuralism in psychology (19th century), Structuralism in linguistics, Structuralism in anthropology and sociology

A theory which attempts to define the general properties of cultural systems, including language, mythology, art, and social organization; the approach derives from the work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. The fundamental thesis is that individual terms or phenomena can be understood only in relationship to other elements of the same …

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Struve

A distinguished astronomical dynasty. Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (1793–1864), born in Germany, became director of the Dorpat Observatory, Estonia, in 1818; his son, O W Struve (1819–1905) became director of Pulkova Observatory in 1861. The latter's elder son, K H Struve (1854–1920) became director of the Berlin Observatory in 1904, while his younger son, G W L Struve (1858–1920) became…

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strychnine - Strychnine poisoning in humans, Strychnine poisoning in animals, Strychnine in drugs

A poisonous alkaloid present in members of the genus Strychnos, thorny trees or climbing shrubs with hook-like tendrils, native to the tropics. Strychnos nux vomica was introduced into Germany in the 16th-c as a rat poison (and is still used for this purpose). Although strychnine became widely used in medicine in the 18th-c, it has no justifiable clinical use. Accidental poisonings occasionally oc…

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Stuart Berg Flexner

Lexicographer, born in Jacksonville, Illinois, USA. After studying and teaching briefly at Cornell University, he moved to New York City, where he worked for several publishing firms. He was co-writer with Harold Wentworth of the Dictionary of American Slang (1960), and at Random House, where he became a vice-president and editor-in-chief of the reference division, he edited The Random House Dicti…

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Stuart Pearce - England career, Coaching career, Personal life

Footballer, born in Shepherds Bush, SW London, UK. A left back, he played for Wealdstone and Coventry City before moving to Nottingham Forest (1985–97), where he also acted for a time as player/manager, Newcastle United (1997–9), West Ham (1999), and Manchester City (2001), where he later became assistant coach, and manager from 2005. A member of the World Cup team in 1990, and of the European C…

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Stuart Symington - Emerson Electric President, First Secretary of the Air Force, The Annie Lee Moss Case

US senator, born in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. He served in the army during World War 1, studied at Yale, and worked as an executive for several companies, becoming in 1939 the president and chairman of the Emerson Electric Manufacturing Co in St Louis. He was assistant secretary of war for air, then the first secretary of the air force during the first Truman administration. He ran for the US S…

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Stubai Alps

Mountain range of the E Alps in Tirol state, W Austria, rising to 3507 m/11 506 ft at Zuckerhütl; numerous glaciers. The main mountain peaks of the Stubai Alps are: The main mountain passes of the Stubai Alps are: …

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stucco - Composition

A good quality plaster often used in classical architecture for low relief ornamental carvings and mouldings. It is also employed as an inexpensive render which can replace or resemble stone. Stucco is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water which is applied wet, and hardens when it dries. Also used in sidings, it is used as a coating for walls and ceilings and for decora…

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Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) - Origins, Early years: 1962–1965, From protest to resistance: 1965–1968, Climax and disintegration: 1968–1969

A radical splinter group of the movement opposed to US involvement in Vietnam, founded at Columbia University, New York City, and advocating social disruption and violence. Although the movement spread to over 200 universities, it was subject to factionalism. Two of its members were given punitive sentences in the Chicago Conspiracy Trial of 1969. The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)…

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Studs Terkel - Selected works

Interviewer, actor, and writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. His studies at the University of Chicago culminated in a law degree (1934), but after failing the bar examinations he took a job with the federal government as a statistician. He returned to Chicago (1935), joined the Federal Writer's Project, wrote weekly radio shows for WGN, and also played the villain in several radio soap op…

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study skills

The ability to study effectively. Many schools and colleges offer courses in study skills. Topics covered usually include effective reading (how to skim, scan, slow down at important stages, make notes, use an index), information gathering and the proper use of library and resource centre facilities, revision techniques, and understanding one's own learning strategies. Study skills are stra…

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stump-jump plough - The problem, Solutions, Breakthrough

An Australian-designed plough (patented 1881) with shears that work independently of each other, allowing the cultivation of land with roots or large stones. Ordinary ploughs break under such conditions. The stump-jump plough was used to open up the mallee lands of SE Australia. The stump-jump plough is a historical kind of plough invented in South Australia in the late nineteenth century t…

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stupa - Gallery

An Indian cairn or mound originally constructed over the ashes of an emperor or some other great person, such as the Buddha. Later they were used to house the ashes of Buddhist monks and holy relics. The stupa is the earliest Buddhist religious monument and was originally only a simple mound made up of mud or clay, or a cairn in barren areas, to cover supposed relics of the Buddha. …

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sturgeon - Species list, Trivia

Any of a group of large primitive fish found in fresh and marine waters of the N hemisphere; body elongate, armed with rows of heavy bony scales; head tapering, underside of mouth with long barbels; tail asymmetrical, the upper lobe long; body length 1–5 m/3–16 ft; several species support important commercial fisheries; eggs sold as caviar; danger of commercial extinction in the Caspian region…

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Sturmabteilung (SA)

A paramilitary formation, created by Hitler as an Ordnerdienst of the Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) in 1921. During the Weimar Republic it served as a combat team of the party, and was used in various Saalschlachten to intimidate political opponents. After the Hitler-Putsch the SA and the NSDAP were prohibited (1923–5). In its new formation on strict military lines, the SA…

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stuttering - Causes, Characteristics, Adult stuttering treatments, Media publicity about stuttering "cures", Childhood stuttering treatments

A disorder of fluency in the use of language; also called stammering. There is difficulty in controlling the rhythm and timing of speech, and a failure to communicate easily, rapidly, and continuously. Individual sounds may be abnormally repeated, lengthened, or fail to be released. Symptoms range from mild to severe. The cause is unknown, but several physiological, genetic, and psychological fact…

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Stuttgart - Economy, Public transportation, Famous people from Stuttgart, Sister cities

48°47N 9°12E, pop (2000e) 588 000. Capital of Baden-Württemberg province, SW Germany; on the R Neckar, 61 km/38 mi SE of Karlsruhe; founded, 10th-c; former capital of the kingdom of Württemberg; former seat of the Reichstag National Assembly; badly bombed in World War 2; railway, airport; two universities (1967); notable mineral springs; cars, electrical equipment, paint, telecommunication…

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Stuttgart Ballet

One of the foremost ballet companies in Europe, founded in 1609 as the court theatre of Württemberg. It became a municipally supported company which in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th-c attracted renowned choreographers and directors, such as Noverre and Oskar Schlemmer (1916–22). The Württemberg State Theatre appointed John Cranko to the post of ballet director (1961–73) and changed its name t…

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stye

A localized infection in a gland or around a hair follicle in the eyelid. It causes a small, painful swelling in the eyelid, and is best treated by an appropriate antibiotic. …

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style (botany) - Other, Etymology

In flowering plants, the upper part of the carpel, separating the ovary and stigma. It may be elongated in order to better present the stigma to receive pollen. In more primitive flowers the styles (like the carpels) are generally separate; in more advanced flowers they are often fused. It sometimes persists after fertilization, and aids in seed dispersal, as with the plume-like styles of clematis…

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styrene

C6H5–CH=CH2, boiling point 145°C, phenylethene or vinylbenzene. A colourless liquid, which undergoes addition polymerization to a glassy resin called polystyrene. ‘Expanded’ polystyrene, made porous with trapped gas, is widely used as a thermally-insulating packing material. "C8H8" redirects here. Steam serves several roles in this reaction. …

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Styx

In Greek mythology, a principal river of the Underworld; the name means ‘hateful’. It was so terrible that even the gods in Homer swore by it. In Virgil's Aeneid the souls of the dead are ferried across it by Charon. It was also the name of a river in Arcadia, which passes through a gloomy gorge. Styx may refer to: in geography: in popular culture: …

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submarine - Civilian submarines and submersibles, Military submarines, Submersion and navigation, Submarine hull, Propulsion, Crew

A vessel capable of remaining submerged for a considerable period of time. Submarines as originally conceived were strictly speaking ‘submersibles’; a World War 2 U-boat, for example, would typically have spent 85% of her time on the surface. The longest known submerged patrol was steamed in 1982–3 by HM Submarine Warspite lasting 111 days in the S Atlantic, during which she covered 30 804 nau…

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submarine canyon - Characteristics, Examples of submarine canyons, Formation of submarine canyons

An underwater canyon which typically cuts the continental margin, and may lead across the continental rise as far as the abyssal plains. These canyons serve as channels for the transport of shallow water sediments from the continental shelf to the deep sea. Turbidity currents are suspected as the most likely mechanisms for the transportation of these sediments. Submarine canyons are more co…

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Subotica - Name, History, Inhabited places, City quarters, Demographics, Demographic history, Religions, Buildings, Education, Newspapers and magazines

46°04N 19°41E, pop (2000e) 101 000. Largest town in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, NW Serbia; railway; fruit trade, foodstuffs, chemicals; Palic health resort nearby; Duzijanca traditional harvest festival (Jul). Subotica (Serbian: Суботица or Subotica, Hungarian: Szabadka, Croatian: Subotica, German: Maria-Theresiopel or Theresiopel, Slovak: Subotica, Rusyn: Суб…

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subpoena

An order to a person to attend court to give evidence (subpoena ad testificandum) or produce relevant documents (subpoena duces tecum). Failure to comply with the order is a contempt of court. It is used in a number of jurisdictions, but not in Scots law. Subpoenas to attend court in England and Wales have been largely supplanted by summonses. The subpoena will usually be on the letterhead …

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Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar - Early life, Nobel prize, Legacy, Awards

Astrophysicist, born in Lahore, Pakistan (formerly India). As a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge University (1933–7), he developed his theory of white dwarfs, ‘collapsed’ stars of enormous density, such that their mass does not exceed 1·4 times the mass of the Sun, known as the Chandrasekhar limit. Since such a small, dense body allows no radiation to escape, his theory predicted the exist…

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subsistence agriculture - Introduction, Mitigation tactics, Effects on the environment

A form of farming where the land provides most of the necessities of life - food, fuel, and shelter. Tools and other items which cannot be generated in this way are acquired through trading surplus commodities. Subsistence agriculture is a method of horticulture in which a plot of land produces only enough food to feed the family working it. Subsistence agriculture, by definitio…

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substance P

A chemical substance (a peptide) found throughout the body, particularly high concentrations occurring in the gut, spinal cord, and brain. Its physiological role is unclear: it possibly acts as a neurotransmitter for neurones conveying sensory information from peripheral pain receptors to the central nervous system. Substance P is an 11-amino acid polypeptide with the sequence: Arg Pro Lys …

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substitution reaction - Nucleophilic substitutions, Electrophilic substitutions

A chemical reaction in which one group in a molecule is replaced by another. A typical example is the formation of an alcohol from an alkyl halide: OH? + RCl ? ROH + Cl?. In organic chemistry, the electrophilic and nucleophilic substitution reactions are of prime importance. Organic substitution reactions are classified in several main organic reaction types depending on whether…

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succinic acid - History, Safety

HOOC–CH2–CH2–COOH, IUPAC butanedioic acid, melting point 188°C. A colourless solid, occurring in sugar cane, and also formed during fermentation. Important derivatives include the cyclic anhydride, used in resins, and the imide, used as a disinfectant. Succinic acid (IUPAC systematic name: butanedioic acid; historically known as spirit of amber) is a dicarboxylic acid with the formula: …

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sucker

A shoot growing from a root, usually at some distance from the parent and eventually developing its own root system and becoming independent of the parent plant. Many trees produce suckers freely, and can eventually form small groves in this way. …

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Sucre - References and external links

19°05S 65°15W, pop (2000e) 133 100. Judicial and legal capital of Bolivia, and capital of Chuquisaca department; altitude 2790 m/9153 ft; founded 1538; revolutionary centre against Spain in 18th-c; airfield; railway; university (1624); oil refining, cement, agricultural centre; colonial Legislative Palace (Casa de Libertad, where Declaration of Independence signed), Santo Domingo (Palace of …

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sucrose - Description, Commercial production and use, Sugar as a macronutrient

C12H22O11, the best-known sugar - a disaccharide made up of a glucose molecule joined to a fructose molecule. It is digested in the small intestine to produce equal proportions of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed. Sucrose is the sugar of table sugar, icing sugar, and caster sugar, and may be obtained from either sugar beet or sugar cane. Western diets derive c.17% …

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Sudan - History, Politics, Human rights, Administrative divisions, Autonomy, separation, conflicts, Geography, Economy, Official languages, Culture

Official name Republic of Sudan, Arabic Jamhuryat es-Sudan Sudan (or The Sudan; Three ancient kings of the Kushite kingdoms existed consecutively in northern Sudan. A merchant class of Arabs became economically dominant in feudal Sudan. During the 1500s the people called the Funj conquered much of Sudan, establishing the Kingdom of Sennar. In …

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Sudbury (Canada)

46°30N 81°01W, pop (2000e) 104 000. Town in N Ontario, Canada; developed after arrival of railway, 1883; city, 1930; railway; university (1960); mining (nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum, palladium), smelting, refining, pulp, paper, tourism, fishing, hunting; Canada Centennial Numismatic Park. Sudbury may mean: Places in Canada: Places in England: Plac…

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Sudbury (USA)

42º23N 71º25W, pop (2000e) 16 800. Town in Middlesex Co, Massachusetts, USA; located 25 km/15 mi W of Boston; settled in 1638; incorporated, 1639; birthplace of Jacob Bigelow; Longfellow's Wayside Inn (1716) is a National Historic site; Minuteman Fair (Sep). Sudbury may mean: Places in Canada: Places in England: Places in the United States: …

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sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - Diagnosis, Risk factors and statistics, Risk Reduction for SIDS, Speculated associations, SIDS in popular culture, Research

The sudden, unexpected death of an infant for which no adequate cause can be found on clinical or post-mortem examination; also known as cot death. Typically an apparently healthy infant is put to bed in the evening and is found to be dead in the night or early morning. Several causes may be responsible, but all remain speculative. Current theories include the cessation of breathing (apnoea) as a …

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Sue Cook

Broadcaster, born in Ruislip, Greater London, UK. She studied at Leicester University, then joined Capital Radio as a producer and presenter (1974–6). She moved to the BBC, working on a wide range of radio documentaries and topical features, then took up a role as a reporter and presenter on BBC television's Nationwide (1979–83). She became well known for her later television work, including Bre…

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Sue Grafton

Writer, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. She studied at the University of Louisville (1961 BA). Based in Santa Barbara, CA, she was married three times, and worked as a screenwriter while writing successful detective novels. Her popular work features Kinsey Millhone, a no-nonsense private detective, as seen in her alphabetical series ‘A’ Is for Alibi (1982), and ‘B’ Is for Burglar (1985). …

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Sue Townsend

Novelist and playwright, born in Leicester, Leicestershire, C England, UK. She made her name through a series of novels introducing the character of Adrian Mole, beginning with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (1982), later books including The Cappuccino Years (1999), and Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004). Among other works are the novels Number 10 (2003) and Queen Ca…

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Suetonius - Life, Works

Roman biographer and antiquarian. He became Hadrian's secretary, a post he lost when he was compromised in a court intrigue. He then devoted himself to writing, his best-known work being De vita Caesarum (The Lives of the [First Twelve] Caesars), remarkable for its terseness, elegance, and impartiality. Only fragments survive of his other writings. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 69/75 - af…

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Suez

29°59N 32°33E, pop (2000e) 469 800. Seaport capital of Suez governorate, E Egypt; on Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, at S end of Suez Canal, 129 km/80 mi E of Cairo; railway; oil refining and storage, fertilizers, shipping services. Suez (Arabic: السويس as-Suways) is a port town (population ca. 497,000) in northeastern Egypt, located on the Gulf of Suez, near the mouth of the Suez Canal.…

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Suez Canal - The ancient Suez Canal

Canal connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas, in NE Egypt; built by Ferdinand de Lesseps, 1859–69; length 184 km/114 mi, including 11 km/7 mi of approaches to Suez (S end) and Port Said (N end); minimum width, 60 m/197 ft; minimum draught, 16 m/52 ft; passes through L Timsah, and the Great and Little Bitter Lakes; by 1882 Convention, open to vessels of any nation (except in wartime); c…

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Suez Crisis - Background, Invasion, Cease-fire and withdrawal, Aftermath

A political crisis focused on the Suez Canal in 1956. When Egypt's President Nasser bought armaments from the Soviet block, the USA withdrew its support for the building of the Aswan Dam, whose financing collapsed. To remedy this, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, so that Canal revenues might pay for the Dam. Given the strategic interests of Britain and France in the Canal, they sought first to …

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Suffolk - Geology, landscape and ecology, Cities, towns and villages, Notable people from Suffolk

pop (2001e) 668 500; area 3797 km²/1466 sq mi. County of E England, UK; bounded E by the North Sea; county town, Ipswich; chief towns include Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Bury St Edmunds; engineering, fishing, high technology, agriculture (wheat, barley, sugar beet), food processing, horse breeding; Sizewell, Sutton Hoo ship burial. Suffolk (pronounced /sʌfək/) is a large historic and mod…

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Suffolk punch

A heavy breed of horse developed in England; height, 16 hands/1·6 m/5 ft 4 in; plain brown; large powerful body with short, strong legs; traditionally a popular farm horse. The Suffolk Punch is one of the breeds of draft horses. The Suffolk Punch has a powerful arching neck, strong upright shoulders, a short strong back, wide hipbones, and a high tail. Due to their extreme draftin…

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suffragette

A woman identified with the late 19th–early 20th-c movement in the UK and USA to secure voting rights for women. The vote was won after the end of World War 1 in 1918, though it was limited to those women of 30 years of age or over. There were many men and women opponents of female suffrage, and in England it was not until 1929 that women over 21 achieved the right to vote. The title of su…

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Sufism - Basic beliefs, Sufi Poetry, History of Sufism, Influences, Sufi concepts, Sufi practices, Orders of Sufism

Islamic mysticism which represents a move away from the legalistic approach in Islam to a more personal relationship with God. The word comes from Arabic suf ‘wool’, because the early story-tellers from whom Sufism evolved wore woollen garments. Sufis aim to lose themselves in the ultimate reality of the Divinity by a variety of mystical paths, including the constant repetition of the dhikr or

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Sugar Act - Effect on the colonies

(1764) The first piece in the programme of imperial reform that led to American independence. It attempted for the first time to raise colonial revenue without reference to the colonial assemblies. The colonials responded with protest, but not outright resistance, and the Act was sporadically enforced until the complete breakdown of British–American relations. Passed on April 5, 1764, the …

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Sugar Ray Robinson - Early life, Professional Boxing Career, Death, Trivia

Boxer, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Often considered, ‘pound for pound, the greatest boxer in history’, he acquired his name by using a friend's birth certificate in order to fight while under the minimum age. He began boxing as an amateur in New York City and turned professional in 1940. He was the world welterweight champion (1946–51) and the world middleweight titleholder five different t…

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Sui dynasty - Wendi and the Start of the Sui Dynasty, Goguryeo-Sui wars, Rulers of Sui Dynasty

(581–618) A two-reign dynasty which began the second great imperial phase of Chinese history (590–907). After the post-Han (from 220) period of disunion, the crown was seized by Yang Jian, who took the reign name Wendi (590–604). He was followed by Yang Guang (Yangdi, 604–18). The Sui conquered the S and reunited China (590). They rebuilt the two Yellow River capitals Changan (Xian) and Luoyan…

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suicide - Methods, Reasons for suicide, Impact of suicide, Views of suicide

The act of deliberate self-destruction. Up to 1961 in the UK, attempted suicide was considered to be a crime, and it is still illegal in some US states. Since then it has been accepted as a terminal symptom of a mental illness or abnormal mental state. It is a recognized complication of severe depressive illness or psychosis in which the individual suffers from inconsolable moods of despair, guilt…

1 minute read

suite - History, Form of suite de danses

In Baroque music, a set of dances, all in the same key, perhaps preceded by a prelude; the terms partita and ordre are also used. By c.1700 the standard dances were the allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue, with additional dances (if any) placed between the last two. Since the 19th-c the term has been used for a sequence of separate but connected pieces (as in Holst's The Planets) and for an …

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sukiyaki - Variations, History

A Japanese beef dish. Traditionally Buddhism avoided meat, but Westerners introduced meat eating after 1868, and sukiyaki was an adaptation to Japanese taste. Thinly sliced beef is cooked with suet in an iron pan in the middle of the table. Sauce is added, made of shoyu, beaten raw egg, sugar, and mirin (a type of sweet saké). Sukiyaki (Japanese: 鋤焼 or more commonly すき焼き; Gener…

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Sukkur - Demography, Education, Sukkur Barrage, Economy, Sites of interest, Sukkur-born celebrities

27°42N 68°54E, pop (2000e) 315 000. City in Sind province, Pakistan; on E bank of R Indus, 360 km/224 mi NE of Karachi; Sukkur (Lloyd) Barrage built 1928–32 (dam 58 m/190 ft high), with seven canals irrigating 18 million km²/7 million sq mi; railway junction; textiles, vegetable oils, flour milling. Sukkur (Urdu: سکھر, Sindhi:سکر) is the third largest city of Sindh provi…

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Sulawesi - Geography, Flora and fauna, Demographics, Recent History, Arts and culture, Religion

pop (2000e) 14 715 000. Island in Indonesia, off E Borneo; mountainous and forested; rice, tuna, maize, kapok, copra; nickel, coal, asphalt, mica, sulphur, salt; divided into four provinces; Sulawesi Selatan, South Sulawesi, formerly South Celebes, pop (2000e) 8 205 000, area 27 686 km²/10 687 sq mi, capital Ujung Pandang; Sulawesi Tengah, Central Sulawesi, formerly Central Celebes, po…

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sultan - Contemporary sultanates, Princely and aristocratic titles, Military rank, Sources and references

A sovereign of a Muslim state. From the 11th-c, the title was increasingly used by local Islamic rulers throughout the Middle East and beyond. The first sultan of the Ottoman Empire was Osman I (r.1299–1326), and the title continued to be used in Turkey until 1922. Famous Indian sultanates between the 13th-c and 16th-c include those of Delhi (1206–1526), Bengal (1336–1576), Kashmir (1346–1589)…

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Sumatra - History, Administration, Geography, Flora and fauna, Demographics

pop (2000e) 43 369 000; area 473 606 km²/182 812 sq mi. Island in W Indonesia, S of the Malay Peninsula; 1760 km/1094 mi long and 400 km/250 mi wide; includes the Riau archipelago (E) and the Mentawi Is (W); centre of Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya, 7th–13th-c; possibly visited by Marco Polo, 13th-c; separatist movement followed Indonesian independence, 1949; growing civil unrest in A…

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Sumer - Ethnonym, City states, History, Agriculture and hunting, Culture, Economy and trade, Military, Religion, Technology

The name given to the part of Lower Mesopotamia between Babylon and the Persian Gulf. It is the place where the world's first urban civilization evolved; among the greatest of Sumerian city-states were Eridu, Ur, and Uruk. Surviving art forms date from c.2500 BC, and include the stone statues of Gudea and many coloured bas-reliefs. Sumer (or Šumer, Sumerian ki-en-gir, Egyptian Sangar, poss…

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Sumner (Murray) Redstone - Early Life and Career, Viacom, Paramount Pictures, CBS, Succession, Holdings, Net worth

Entertainment executive, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He was a government and private lawyer who through his investments in the entertainment industry came to control an empire of film houses and television production and distribution companies. As president, chief executive officer, and chairman of National Amusements (1967) and of Viacom International, he pioneered multiplex cinemas and o…

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Sumy - History, Sights, Demographics, Famous people from Sumy

50°55N 34°49E, pop (2000e) 295 000. Capital city of Sumskaya oblast, NE Ukraine, on R Psel; founded, 1652; airfield; railway; wool textiles, clothing, fertilizers, foodstuffs. Sumy (Ukrainian: Суми, Russian: Сумы) is a city on the Psel River in the Ukraine, and the capital of the Sumy Oblast. Sumy was founded in 1652 at the bank of the Psel River (a left tributary of…

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Sun - Overview, Life cycle, Structure, Solar activity, Theoretical problems, Magnetic field, History of solar observation

The central object of our Solar System and the nearest star to the Earth. Its basic characteristics are: mass The Sun is the star of our solar system. The Earth and other matter (including other planets, asteroids, meteoroids, comets and dust) orbit the Sun, which by itself accounts for more than 99% of the solar system's mass. The Sun is sometimes referred to by its Latin…

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Sun Dance - The Sun Dance in Canada

An annual summer ceremony of the Plains Indians of North America. Originally it may have been a rite of thanksgiving to the supreme being for those things of nature upon which life depends, but it developed regional variations and additional features. It served as a source of power and spiritual achievement, a rite of initiation, and as a means of group affirmation and renewal. Participants are su…

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Sun Microsystems - Brief history, Hardware, Software, The "Bubble" and its aftermath, Present focus

A major company in the information technology field, specializing in the provision of hardware and software for the Internet and the World Wide Web. The company has developed, and currently markets, the JAVA programming language. Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) is an American vendor of computers, computer components, computer software, and information-technology services, founded in 1…

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sunbird

A small songbird, native to the Old World tropics and the Middle East; slender curved bill and tubular tongue; inhabits woodland (drab species) or open country (bright, often iridescent, species); eats nectar, fruit, and insects. Unrelated birds of the genus Neodrepanis (Family: Philepittidae) are called false sunbirds or sunbird-asities. (Family: Nectariniidae, 106 species.) The sunbirds a…

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sunbittern

A long-legged water bird (Eurypyga helias), native to Central and South America; slim head, sharp pointed bill, rounded wings and tail, mottled plumage; inhabits edges of streams in woodland; eats fish and aquatic invertebrates. (Family: Eurypygidae.) …

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sunburn - Development and consequences, Increased risk, Protection, Treatment, Animals

Damage to the skin caused by strong sunlight, especially in people with fair complexions. Short exposure results in redness and itch. More prolonged exposure causes pain, swelling of the skin, and blistering, accompanied by fever, headache, and nausea. Serious overexposure can cause skin cancers. A sunburn is a burn to the skin produced by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonl…

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Sundance Kid - Notoriety, riding with Butch Cassidy, Aliases, Trivia

Outlaw, born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA. He was imprisoned in Sundance gaol for horse stealing (1887–9), after which he began life as an outlaw. He teamed up with Butch Cassidy, and drifted throughout North and South America robbing banks, trains, and mines. His date and place of death is uncertain, but it is generally held that he was fatally shot by a cavalry unit in Bolivia. Bel…

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Sundanese - Language

A people from the highlands of W Java, Indonesia, but now also living in other parts of Java and Sumatra. One of three main groups on the island, they converted to Islam in the 16th-c. They are culturally similar to other Javanese, but have a distinctive language. The Sundanese are an ethnic group in the western part of the island of Java in Indonesia, numbering approximately 31 million. …

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Sundarbans - Ecosystem, Tigers

National park in India and Bangladesh; area c.10 000 km²/3900 sq mi; established in 1973 to protect the mangrove habitat of the Ganges delta and its wildlife, particularly India's largest surviving population of tigers; a world heritage site. The Sundarbans delta is the largest mangrove forest in the world. Interestingly, the Bangladesh and Indian portion of the jungle are listed in th…

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Sunday - The name Sunday, Position during a week, Sunday and the Sabbath, Common occurrences on Sunday

The day of the week set aside by the Christian religion for divine worship, mainly in commemoration of Christ's resurrection. Already in New Testament times it replaced the Jewish Sabbath, when Paul and the Christians of Troas gathered on the first day of the week to ‘break bread’ (Acts 20), and it is called ‘the Lord's day’ (Rev 1). In 1971 the UK ratified the recommendation of the Internatio…

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Sunderland - Status, History, Current Social and Economic Development, Transport, Twin Cities, Famous people from Sunderland

54°55N 1°23W, pop (2001e) 280 800. Port city in Tyne and Wear, NE England, UK; at the mouth of the R Wear, 16 km/10 mi SE of Newcastle upon Tyne; site of monastery (674); city status, 1992; railway; University of Sunderland (1992, formerly Polytechnic); shipbuilding, ship repair, chemicals, glass, vehicles, coal trade; museum, art gallery; football league team, Sunderland (Black Cats). …

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sundew - Plant characteristics, Reproduction, Distribution, Habitat, Conservation status, Uses, Phylogenetics

A carnivorous plant, usually a small perennial, native in most tropical and temperate regions, especially Australasia and S Africa; leaves spoon- or paddle-shaped, covered with long, red hairs; flowers 5-petalled, in slender spikes. The long hairs of the leaves are tentacle-like, being mobile and ending in a spherical gland which secretes a sticky substance. Insects attracted to the glistening dro…

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sundial - History, Installation of standard sundials, Portable sundials, for navigation and time, Precision sundials (heliochronometers)

A device for showing the passage of time by the shadow cast on a graduated scale by a gnomon (some solid object, such as a rod or triangular plate attached to the dial). The earliest-known sundial dates from c.300 BC. With the development of Greek mathematics very elaborate dials were made. The study revived in the Middle Ages: many types were devised, and the theory of dialling was much studied u…

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Sundsvall - Gallery, Notable citizens

62°22N 17°20E, pop (2000e) 98 200. Seaport and commercial town in SE Västernorrland county, E Sweden, on the Gulf of Bothnia; important trading centre from the 6th-c; charter, 1624; railway; woodworking, papermaking, oil port. Sundsvall is a city in lower Norrland, central Sweden, situated in the province of Medelpad and Västernorrland County. Sundsvall was chartered in 16…

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sunfish

Large and very distinctive fish (Mola mola) widespread in open waters of tropical to temperate seas; body compressed, almost circular; length typically 1–2 m/3¼–6½ ft, but up to 4 m/13 ft; mouth small, teeth fused into a sharp beak; dorsal and anal fins tall, posteriorly positioned, tail fin absent; also called trunkfish. (Family: Molidae.) Several kinds of things are named "sunfish…

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sunflower - Gallery

A large annual (Helianthus annuus) growing to 3 m/10 ft, a native of North America; stem stout, usually unbranched, bearing broadly oval to heart-shaped leaves; usually a solitary drooping flower-head up to 30 cm/12 in across; outer ray florets golden yellow. It is a popular garden ornamental. Several varieties are cultivated for the edible and rich oil-yielding seeds. (Family: Compositae.) …

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Sunil (Manohar) Gavaskar

Cricketer, born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), W India. An opening batsman who scored 774 runs in his first Test series (1970–1), he played 125 Test matches for India, leading them on many occasions, scoring a then record 10 122 runs, and between 1974–5 and 1986–7 played in a record 106 consecutive Test matches. He scored 25 834 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 51·46 per innings. H…

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sunscreen - History, Mechanism of action, Sun protection factor, Melanin, Possible health effects

The use of barrier creams to reduce the penetration of ultraviolet rays to the skin. A number of substances are used, including para-aminobenzoic acid and zinc. Sunscreen (also known as sunblock, suntan lotion) is a lotion, spray or other topical product that helps protect the skin from the sun's ultraviolet radiation, and which reduces sunburn and other skin damage, ultimately leadin…

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sunspot - Sunspot variation, History, Physics, Application

An apparently dark region on the solar photosphere. Sunspots have a temperature of 4000K in the central part, termed the umbra, compared to 6000K for the photosphere generally, so appear dark by contrast. The lighter, outer part of the spot, the penumbra, has a temperature of c.5500K. Sunspots are caused by an intense magnetic field erupting from within the Sun, and follow a cycle of growth and de…

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Super Bowl - Game history

The annual championship of American football's National Football League, played in January between the champions of the American Football Conference and the champions of the National Football Conference. Held at a neutral ground, it was first played in 1967. The most successful teams are Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, and Pittsburgh Steelers, with five championships each. After the NF…

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Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) - Development, Cancellation

A huge particle accelerator planned for Waxahachie, near Dallas, TX. Funding was first approved in 1987, and completion was scheduled for 1999. The final anticipated cost reached $12 thousand million, and would have made the SSC the most expensive scientific instrument ever built. The accelerator, inside an 87-km/54-mi oval tunnel, would have collided protons on protons, and use 12 000 supercondu…

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superconductivity - Overview, Elementary properties of superconductors, Theories of superconductivity, History of superconductivity, Applications, Superconductors in popular culture

The property of zero electrical resistance, accompanied by the expulsion of magnetic fields (the Meissner effect), exhibited by certain metals, alloys, and compounds when cooled to below some critical temperature, typically less than ?260°C. Both effects must be present for true superconductivity. An electrical current established in a superconducting ring of material will continue indefinitely w…

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supercooling - Description

The cooling of certain liquids, a condition which occurs in many processes, natural and industrial, below a temperature considered their freezing point. When this is done the condition is unstable, and the supercooled liquid will, if disturbed, change into the solid phase stable at that temperature. These supercooling conditions occur in the formation of ice crystals in clouds, the freezing of sur…

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supergiant

A rare type of star, very massive, and the most luminous known. Examples include Betelgeuse and Rigel (in Orion), Antares, and Deneb. They are 10–60 solar masses, 10 000 times or more brighter than the Sun, and thus visible at great distances. Supergiants are the most massive stars. In the Yerkes spectral classification supergiants are class Ia (most luminous supergiants) or Ib (less lumi…

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supergravity - History, Relation to superstrings, Nomenclature

A speculative quantum theory incorporating gravity, electromagnetic force, and nuclear force. It is a gauge theory based on supersymmetry, postulating gravitons and gravitinos as carriers of the gravitational force. Theoretically attractive, it lacks experimental support. In theoretical physics, a supergravity theory is a field theory combining supersymmetry and general relativity. …

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Superior - Geographical locations

46º44N 92º06W, pop (2000e) 27 400. County seat of Douglas Co, NW Wisconsin, USA; a major lake port at the W end of L Superior, opposite Duluth; birthplace of David Bazelon and Richard Bong; Wisconsin State College (1896); railway; trade in iron ore, coal, grain, shipbuilding, oil refining. Superior may refer to Superior is also the name of several places in the United States…

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supernova - Observation history, Supernova hunting, Classification, Current models, Interstellar impact

A rare and spectacular explosion resulting in the destruction of a star. There are two main types. Type II supernovae occur at the endpoint of the evolution of a massive star, when the hydrogen fuel in the star core has all been converted to helium. The star therefore cools, and contracts. This is a runaway process, because as the star shrinks, the gravitational force at the surface increases, res…

1 minute read

supersonic - Supersonic objects, Breaking the sound barrier, Supersonic aerodynamics

In fluid mechanics, fluid flow which is faster than the velocity of sound in that fluid, either in the case of an object moving through the fluid, or a fluid moving around a stationary object. Supersonic aircraft fly faster than the speed of sound in air. For other uses, see Supersonic (disambiguation) Any speed over the speed of sound (Mach 1), which is approximately 343 m/s, 1…

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superstition - List of a few superstitions from around the world

A derogatory description of any behaviour, usually traditional in origin, that has lost its rationale though still betraying a fear of the unknown. Examples would be: ‘touching wood’ when mentioning one's good fortune, a hidden reference to the cross on which Christ was crucified; or regarding the sight of a magpie as a bad omen when setting out on a journey. In Ancient Roman religion, superstit…

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supersymmetry - Applications, General Supersymmetry

In particle physics, a symmetry relation linking particles of different (ie integer and half-integer) spins. Theories incorporating supersymmetry predict particles that are partners to observed particles, having the same mass but different spin. No such supersymmetric partners (squark, slepton, photino, and others) have been observed. In particle physics, supersymmetry (often abbreviated SU…

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supply and demand - Simple supply and demand curves, Market "clearance", Elasticity, Vertical supply curve, Other market forms

An economic concept which states that the price of an article (or ‘good’) will move to the level where the quantity demanded by purchasers equals the quantity that suppliers are willing to sell. In microeconomic theory, the partial equilibrium supply and demand economic model originally developed by Antoine Augustin Cournot (published in a book in 1838) and thirty years later broadl…

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supply-side economics - Historical origins, Fiscal policy theory, Monetary policy theory, U.S. monetary and fiscal experience

The view that the main contribution of policy to promoting the growth of incomes is through measures to improve the supply of goods and services and the working of markets. This may take the form of removing private agreements on restrictive practices, or reforming government regulations or excessive taxes which impede efficiency. The approach contrasts with the Keynesian view, which puts more wei…

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Suprematism - External links and References:

A form of modern art based on four simple shapes: rectangle, circle, triangle, and cross. The movement was started in Russia c.1913 by Kazimir Malevich (1878–1935), who demonstrated the aesthetic purity of it all by painting a white square on a white ground. Suprematism is an art movement focused on fundamental geometric forms (squares and circles) which formed in Russia in 1913. …

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Supreme Court - Scotland

In the USA, the highest federal court established under the constitution, members of which are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. In addition to its jurisdiction relating to appeals, the court also exercises oversight of the constitution through the power of judicial review of the acts of state, federal legislatures, and the executive. May higher courts cr…

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Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) - Notes and references

An organization formally established (13 Feb 1944) in the UK in World War 2 under General Eisenhower, with Air Chief Marshal Tedder as deputy supreme commander, to mount the Allied invasion of occupied Europe and strike at the heart of Germany. It was wound up at the end of the war. Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (abbreviated as SHAEF, pronounced "shāf"), was the headquart…

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Surabaya - History, The city, Demography, Education, Sister relationships

7°14S 112°45E, pop (2000e) 2 930 000. Industrial seaport capital of Java Timor province, E Java, Indonesia, at mouth of R Kali Mas; Indonesia's second largest city; port facilities at Tanjung Perak; important trading centre since the 14th-c; airfield; railway; university (1954); naval base; oil refining, textiles, glass, footwear, tobacco, rubber. Coordinates: 7°14′S 112°44′E …

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Surat - History, Geography, Economy, Government and Politics, Transport, Demographics, Culture, Education, Media, Sports

21°12N 72°55E, pop (2000e) 1 757 000. Port in Gujarat, W India, on the Gulf of Cambay, 240 km/150 mi N of Mumbai; rich trading centre of Mughal Empire, 17th–18th-c; first English trading post in India, 1612; headquarters of British East India Company until 1687; railway; university (1967); textiles, engineering; noted for its sari thread work and diamond cutting. Surat pronunciation…

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surf

Wind-generated waves that have broken upon encountering shallow water. In common usage, the term refers to the entire range of waves in shallow water from breakers to swash, but scientifically it is used specifically for the turbulent walls of water (bores) formed by breaking waves. As waves formed offshore travel into shallow water, their steepness increases to a critical point where they become …

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surface tension - The cause of surface tension, Surface tension in everyday life, Physics definition of surface tension

A property of the surface of a liquid. It provides the apparent ‘skin’ present on liquids that holds oil in droplets and allows some pond insects to walk on water. It is a tensioning force due to the inward attraction of molecules at the surface, since such molecules are attracted more by other liquid molecules than by the gas molecules above. Symbol ?, units N/m (newtons per metre); for water a…

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surfactant - Origin of term, Operation and effects, Applications, Classification

Any substance that strongly influences the surface properties of a material; also called a surface active agent. It is often applied to soaps and detergents, whose cleaning powers depend on the surfactant's ability to increase the spreading and wetting power of water. Surfactants are also important in lubrication and water repellent coatings. Surfactants are wetting agents that lower the su…

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surgery - Diseases that can be treated by surgery, Noted surgeons, Surgeries

The branch of medicine which treats diseases and conditions by operating on the patient. The use of the hands for the treatment of disease dates from prehistoric times. Trephining the skull to allow the escape of disease from the body was a very early procedure, and practised along with the splinting of fractures, the lancing of abscesses, and the application of pressure for bleeding. Obstacles to…

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Suriname - History, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Trivia, Surinamese Footballers

Official name Republic of Suriname, Republiek Suriname Suriname, officially the Republiek Suriname, is a country in northern South America. Suriname is the least populated country in South America. Native Americans of the Arawak and Carib tribes were the first to inhabit Suriname in 3000 BC. In the 17th century, there were several attempts by the Dutch and English to…

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Surrealism - Surrealist thoughts, Surrealism in politics, Surrealism in the arts and media, Impact of Surrealism

An important movement in modern art and literature which flourished between the World Wars, mainly in France. The first Surrealist manifesto of André Breton (1924) proposed the subversion of 19th-c Realism by the three related means of humour, dream, and counter-logic (the absurd). This initiative was taken up by many artists and writers, and the term is now used to describe the heightened or dis…

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Surrey - Settlements and communications, Physical geography, History, Economy, Major towns, Education, Places of interest, County Emergency Services

pop (2001e) 1 059 000; area 1679 km²/648 sq mi. County in SE England, UK; partly in Greater London urban area; drained by the Thames, Mole, and Wey Rivers; crossed E–W by the North Downs, rising to 294 m/964 ft at Leith Hill; administrative centre, Kingston-upon-Thames; chief towns include Guildford, Reigate, Leatherhead, Staines, Woking; largely residential; agriculture, light industry;…

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surveying - Method, Origins, Types of surveys, Surveying as a career, Educational Institutions

The accurate measurement and collection of data, such as relief, for a given area in order to make a map, or to record changes in the characteristics of the Earth's surface over time. It has traditionally been based on fieldwork, using equipment such as chains, plane tables, and theodolites, used to measure the distance, elevation, and angle of an object from an observation point. The use of aeria…

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Surya - Surya Namaskara, Trivia

The Sun-god in Hindu mythology. He was the son of Indra, the pre-eminent god of the Rig-Veda. In Hinduism, Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य, sūrya) is the chief solar deity, son of Dyaus Pitar. A well-known Hindu mode of worship of Surya is done at the rising of the Sun, known as Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation). The 12 mantras for surya namaskar: The mantra frequ…

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Susa - History, Contemporary Susa, Sources and notes

The Greek name for Shushan, in antiquity, the main city of Elam and the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Darius I and his successors. It is the site of the world's best preserved ziggurat. Susa (in Persian: شوش Shush) is a city in the Khuzestan province of Iran. Susa (Biblical Shushan; Susa is one of the oldest-known settlements of the region, probably found…

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Susan (Bogert) Warner

Writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. After economic setbacks, she and her family lived on Constitution I in the Hudson R near West Point. To help earn money for the family, she wrote many novels and books for children, and her sister, Anna B Warner, collaborated on some. She is best known for her first novel, The Wide Wide World (1852), about a young orphan and her spiritual development. …

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Susan Glaspell

Playwright and novelist, born in Davenport, Iowa, USA. She studied at Drake University, Des Moines, IA, then worked as a local reporter before concentrating on writing short stories and novels. With her husband, George Carm Cook (d.1924), she founded the Provincetown Playhouse (1915), which introduced the plays of Eugene O'Neill. Her novels include Fidelity (1915), Brook Evans (1928), and The Fugi…

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Susan Hampshire

Actress, born in London. She was educated in London, made her stage debut in Expresso Bongo (1958), and has since taken leading roles in numerous plays and films. She won Emmy awards for Best Actress as Fleur in the television series The Forsyte Saga (1970), Sarah Churchill in The First Churchills (1971), and Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair (1973). Later series include The Grand (1997–8) and Monarch o…

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Susan La Flesche Picotte

Physician and tribal leader, born on the Omaha reservation in Nebraska, USA. The daughter of Omaha Chief Joseph La Flesche (Iron Eye), she was educated in New Jersey and then at the Hampton Institute, VA, graduating with high honour (1886). She then studied at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania (graduating 1889) and returned to her tribe as a physician (1890–4) and all-around medical ove…

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Susan Sarandon - Filmography, Academy Award and nominations

Film actress, born in New York City, USA. Educated at the Catholic University of America, Washington, she began her screen career in Joe (1970), and became well known after her role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Later films include The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Thelma and Louise (1991), Dead Man Walking (1995, Oscar), Earthly Possessions (1999), Alfie (2004), and Elizabethtown (2005).…

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Susan Sontag - Life, Work, Activism, Controversies, Bisexuality, Works, Awards and honors

Critic and writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. She grew up in Arizona and Los Angeles, took degrees from the University of Chicago and Harvard, then did postgraduate work at Oxford and Paris before settling in New York City to teach and write. She first gained attention with her essay, ‘Notes on Camp’ (1964), and in 1966 published her ground-breaking collection Against Interpretation. …

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Susanna Moodie - Bibliography

Writer, born in Bungay, Suffolk, E England, UK. She married in 1831, and moved to Canada the following year. She came from a literary family - her sister, and neighbour in Canada, was the writer Catherine Parr Traill (1802–99) - and among her many literary works are poems, stories for children, and sketches. Her best-known work concerns her life in Cobourg, Ontario, Roughing It in the Bush: or, L…

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Susannah Centlivre - Places named Freeman, People named Freeman, Fictional characters named Freeman

Playwright, probably born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. She was first married at 16 and twice widowed. In 1700 she produced a tragedy, The Perjured Husband, and subsequently appeared on the stage in Bath in her own comedy, Love at a Venture (1706). In 1706 she married her third husband, Joseph Centlivre, head cook to Queen Anne at Windsor. Her 18 plays include The Gamester (1705) and …

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Susie Cooper - Life and work

Ceramic designer and manufacturer, born in Burslem, Staffordshire, C England, UK. After designing for A E Gray (1922–9), she founded a decorating studio at Tunstall, known as Susie Cooper Pottery. In 1931 she moved to Burslem and used earthenware supplied mainly by Wood & Sons. She became famous for functional shapes with simple hand-painted patterns, and in 1940 was appointed a Royal Designer fo…

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Susie O'Neill

Swimmer born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. One of Australia's most successful swimmers, she holds a record 35 Australian titles. At the 1996 Olympic Games she won gold, silver, and bronze medals. At the Commonwealth Games in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur she won a record eight medals, including six gold. She won a gold medal in the 200 m butterfly at the 1998 World Championships. In the Pan Pacific …

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suspended sentence

A sentence of imprisonment which is not activated immediately, but may be imposed should the offender commit a further offence during the period of suspension, in addition to any penalty the later court imposes. Used in England and Wales for a number of years, suspended sentences may operate in conjunction with supervision by a probation officer. Partially suspended sentences, where the offender w…

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suspension

A mixture in which particles (of solid or liquid) are dispersed through another phase (liquid or gas) without dissolving in it. Suspensions are not indefinitely stable, and will eventually settle into separate phases. …

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Sussex - Geography, Industries, "Borough English", Population, History, Antiquities, Towns and Cities, Further reading, Links and References

Former county of England, UK; divided into East Sussex and West Sussex in 1974, West Sussex gaining part of S Surrey. Sussex is a historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West…

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sustainable agriculture - Description, Economics, Methods, Off-farm impacts, Urban planning

A system of crop cultivation that meets the needs of the present population without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to use the same natural resources. Such systems contrast with many systems of crop cultivation, particularly those used in the tropics, in which the mineral content and water-holding capacity of the soil is continually reduced, resulting in long-term desertification. S…

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sustainable development - Criticism, External Links

An imprecise term commonly used to describe economic development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The concept links development and environmental problems, and formed the basis of the Brundtland Report, Our Common Future (1987). It is open to criticism: development is usually accepted as synonymous with economic gro…

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Sutan Sjahrir

Indonesian nationalist and lawyer, born in Padang Pandjang, Sumatra. After reading law at Leiden he joined the national movement, became a leader of the Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia, and was interned by the Dutch (1934–42). He joined the resistance during the Japanese occupation. He claimed to believe in parliamentary democracy and became premier of ‘independent Indonesia’ (1945–7). With Sche…

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Suva - Physical characteristics, Landmarks, Demographics of Suva, Institutions, Municipal government, History

18°08S 178°25E, pop (2000e) 81 100. Chief port and capital of Fiji, on SE coast of Viti Levu I; overlooked by Colo-i-suva Forest Park; city since 1953; university (1968); copra processing, soap, edible oil, handicrafts, steel rolling mill, tourism. Suva is the capital city of Fiji. Suva became the capital of Fiji in 1877 when the geography of former main Kaivalagi (European) settlement …

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Suwon - History, Food, Education, Entertainment, Transport

37°16N 126°59E, pop (2000e) 722 000. Industrial capital of Kyonggi province, NW South Korea; 48 km/30 mi S of Seoul; subway from Seoul; agricultural college; reconstructed fortress walls and gates; Korean Folk Village nearby; Suwon World Cup Stadium (2001). Suwon (Suwon-si) is the provincial capital and largest city in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. King Jeongjo made an ultimat…

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Suzanne Farrell - Further reading and viewing, Quotes

Ballet dancer, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Her mother encouraged ballet lessons as a cure for ‘tomboyishness’. Noticed by a scout for the School of American Ballet, she auditioned for George Balanchine on her 15th birthday and won a scholarship to the school. After only six months in the New York City Ballet's corps de ballet, she became a featured dancer (1962) and by 1965 was a principal da…

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Suzanne Lenglen - Grand Slam singles finals, Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tennis player, born in Compiègne, N France. She was the woman champion of France (1920–3, 1925–6), and her Wimbledon championships were the women's singles and doubles (1919–23, 1925), and the mixed doubles (1920, 1922, 1925). In 1920 she was Olympic champion. She became a professional in 1926, toured the USA, and retired in 1927 to found the Lenglen School of Tennis in Paris. Suzanne R…

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Suzanne Valadon - Related links

Painter, born in Bessines-sur-gastempe, W France, the mother of Utrillo. She took up painting in 1909, after an accident ended her career as an acrobat, and after working as an artist's model for Renoir and others. Influenced by Dégas and Matisse, she painted mainly nudes and portraits. Her best-known works are ‘The Blue Bedroom’ (1923) and her ‘Nude Self-Portrait’, painted when she was 66. …

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Suzhou - History, Districts and satellite cities, Transportation, Culture, Notable people from Suzhou, Quotes, Education, See also

31°21N 120°40E, pop (2000e) 983 800, administrative region 6 050 000. City in Jiangsu province, E China, on the banks of the Grand Canal; first settled c.1000 BC; capital, Kingdom of Wu, 518 BC; railway; silk, light industry, chemicals, electronics, handicrafts; over 150 ornamental gardens (a world heritage site), including Canglang (Surging Wave) pavilion (c.1044), Shizilin (Lion Grove, 135…

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Svalbard - Politics, Geography, Climate, Coal mining in Svalbard, Demographics, Svalbard in popular culture

pop (2000e) 3400; area 62 000 km²/23 900 sq mi. Island group in the Arctic Ocean, c.650 km/400 mi N of the Norwegian mainland; four large and several smaller islands; chief islands, Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, Edgeøya, Barentsøya, Prins Karls Forland; discovered, 1596; formerly an important whaling centre; incorporated in Norway, 1925; two-thirds of the population are former Soviet cit…

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Svante (August) Arrhenius - Early years, Middle period, Later years, Greenhouse effect as cause for ice ages

Scientist, born near Uppsala, E Sweden. He became professor of physics at Stockholm in 1895, a director of the Nobel Institute in 1905, and was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He did valuable work in connection with the dissociation theory of electrolysis, and on reaction rates, and he was the first to recognize the ‘greenhouse effect’ on climate. Svante August Arrhenius (Febr…

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Sviatoslav (Teofilovich) Richter - Trivia, Media

Pianist, born in Zhitomir, WC Ukraine. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory (1937–42), and won the Stalin Prize in 1949. He made extensive concert tours, with a wide repertoire, and was associated with the music festivals at Aldeburgh and Spoleto. Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter ( Russian: Святосла́в Теофи́лович Ри́хтер; Sviatoslav Richter was widely rec…

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Swabia - History, Swabian settlements abroad, Popular culture, Famous Swabians

A SW mediaeval German duchy, extending from the R Rhine in the W to the Alps in the S, Bavaria in the E, and Franconia in the N, containing the cities of Strasbourg, Constance, and Augsburg. The Peasants' War of 1524–5 began here, because landlords and peasants were at odds, imperial authority was increasing, and Lutheran doctrines were spreading. Swabia (German: Schwaben or Schwabenland) …

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swallow

A small songbird, found worldwide; dark blue/green above, pale below; tail long, forked; inhabits open country near fresh water; eats small insects caught in flight; temperate populations migrate; nests in holes or mud nests on cliffs, buildings, etc. The name is also used for several unrelated birds. (Family: Hirundinidae, 57 species.) …

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swallowtail butterfly

A large, colourful butterfly in which hindwings are extended into slender tails; adults and larvae usually distasteful to predators. (Order: Lepidoptera. Family: Papilionidae.) The swallowtail butterflies are large, colorful butterflies, which form the family Papilionidae. …

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swamp - Heraldry, List of major swamps

A permanently flooded area of land with thick vegetation of reeds or trees. Mangrove swamps are common along river mouths in tropical and subtropical areas. In the Carboniferous period, marine swamps were common, and are the origin of present-day coal deposits. Swamps are generally characterized by very slow-moving waters, often rich in tannins from decaying vegetation. The most…

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swan - Coloration, Role in culture, Photo gallery

A large water-bird of the duck family; found worldwide; usually white; neck very long; male called cob, female pen. (Tribe: Anserini. Genera: Cygnus, 10 species, and Coscoroba, 2 species. Subfamily: Anserinae.) Swans are large water birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. (Webster's New World Dictionary) Young swans are known as cygnets, from the Latin wor…

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Swansea - Geography, History, The city, Culture, Religion, Economy, Education, Public order, Transport, Leisure and tourism

51°38N 3°57W, pop (2001e) 223 300. Port city and (from 1996) unitary authority (pop (2000e) 233 000) in SC Wales, UK; on the Bristol Channel at the mouth of the R Tawe where it enters Swansea Bay; chartered, 1158–84; airfield; railway; university college (1920); national vehicle licensing centre; trade in coal, oil, ores; Norman castle, Royal Institution of South Wales (1835), Guildhall, in…

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swastika - Overview, History, Geometry and symbolism, Art and architecture, Nazi Germany, Taboo in Western countries

A symbol consisting of a cross with its four arms bent at right angles, either clockwise or anticlockwise. Found in ancient Hindu, Mexican, Buddhist, and other traditions, possibly representing the Sun, it is now politically and culturally tainted since its appropriation by the Nazi Party as its official emblem. The name derives from the Sanskrit svasti + ka, meaning a mystical cross used to den…

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Swaziland - Politics, Administrative divisions, Economy

Official name Kingdom of Swaziland The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small, landlocked country in Southern Africa (one of the smallest on the continent), situated on the eastern slope of the Drakensberg mountains, embedded between South Africa in the west and Mozambique in the east. The head of state is the king, currently King Mswati III, who ascended to the throne upon the d…

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sweat - Sweat glands

A dilute solution of salts (mainly sodium chloride) and other small molecules (eg urea, lactic acid, and ammonia) actively secreted by sweat (sudoriferous) glands present in the skin of mammals. It provides a mechanism for the excretion of salt and nitrogen. Evaporation of sweat from the skin surface involves heat loss; sweating is thus particularly important in humans with respect to temperature …

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sweat lodge - Overview

A rite of purification, spiritual and physical, widely found among North American Indians, especially among C and SW tribes. The leader conducts the participants into a specially constructed lodge, where they are seated around a mound of heated stones. Prayers and songs are offered as the leader pours heated water over the stones. It is believed that gods and spirits are present, prompting spontan…

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Sweden - History, Geography, Administrative divisions, Demographics, Politics, Religion, Public health, International rankings

Official name Kingdom of Sweden, Swed Konungariket Sverige The Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige?(help·info)) is a Nordic country in Scandinavia. Sweden has a low population density except in its metropolitan areas, with most of the inland consisting of forests. Following the end of the Viking Age, Sweden became part of the Kalmar Union together with …

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Swedish literature - Old Norse, Middle ages, 16th and 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Naturalism, or realism

The translation of the Bible by the brothers Petri (1526–41) provides the earliest work. Classical influences dominated the 17th-c, and English and French the 18th-c, until the Realistic poetry of Karl Bellman, Thomas Thorild (1759–1808), and Johan Kellgren (1751–95). The writing of Emanuel Swedenborg ranged from science to mysticism. The verse dramas of Per Atterbom (1790–1835) brought Romant…

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sweet chestnut

A deciduous tree (Castanea sativa) growing to 30 m/100 ft, native to the Mediterranean and W Asia, and cultivated and naturalized elsewhere; leaves oblong, toothed, glossy; long catkins have green female flowers below yellow males; nuts shiny, brown, three enclosed in a densely spiny case; also called Spanish chestnut. The nuts are the familiar roast chesnuts. (Family: Fagaceae.) The Swee…

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sweet pea

An annual climber (Lathyrus odoratus), a native of S Italy and Sicily, but widely grown as an ornamental; stems broadly winged, growing to 2 m/6½ ft or more; leaves divided with two oblong–oval, fine-pointed leaflets and branched tendrils; flowers up to 3·5 cm/1½ in, sweetly scented, borne in the upper leaf axils. The wild plants are purple-flowered, but following many years of intensive p…

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sweet potato

A tuberous perennial with trailing or climbing stems (Ipomoea batatas); leaves oval to heart-shaped; flowers large, purple, funnel-shaped. Its origin is obscure. It is unknown in the wild, but numerous different strains are cultivated throughout warm regions as a staple food. The edible tubers, sometimes wrongly called yams, resemble large potatoes, but may have white, yellow, to red or purple, sw…

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sweet violet

A species of violet (Viola odorata) lacking stems but with creeping stolons, native to Europe, Asia Minor, and N Africa. Its strongly-scented flowers are distilled for perfume and for flavourings. However, the scent rapidly becomes undetectable, because of the dulling effect on the nose of the chemical, iodine. (Family: Violaceae.) …

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sweet william

A biennial (Dianthus barbatus) native to S Europe; leaves elliptical, in opposite pairs, sheathing stem; flowers in dense, compact heads, epicalyx of four long scales, calyx cylindrical; five petals, dark red or pink, in garden forms also white, and often spotted or barred. (Family: Caryophyllaceae.) Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is a flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae, nativ…

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swift

A swallow-like bird of the worldwide family Apodidae (true swifts, 78 species) or the SE Asian family Hemiprocnidae (crested swifts, 4 species); small feet; lands only on near-vertical surfaces; spends most of its life flying; eats insects caught in the air; may even copulate in flight. The name is also used for the swift parakeet (Family: Psittacidae). …

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swiftlet - Description and ecology, Echolocation, Culinary use, Cave ecology, Species

A small true swift (Family: Apodidae), native to the Indian Ocean, S Asia, and the W Pacific; nests in caves (or buildings). Some species use echolocation. Birds' nest soup is made from the saliva-rich nests of three species of the genus Aerodramus. (Tribe: Collocaliini, 15 species.) The birds called Swiftlets or Cave Swiftlets are contained within the four genera Aerodramus, Hydrochous, Sc…

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swimming - History, Technique, Competitive swimming, Recreational swimming, Occupational swimming, Swimming for exercise, The risks of swimming

The act of propelling oneself through water without any mechanical aids. One of the oldest pastimes, the earliest reference to it as a sport is in Japan in 36 BC. There are four primary strokes: the breast stroke, developed in the 16th-c, and the front crawl (freestyle), backstroke, and butterfly, developed in the 20th-c. In competitions there are also relays, involving four swimmers, and medley r…

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Swindon - History, Government, Demographics, Business, Media, Education, Museums and cultural institutions, Trivia, Swindon in fiction, Further reading

51°34N 1°47W, pop (2001e) 180 100. Old market town in Thamesdown (unitary authority from 1997), Wiltshire, S England, UK; 113 km/70 mi W of London; developed into a modern industrial town with the arrival of the Great Western Railway in the 19th-c; railway; railway engineering, vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals, electronics, clothing; Great Western Railway museum (1962); 9 km/5 mi E is the Wh…

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Switzerland - Politics, Cantons (states), Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture

Official name Swiss Confederation, Fr Confédération Suisse, Ger Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Ital Confederazione Svizzera Switzerland (German: die Schweiz, French: la Suisse, Italian: Svizzera and Romansh: Svizra), officially the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked Alpine country in Central Europe. Switzerland has a strong economy in finance and banking, and a long and strong …

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sword dance - Mock battle, Literature

A ceremonial form of dance. In Scotland individuals or groups perform jigs over crossed swords placed on the floor. In England the dancers are linked by metal or wooden swords held in the hand, and perform intertwining figures without breaking the circle. The dance ends with all swords locked in a knot or rose and the simulated ritual decapitation of the leader. Longsword is a slow version found i…

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swordfish - Reproduction, Swordfish in cooking, Swordfish Endangered

Large, agile, and very distinctive fish (Ziphias gladius) found worldwide in temperate and warm temperate seas; length up to 5 m/16 ft; upper jaw prolonged into a flattened blade or ‘sword’, teeth absent; dorsal fin tall; feeds mainly on small fish and squid; exploited commercially in many areas. (Family: Xiphiidae.) Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) are large, highly migratory, predatory fis…

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Sybaris - History

An ancient Greek city under the toe of Italy whose citizens were notorious for their wealth and luxurious lifestyle - whence the term sybarite. It was obliterated in 510 BC by the neighbouring town of Croton, and never refounded. Sybaris (Greek: Σύβαρις; Italian: Sibari) was a celebrated city of Magna Graecia on the western shore Gulf of Taranto, a short distance from the sea, betwee…

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Sydenham's chorea

Irregular, jerking, and unpredictable movements of the limbs, and sometimes of the whole body, arising as a complication of streptococcal infections such as rheumatic fever and scarlet fever; girls are especially affected. It is named after English physician Thomas Sydenham. Sydenham's chorea (or "Rheumatic chorea") is a disease characterized by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements affect…

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Sydney - History, Geography, Governance, Economy, Demographics, Education, Culture, Infrastructure

33°55S 151°10E, pop (2000e) 3 909 000. Port and state capital of New South Wales, Australia, on the shore of Port Jackson; largest city in Australia; Sydney statistical division comprises 44 municipalities and shires; founded as the first British settlement, 1788; airport; railway; five universities (1850, 1949, 1964, 1989, 1990); two cathedrals; two major harbours (Sydney, Port Botany Contai…

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Sydney Brenner

Molecular biologist, born in Germiston, NE South Africa. He studied at Witwatersrand University and Oxford, and joined the MRC Molecular Biology Laboratory in Cambridge (1957), becoming its director in 1980. He did notable work on the information code of DNA, and in the 1970s moved to basic studies designed to relate, in detail, an animal's nervous system to its genetic make-up. He shared the 2002…

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Sydney Goodsir Smith

Poet, born in Wellington, New Zealand, the son of Sydney Alfred Smith. He moved to Edinburgh in 1928 when his father was appointed a professor there. He studied at Edinburgh and Oxford universities, and established a record as one of the best modern Lallans poets with such works as Skail Wind (1941), Under the Eildon Tree (1948), and So Late into the Night (1952). He also wrote a comic novel, Caro…

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Sydney Harbour Bridge - Description, History, Function, Celebrations, Quotations, Popular Culture, Gallery of snapshots

One of Australia's best-known landmarks, and the widest and heaviest arch bridge in the world, built 1923–32; length of main arch 503 m/1651 ft; highest point 134 m/440 ft above sea-level. The bridge provides a rail and road link across the harbour. It was finally paid for by tolls in 1985. A harbour tunnel was opened in 1992. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the main crossing of Sydney Ha…

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Sydney Opera House - Description, History, Opening, In popular culture, Further reading

Australia's best-known contemporary building. Its imaginative design came from an international competition, won in 1956 by the Danish architect Joern Utzon (1918– ). Far more than just an opera house, the building contains nearly a thousand rooms, including five performance spaces: the Concert Hall (capacity 2679), Opera Theatre (1547), Drama Theatre (544), Playhouse (398), and (a new venue, ope…

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Sydney Pollack - Selected filmography

Film director and producer, born in South Bend, Indiana, USA. He began as an actor, moved to television directing, and made his debut as a feature film director with Slender Thread (1965). Later films include They Shoot Horses Don't They? (1969), Sabrina (1995), and Random Hearts (1999). He received an Oscar nomination for Best Director in 1982 for Tootsie, and won two Oscars (as Best Director and…

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Sydney Smith

Clergyman, essayist, and wit, born in Woodford, Essex, SE England, UK. He studied at New College, Oxford, where he became a fellow. He was ordained in 1794, and while serving in Edinburgh he helped to found the Edinburgh Review (1802). In 1803 he moved to London, where he made his mark as a preacher, and lectured at the Royal Institution on moral philosophy (1804–6). After various livings, he was…

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syenite

A coarse-grained igneous rock containing feldspar and hornblende as essential minerals, with some biotite. Syenite is a coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock of the same general composition as granite but with the quartz either absent or present in relatively small amounts (<5%). The feldspar component of syenite is predominantly alkaline in character (usually orthoclase) . …

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Syl Apps

Sportsman, born in Paris, Ontario, SE Canada. An exceptional athlete, as an undergraduate at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, he won the pole vault at the 1934 British Empire games, then returned home to captain the football team, leading McMaster University to the Canadian intercollegiate championship. After competing in the pole vault at the 1936 Olympic Games, he began his ice hockey c…

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syllabary - Languages using syllabaries, Comparison to English alphabet

A writing system in which the basic units (graphemes) correspond to syllables, normally representing a sequence of consonant and vowel. An example is found in Japanese kana, where the graphemes correspond to such spoken sequences as ka, ga, and no. This system is modelled on the spoken language, Japanese being a language which has no true consonant clusters. Consequently, borrowings from English a…

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syllogism - Basic structure, Types of syllogism, Everyday syllogistic mistakes

In logic, a deductive argument containing two premisses and a conclusion derived from them. Categorical syllogisms contain subject–predicate sentences, as in ‘Some dogs are chihuahuas; all chihuahaus are small; therefore some dogs are small’. Hypothetical syllogisms contain conditional sentences: ‘If roses are red, then violets are blue; if violets are blue, then carnations are pink; therefore…

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Sylt - The Culture of Sylt, History, Municipalities, Transport

Largest of the North Frisian Is, off the Schleswig-Holstein coast; area 99 sqkm/38 sq mi; length 37 km/23 mi; popular summer resort. Sylt is a unique part of Germany, since it is part of the Frisian Islands. Sylt also has unique Frisian-style houses. List has a harbor (ferries to Rømø, Denmark) and is Germany's northernmost point. Kampen is known f…

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Sylvanus Thayer

Engineer and educator, born in Braintree, Massachusetts, USA. After graduating from Dartmouth and a year at West Point, he served by constructing fortifications (1809–15). Appointed superintendent of West Point (1817–33), he totally transformed it into a first-rate institution, thereby becoming known as ‘the father of West Point’, but his rigid discipline led to so much unrest among cadets tha…

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Sylvester Graham

Writer and reformer, born in West Suffield, Connecticut, USA. He was a temperance lecturer whose programmes came to include advocacy of vegetarianism, fresh foods, cold showers, lighter clothing, and exercise. From his recommended coarsely ground whole wheat flour, known as graham flour, he developed the graham cracker. His popularity in the 1830s attracted faddists whose extreme pronouncements un…

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Sylvester Stallone - Biography, Personal life, Filmography, Salary

Film actor, director, and writer, born in New York City, USA. He studied drama at the University of Miami, and suddenly became known through the success of his first film Rocky (1976, 2 Oscars), which he also wrote. Later films established him as an action-film hero, notably the Rocky sequels (1979, 1982, 1985, 1990), First Blood (1981), Rambo and its sequels (1985, 1988), whose title added a word…

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Sylvia Plath - Life, Works, Bibliography, In popular culture

Poet and novelist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Driven by a desire to write, she won a Fulbright Fellowship to Newnham College, Cambridge, in 1956, where she studied English, and met and married the poet Ted Hughes. After some time spent teaching in the USA, they settled in England, first in London, then in Devon, but separated in 1962. Often termed a ‘confessional poet’, her earlier, hig…

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Sylvia Townsend Warner - Early life, Writing Career, Relationship with Valentine Ackland, Communism, After Ackland's Death, External Links

Novelist, born in Harrow, NW Greater London, UK. A student of music, she researched the music of the 15th-c and 16th-c, and was one of the four editors of Tudor Church Music (10 vols, 1923–9). She published seven novels, four volumes of poetry, essays, and eight volumes of short stories, many of which had previously appeared in the New Yorker. Ranging widely in theme, locale, and period, signific…

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Sylvie Guillem - Repertoire

Ballet dancer and choreographer, born in Paris, France. She trained at the Paris Opéra Ballet School (1977–80) and at age 16 joined the company's corps de ballet. Her first solo appearance (1981) was in Don Quixote, staged by Rudolf Nureyev, artistic director of the company, and in 1984 she gained the status of étoile. In 1988 she partnered Nureyev to great acclaim in a production of Giselle pe…

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symbiosis - Categories of symbiosis, Examples, Changes in Interactions, Symbiosis and evolution

A general term for the living together of two dissimilar organisms, usually to their mutual benefit. It is commonly used to describe all the different types of relationship between the members of two different and interacting species, including parasitism, mutualism, commensalism and inquilinism. It is sometimes used in a restricted sense for those mutualistic relationships in which each interacti…

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symbol - Nature of Symbols, The symbolate, Etymology, Reference

Something which, by convention, stands for something else. A symbol is a variety of sign, whose form and meaning are often arbitrary, and agreed upon by the community using it (eg black or white as the colour of mourning). With scientific symbols (such as in chemistry) that agreement is universal, formal, and fixed. However, most symbols, such as words themselves, are less rigidly constrained, all…

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symbolic interactionism - Basic premises and approach, Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, Critique

A sociological theory which explains patterns of behaviour according to the meanings and symbols that people share in everyday interaction. The theory was developed by the Chicago school of sociologists in the 1930s, and emphasizes that a mutual understanding between people depends on their continually monitoring, checking, and negotiating the meaning of what they say and how they behave. S…

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Symbolism

In general terms, the belief that ideas or emotions may be objectified in terms which make them communicable, whether in words, music, graphics, or plastic forms. In the West, this belief may be traced back to Plato; it was elaborated by the Neoplatonists and by Swedenborg, and is clearly active in much Romantic poetry (especially Coleridge, Shelley, and Blake) and in the writings of Poe. The syst…

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symmetry - Mathematical model for symmetry, Reflection symmetry, Rotational symmetry, Translational symmetry, Glide reflection symmetry, Rotoreflection symmetry

Any aspect of a system that is the same after some operation. For example, a square rotated by 90° is indistinguishable from the original, and so has symmetry under rotation by 90°. A circle is symmetric under any rotation about its centre. In physical systems, symmetry is related to conservation laws, and is expressed mathematically using group theory. Symmetries may also be found in liv…

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symphonic poem - List of Tone Poems by Composer

A single-movement orchestral work in which a composer seeks to express the emotional, pictorial, or narrative content of a poem, story, painting, etc. It was developed by Liszt from the programmatic concert overture and taken up by other Romantic composers, including Smetana, Franck, and Strauss. Strauss preferred the term Tondichtung (‘tone poem’). Franz Liszt largely invented the sympho…

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symphony - Characteristics, The word symphony, Composers of symphonies, Symphonies by number and name, Symphony as "orchestra"

An orchestral work originating in the 18th-c, although the term had been used earlier with different meanings. The classical symphony of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert was mostly in four movements: a fast movement in sonata form; a slow movement; a minuet or scherzo; and a finale, often in sonata form like the first movement. In the 19th-c the structure was varied a good deal, and programm…

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synagogue - Design, Famous synagogues, Synagogue offshoots

The local Jewish institution for instruction in the Torah and worship, but not infringing on the ritual or sacrificial roles of the Jerusalem priesthood. In antiquity, it was the local religious focal point of individual Jewish communities, both in Palestine and in cities of the Diaspora. Congregations were usually governed by a body of elders, who exercised certain disciplinary functions. While t…

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synchrotron - Characteristics, Large synchrotrons, Applications

A machine for accelerating subatomic particles, usually protons or electrons. The particles are guided through an evacuated pipe in a circular path by magnets, accelerated by radio-frequency (rf) electric fields. In a large machine, each pulse of particles may make tens of thousands of revolutions, being accelerated at each pass through the rf source. Magnetic field and rf frequency increase in a …

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synchrotron radiation - Synchrotron radiation from storage rings, Synchrotron radiation in astronomy

X-ray radiation emitted by charged particles travelling around a synchrotron. Accelerating electrical charges emit electromagnetic radiation, so by the same mechanism charged particles moving in a circle emit radiation. Thought at one time merely a radiation hazard associated with accelerators, synchrotron radiation has become one of the most powerful research tools available for the study of cond…

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syndicalism - Prominent syndicalists, Bibliography

A revolutionary socialist doctrine that emphasized workers taking power by seizing the factories in which they worked; developed in the 1890s, and common in France, Italy, and Spain in the early 20th-c. The state was to be replaced by worker-controlled units of production. Often a general strike was advocated as part of the strategy. By 1914 it had lost its political force. The name, deriving from…

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