Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 78

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Vittorio Emanuele Orlando

Italian politician, prime minister (1917–19), and jurist, born in Palermo, Sicily, S Italy. He lectured in constitutional and administrative law and became a parliamentary deputy in 1897. He held a number of ministerial posts and was instrumental in sealing the Gentiloni agreement to ensure the Catholic vote. Made prime minister after the Caporetto defeat (1917), he successfully put Armando Diaz …

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Vitus (Jonassen) Bering

Navigator, born in Horsens, C Denmark. He led an expedition in the Sea of Kamchatka (1728) to determine whether the continents of Asia and America were joined. In 1733 he was given command of the 600-strong Great Northern Expedition to explore the Siberian coast and Kuril Is, and in 1741 sailed from Ohkotsk towards the American continent, finally sighting Alaska. He was wrecked on the island of Av…

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Viv Richards

Cricket player, born in Antigua. In 1976 he scored a record 1710 Test runs in one calendar year. He captained the West Indies (1985–91), and scored 8540 runs in 121 Test matches, including 24 centuries. In England he played county cricket for Somerset (1974–86) and Glamorgan (1990–3). He received a knighthood in 1999. Richards made his Test match debut for the West Indian cricket team in…

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Vivekananda - Biography, Principles and philosophy, Interaction with notable contemporaries, Miscellaneous, Trivia

Hindu philosopher, born in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), E India. He studied in a Western-style university, and first joined the Brahmo Samaj, attracted by its policy of social reform. Later, he met Ramakrishna and became his leading disciple, establishing the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Order at Belur Math on the Ganges, near Calcutta. He attempted to combine Indian spirituality with Western m…

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Vivian Fine

Composer, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. After studies with teachers including Cowell, Sessions, and Szell, she taught at Bennington (1964–87) and other schools. She was a prolific composer of Modernist works with a broad, expressive range. Vivian Fine (28 September 1913 in Chicago, IL - 20 March 2000 in Bennington, VT) Over her 70 year career, Vivian Fine became one of Americ…

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Vivien Leigh - Early life and acting career, Meeting Laurence Olivier, Achieving international success, Marriage and joint projects

Actress, born in Darjeeling, NE India. She had a convent education, then studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. She became an overnight sensation in the comedy The Mask of Virtue (1935). She married Laurence Olivier in 1940, and appeared opposite him in numerous classical plays, including Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra. She is best remembered for her Oscar-winning perform…

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vivisection - Animal testing, Human vivisection

The practice of dissecting live animals for experimental purposes. Research includes experiments which look for the effects of new drugs, food additives, cosmetics, and a wide range of chemicals on the body tissue and behaviour of such animals as guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and monkeys, as an alternative to using human subjects. Such research is now strictly controlled by legislation in most Weste…

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Vladimir - History, Sightseeings, Sister cities

56º08N 40º25E, pop (2001e) 336 600. City in W Russia; 193 km/120 mi NE of Moscow; founded as a fortress (1108) by Prince Vladimir Monomakh; birthplace of St Alexander Nevski, Nikolay Andrianov, Sergey Taneyev; The Golden Gate (1158–64); Uspensky Cathedral (1160) with a museum of religious art and tombs of the early princes of Vladimir; machinery, chemicals, building materials, clothing. …

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Vladimir (Ivanovich) Nemirovich-Danchenko

Theatre director, writer, and teacher, born in Ozurgety, Russia. Co-founder with Stanislavsky of the Moscow Art Theatre, he became sole director following the latter's death in 1938. Among his most notable productions were The Brothers Karamazov (1910) and Nikolai Stavrogin (1913). After 1919, his interest in opera led to some of his most original work as a director. Vladimir Ivanovich Nemi…

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Vladimir (Kosma) Zworykin - Biography, Legacy, Quote, Further reading

Physicist, born in Murom, W Russia. He studied at the St Petersburg Institute of Technology and the Collège de France in Paris, emigrated to the USA in 1919, and became a US citizen in 1924. He joined the Radio Corporation (1929), becoming director of electronic research (1946) and vice-president (1947). In 1923–4 he patented an all-electronic television system using a scanned camera-tube (the i…

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Vladimir (Vladimirovich) Mayakovsky - Early Life, Literary Life

Poet and playwright, born in Bagdadi, WC Georgia. He began writing at an early age, and was regarded as the leader of the Futurist school. During the Russian Revolution (1917) he emerged as the propaganda mouthpiece of the Bolsheviks. His plays include Misteriya-Buff (1918, Mystery-Bouffe), and the satirical Klop (1929, The Bedbug) and Banya (1930, The Bath-House). Towards the end of his life he w…

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Vladimir (Vladimirovich) Nabokov - Biography, Work, Nabokov's Synesthesia, Lepidoptery, List of works, Works about Nabokov

Writer, born in St Petersburg, Russia. He studied at the Prince Tenishev School, St Petersburg (1910–17), and at Trinity College, Cambridge (1922 BA). To escape the Bolshevik Revolution, he and his family left Russia (1919) and moved to Berlin, Germany. He taught English and tennis, as well as composing crossword puzzles for the Russian emigré newspaper, Rul (1922–37), and gained a reputation a…

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Vladimir (Vladimirovich) Putin - Life and career, Prime Minister and first term as President, Second term as President, Chechnya

Russian politician and president (1999– ), born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), NW Russia. He graduated from Leningrad State University in 1975 and began his career in the KGB as an intelligence officer stationed mainly in East Germany (1975–89). Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, he retired from the KGB with the rank of colonel, and returned to Leningrad as a supporter of Ana…

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Vladimir Ashkenazy - Early years, Ashkenazy as pianist, Ashkenazy as conductor

Pianist and conductor, born in Nizhni Novgorod (formerly Gorky), W Russia. He graduated from Moscow Conservatory (1960) and in 1962 was joint winner (with John Ogdon) of the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Moscow. He left the Soviet Union in 1963 and made his London debut that year. He settled in Iceland in 1973 with his wife, an Icelandic pianist, and became musical director of the Royal Philharmo…

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Vladimir Horowitz - Life and early career, Repertoire and technique, Awards and Recognitions

Pianist, born in Kiev, Ukraine. He studied in Kiev, made his concert debut when he was 17, and toured widely before settling in the USA and becoming a US citizen. There were long periods of retirement from concert life, but in 1986 he played again in Russia. Vladimir Samoylovych Horowitz (Ukrainian: Володимир Самійлович Горовиць, Russian: Владимир Само…

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Vladimir Nazor

Croatian poet, born in Postire on the island of Bra?. He wrote lyrics, ballads, epic poems, and dramatic works in a style similar to the Symbolists. His works include Slav Legends (1900), Lirika (1910), Carmen Vitae, an anthology (1922), and a diary of his experiences with the Yugoslav partisans in World War 2. Vladimir Nazor (born 1876 in Postira, Brač – died 1949 in Zagreb) was a Croat…

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Vladimir Nikolayevich Ipatieff

Chemist, born in Moscow, Russia. An officer in the Russian army, he was professor of chemistry at the Artillery Academy in St Petersburg (1898–1906). He synthesized isoprene, the basic unit of natural rubber, and made contributions to the catalytic chemistry of unsaturated carbons, of great value to the petrochemical industry. During World War 1 he directed Russia's chemical industry. He emigrate…

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Vladimir Prelog - Early years, Work in Zagreb, Work in Zurich, Nobel Prize winner, Private life

Organic chemist, born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (formerly Austria–Hungary). He studied at the Prague Institute of Technology, then worked as an industrial chemist, before moving to Zagreb University. In 1941, when the Germans invaded Yugoslavia, he taught at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, and became professor of chemistry (1950–76). Following his notable work in organi…

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Vladimir Tatlin

Painter and designer, born in Moscow, Russia. He studied at the Moscow Academy of Fine Arts, and was greatly influenced by Picasso's work in Paris in 1913. He founded Russian Constructivism, a movement at first approved by the Soviet authorities, and was commissioned to design the extraordinary spiral ironwork and rotating-glass ‘Monument to the Third International’ which, had it been built, wou…

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Vladivostok - History, Geography, Climate, Demographics, Economy, Transportation, Education, Media, Pollution, Sport, Miscellaneous

43°10N 131°53E, pop (2000e) 645 000. Seaport capital of Primorskiy kray, Russia, on the East Sea (Sea of Japan); chief Russian port on the Pacific Ocean (kept open in winter by ice-breakers); base for fishing and whaling fleets; founded, 1860; terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway; university (1920); naval base; shipbuilding and repairing, precision instruments, foodstuffs, building materials…

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Vo Nguyen Giap - Biography

Vietnamese military leader, born in Quang Binh Province, NC Vietnam. He studied law at Hanoi University, joined the Vietnamese Communist Party, and trained in China. He led the Viet Minh army in revolt against the French, leading to the decisive defeat of their garrison at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. As vice-premier and defence minister of North Vietnam, he masterminded the military strategy that force…

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vocational education - VET internationally

Education which is aimed at the preparation of students for their present or future employment. Often undertaken in colleges of further education, it can also take place on the job in the workplace itself. A wide range of vocational qualifications is usually available, some from chartered award-giving institutions, others from professional organizations. In addition, pre-vocational education is av…

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vodka - Etymology, Production, Vodka and the EU, Health, Worldwide vodka brands

A colourless spirit produced from potatoes, the national alcoholic drink of Poland and Russia. It is almost tasteless, and is thus used in many mixed drinks, such as the ‘Bloody Mary’ (vodka and tomato juice). It is best served chilled. Vodka is typically a colourless liquor, usually distilled from fermented grain. Except for various types of flavourings, vodka consists of wat…

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Voice of America (VOA) - Languages, Overview, History, Laws governing VOA-IBB's activities, International Broadcasting Bureau services, Programming

The external broadcasting service of the US government, founded in 1942. By 2000, the VOA was broadcasting worldwide in English and 52 other languages (including six to the former USSR and 10 to Africa) from three stations in the USA, and 15 overseas relay stations. Voice of America (VOA) is the official international radio and television broadcasting service of the United States federal go…

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Volans

A tiny and inconspicuous S constellation near the Large Magellanic Cloud. Source: The Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed., The Hipparcos Catalogue, ESA SP-1200 …

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volcano - Locations, Shape, Erupted material, Volcanic activity, Notable volcanoes, Effects of volcanoes, Etymology, Past beliefs

A vent or fissure in the Earth's crust where molten lava is erupted onto the surface. The shape of a volcano depends on the composition of the lava. Lower-temperature, viscous, silica-rich lava forms steep-sided cones interbedded with ash, such as Mt Fuji, Japan. Less viscous, silica-poor, basaltic lavas form gentle slopes, as found in Iceland. Most volcanoes are confined to the zones along bounda…

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vole - Range, Diet

A mouse-like rodent native to Asia, Europe, and North America; most species with large head, blunt snout, and short tail; eats grass, seeds and insects; population numbers rise and fall drastically every few years; closely related to lemmings. (Tribe: Microtini, 96 species.) A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, a…

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Volgograd - Economy, Education, Sister cities

48°45N 44°30E, pop (2000e) 1 200 000. Capital city of Volgogradskaya oblast, SE European Russia, on R Volga; E terminus of the Volga–Don Canal; founded 1589; largely destroyed in World War 2; airport; railway; aluminium, oil, oil refining, clothing, footwear, leatherwork, tractors, foodstuffs. Volgograd (Russian: Волгогра́д (help·info)), formerly called Tsaritsyn (Russian: …

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Volkseigener Betrieb (VEB) - Examples

In the former German Democratic Republic, the term for a nationalized enterprise in industry or the service sector. Due to a centrally planned economy and frequent economic reforms, the VEBs' independence of movement was severely restricted. In 1990 the estimated 8000 VEBs were turned into joint stock companies (Kapitalgesellschaften), ie into private limited companies (Gesellschaften mit beschrä…

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Volkskammer - Chairmen of the People's Chamber

The parliament of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and nominally the highest authority, with 500 delegates. Single-list elections assured that the Sozialistiche Einheitspartei (SED) and its mass organizations had an overall majority every five years. Basically it was the task of the Volkskammer to sanction the political course taken by party and government. Decisions were mostly taken u…

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volleyball - Rules, Skills, Strategy

A court game, usually played indoors by two teams of six-a-side. Players hit a large ball with their hands or arms over a raised net in the hope of forcing an error, points are scored scored by the serving team. Invented in 1895 by William G Morgan at the YMCA, Holyoke, MA, it was originally known as mintonette. Volleyball is an Olympic sport in which two teams separated by a high net use t…

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Volsci

An ancient Italic population belonging to the Oscan-Umbrian family. The Volsci settled in the Latium region in the 6th-c BC and soon violent clashes occurred with the Latins, mentioned in early Latin documents. From the 4th-c, Rome started taking over the region, and founded several colonies such as Circei and Satrico. The Volsci were an ancient Italic people, well known in the history of t…

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volt - Definition, Hydraulic analogy, Common voltages, History of the volt

SI unit of electrical potential difference; symbol V; named after Alessandro Volta; if the power dissipated between two points along a wire carrying a current of 1 amp is 1 watt, then the potential difference between the two points equals 1 volt. In 1990 the Josephson constant, KJ-90, became the international standard of voltage measurement. The volt (symbol: V) is the SI derived unit of…

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Voltaire - Biography, Works, Legacy, The pen name "Voltaire"

Writer, the embodiment of the 18th-c Enlightenment, born in Paris, France. Educated by the Jesuits in Paris, he studied law, then turned to writing. For lampooning the Duc d'Orléans he was imprisoned in the Bastille (1717–18), where he rewrote his tragedy Oedipe. This brought him fame, but he gained enemies at court, and was forced to go into exile in England (1726–9). Back in France, he wrote …

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voltmeter - Potentiometer, Vacuum Tube Voltmeter (VTVM), Oscilloscope

An instrument used for measuring potential difference or electromotive force between points in a circuit. Most voltmeters consist of an ammeter connected in line with a high resistance, and calibrated in volts. The current flowing is proportional to the potential difference, although the presence of the measuring instrument reduces the potential difference. A voltmeter is an instrument used…

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Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) - Media reports

A British charity founded in 1958 to send skilled volunteers to work for two-year periods in developing countries. The host government provides a living allowance and accommodation; VSO provides briefing, air fare, and a grant. Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is an international development charity that works through experienced volunteers living and working as equals alongside local partn…

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voodoo - African origins, Survival in the Southern US, Myths and misconceptions, Demographics

The popular religion of Haiti, also found in the West Indies and parts of South America. A blending of Roman Catholicism with W African religion, its followers attend both the church and the voodoo temple, where a voodoo priest or priestess leads a ritual invoking of the spirits of the voodoo world through magical diagrams, songs, and prayer. The spirits possess the members in trance. Voodo…

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Voronezh - History, Further reading

51°40N 39°10E, pop (2000e) 888 000. River port capital of Voronezhskaya oblast, EC European Russia, on R Voronezh; founded as a fortress, 1586; airport; railway; university (1918); agricultural trade, excavators, synthetic rubber, foodstuffs, atomic power generation. Voronezh (Russian: Воро́неж) is a large city in southwestern Russia, not far from Ukraine. It is located on the V…

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vortex - Dynamics, Two types of vortex, Observations

A rotational form of fluid flow. Lines of flow are curved, and may even form closed loops. Examples of vortices are whirlpools, tornadoes, and the circulating eddies caused by obstructions in rivers. A vortex (pl. The shape of media or mass rotating rapidly around a center forms a vortex. A vortex can be any circular or rotary flow that possesses vorticity. Vorticity is a mathem…

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Vorticism - Origins, Participants, BLAST, Demise and legacy

A modern art movement started in England in 1913, partly inspired by the Futurists. Leading members included Wyndham Lewis, C R W Nevinson, and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Two issues were published of a journal, Blast (1914), and an exhibition was held (1915), after which the movement petered out. Vorticism was a short lived British art movement of the early 20th century. It is considered to be …

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Vortigern - The stories of Vortigern, Vortigern: history or apocrypha?, Portrayals of Vortigern on television

Semi-legendary British king who, according to Bede, recruited Germanic mercenaries led by Hengist and Horsa to help fight off the Picts after the final withdrawal of the Roman administration from Britain (409). Tradition has it that the revolt of these troops opened the way for the Germanic conquests and settlements in England. Vortigern, (also spelled Vortiger and Vortigen) was a 5th centu…

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Vosges Mountains

area 7425 km²/2866 sq mi. Range of hills in NE France near the Franco-German frontier; separated from the Jura (S) by the Belfort Gap; thickly-wooded hills, several rivers descending to the Rhine and the Central Plateau; highest point, Ballon de Guebwiller (1423 m/4669 ft); length, 250 km/155 mi; skiing and rock climbing. The Vosges mountains is a range in central-western Europe, st…

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Vossius

The name of a Dutch family of scholars and historians. Three learned members were: Gerardus Joannes (1577–1649), Dutch writer and historian, born in Heidelberg, Germany, a friend of Hugo Grotius. He was professor in Leiden (1622) and Amsterdam (1631). A prolific writer with a European reputation, he turned down an appointment as professor in Cambridge and became a canon of Canterbury. He died in …

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Vostok (scientific station)

78°27S 106°51E. Russian scientific station in Antarctica; lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth (?88·3°C) measured here; South Geomagnetic Pole (1985) nearby. …

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Vostok (spacecraft)

The first generation of Soviet crewed spacecraft, carrying a single person. Vostok 1 carried the first human into space (12 Apr 1961) - Yuri Gagarin, who orbited Earth once on a flight of 118 min. Crew were recovered over land after ejection from the capsule at 7000 m/23 000 ft altitude after re-entry. The last Vostok flight carried Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space (Vostok …

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vow - Reference

A solemn promise made on a religious occasion. Examples include the marriage vows, the vows made by monks and nuns (now usually of poverty, chastity, and obedience), and vows made to saints in times of crisis. The god is usually reckoned to be going to grant some special favor to his votary in return for the promise made or service declared. A vow has to be distinguished, firstl…

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vowel - Prosody and intonation, Pronunciation in English, Monophthongs, diphthongs, triphthongs, Vowels in languages, Written vowels

One of the two main categories of speech sound (the other being consonant). Phonetically, a vowel is a sound produced when the air flows freely through the mouth without constriction from the pharynx, tongue, or lips - an oral vowel; it may also flow partly through the nose (a nasal vowel). Vowel quality is determined by the shape of the lips and the position of the tongue. Phonologically, a vowel…

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voyeurism - Characteristics, Criminalization, Voyeurism in fiction, DSM IV Classification, Sexual criminals

A repeated tendency to observe others engaging in intimate, including sexual, behaviour. Sexual excitement often occurs in anticipation of the voyeuristic act, which may be accompanied by masturbation. Voyeurism is a practice in which an individual derives sexual pleasure from observing other people. Such people may be engaged in sexual acts, or be nude or in underwear, or dressed in …

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VTOL - Media

Acronym used for a fixed-wing aircraft specially designed for Vertical Take-Off and Landing. The most successful aircraft of this type is the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, which can deflect the thrust from its jet engine from the vertical to the horizontal while in flight. Since the early 1950s the USA has built a series of propeller-driven aircraft of various configurations, some of which stood on the…

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Vulcan - About Vulcan, Vulcan in mythology, Vulcan of the alchemists

The Roman god of fire, especially destructive fire and volcanic activity, sometimes called Mulciber. He was identified with the Greek Hephaestus, and later given his attributes, such as metal-working. Vulcan's forge was believed to be situated beneath Mount Etna in Sicily or under the Aeolian island of Vulcano in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Vulcan's shrine in the Forum Romanum, called t…

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vulcanization - Reason for vulcanizing, Description, Overview and history, Goodyear's contribution, Later developments, Devulcanization

The modification of the properties of rubber by chemical treatment, originally and still mainly (except for certain synthetic rubbers) with sulphur. Other chemicals may speed the vulcanization process or serve as extenders. The technique, which originated with Charles Goodyear in 1839, improves tensile strength, elasticity, and abrasion resistance. Vulcanization, or curing of rubber, is a c…

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Vulgate - Relation with the Old Latin Bible, Jerome's Translation, Psalters, Manuscripts and Early Editions

The Latin translation of the Christian Bible, originating with Jerome (c.405), who attempted to provide an authoritative alternative to the confusing array of Old Latin versions in his day. From c.7th-c, it emerged in Western Christianity as the favourite Latin version (vulgate meaning the ‘common’ edition), but was itself revised and corrupted through the centuries. In 1546 the Council of Trent…

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Vulpecula

A small N constellation in the Milky Way in which the first pulsar was discovered in 1967. Source: The Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed., The Hipparcos Catalogue, ESA SP-1200 …

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vulture

A bird of prey specialized to feed on carrion; head often lacking long feathers. There are two groups. Old World vultures (Family: Accipitridae, 14 species) evolved over 20 million years ago; formerly worldwide but now absent from the Americas; no sense of smell. New World or cathartid vultures (Family: Cathartidae, 7 species) evolved more recently; formerly present in the Old World but now restri…

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W(alter) W(illiam) Skeat

Philologist, born in London, UK. He studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1860, and professor of Anglo-Saxon (1878). He was founder and first director of the Dialect Society (1873), and made a major contribution to English philology, editing several important texts. His main works include the Etymological English Dictionary (1879–82), Principles of English Etymology …

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W(ilhelm) F(riedemann) Bach - Selected works, Trivia

Composer, born in Weimar, C Germany, the eldest and most gifted son of J S Bach. He studied at the Thomasschule and Leipzig University, and in 1733 became organist at Dresden and in 1747 at Halle. His way of life became increasingly dissolute, and from 1764 he lived without fixed occupation at Brunswick, Göttingen, and Berlin, where he died. He was the greatest organ player of his time, but very …

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W(illiam) B(utler) Yeats - Early life and work, The young poet

Poet and playwright, born near Dublin, Ireland. Educated at schools in London and Dublin, he became an art student, then turned to writing. A leader of the Irish Literary Revival, he is a major voice of modern Irish poetry in English. In 1888 he published ‘The Wanderings of Oisin’, a long narrative poem that established his reputation. The Celtic Twilight, a book of peasant legends, appeared in …

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W(illiam) E(wart) Gladstone - Early life, Minister under Peel, Chancellor of the Exchequer, First ministry, 1868–1874

British statesman and prime minister (1868–74, 1880–5, 1886, 1892–4), born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and entered parliament in 1832 as a Conservative, working closely with Peel. From 1834 he held various junior posts, becoming President of the Board of Trade (1843–5). A firm supporter of free trade, he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in Aberdeen's coalitio…

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W(illiam) H(enry) Hudson

Writer and naturalist, born near Buenos Aires. He moved to England in 1869 and became a British subject in 1900. His early writings concerned the natural history of South America, but he is best known for the account of his rambles in the New Forest in Hampshire Days (1903), his romantic novel Green Mansions (1904), and the autobiographical Far Away and Long Ago (1918). His ornithological works in…

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W(illiam) L(yon) Mackenzie King - Biography, Personal life, Supreme Court appointments, Woodside National Historic Site

Canadian statesman and prime minster (1921–6, 1926–30, 1935–48), born in Kitchener (formerly Berlin), Ontario, SE Canada. He studied law at Toronto University, and economics at Chicago and Harvard. He became an MP (1908), minister of labour (1909–11), and Liberal leader (1919). As premier, he introduced legislation for the resolution of industrial disputes through third-party arbitration, and …

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W(illiam) P(aton) Ker - Works

Scholar, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied at Glasgow and Oxford, and became professor of English at Cardiff (1883–9) and University College London (1889–1920), and professor of poetry at Oxford in 1920. A talker, lecturer, and writer of prodigious learning and vitality, his books include Epic and Romance (1897), The Dark Ages (1904), Essays on Mediaeval Literature (1905), and The Art …

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W(illiam) T(homas) Grant

Retailer, born in Stevensville, Pennsylvania, USA. The family moved to Massachusetts, where he had several jobs including a brief spell as a prize fight promoter. In 1906, while working as a clerk in a store, he noticed how quickly the 25-cent items sold. He went on to open his own large store in Lynn, MA with 21 departments, all selling items for 25 cents or less. W T Grant's, with Grant controll…

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wadi - List of Wadis

A desert ravine or steep-sided gorge formed during flash floods, but generally containing water only during rainy seasons. A wadi (Arabic: وادي‎ wādī) is a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain. Some names of Spanish rivers are derived from Andalusi Arabic toponyms where wādī was used to mean a permanent river, for example Guadalquivir from a…

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Waffen-SS - Basic Background, Concept and training, Trial by fire, Mixed quality and imagined quality

The military branch of the Schutzstaffel (SS) in World War 2. In 1944 the Waffen-SS totalled c.950 000 men. The Waffen-SS ("Armed SS") was the combat arm of the Schutzstaffel. After humble beginnings as a protection unit for the NSDAP leadership, the Waffen-SS eventually grew into a force of thirty-eight combat divisions comprising over 950,000 men, and including a number…

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wagtail

A small, ground-dwelling songbird, found worldwide; plumage usually bold, black-and-white, yellow, or green (dull species are called pipits); long tail which wags vertically; inhabits open country; eats mainly insects. The name is also used for two New World flycatchers and one fantail. (Family: Motacillidae, 48 species.) …

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Wahoo

41º21N 96º61W, pop (2000e) 3900. County seat of Saunders Co, Nebraska, USA; derived its name from the Otoe Indian word meaning ‘burning bush’ from a plant that grew along the banks of the Wahoo Creek; first settled in 1865; named county seat, 1873; all streets N and S are named after trees; birthplace of George W Beadle, Sam Crawford, Howard Hanson, Darryl F Zanuck; railway; construction of W…

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Waitangi Day - Controversy and Protest, Celebrations

The national day of New Zealand (6 Feb), commemorating the Treaty of Waitangi made between Britain and the Maori chiefs in 1840. Waitangi Day is a public holiday in New Zealand held each year on February 6 to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, on that date in 1840. A draft of the treaty had been presented to the local Māori chiefs the pr…

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Wakefield (UK) - Music, Famous people born in or near Wakefield, Famous songs regarding Wakefield, Sport, Prisons, Location Grid

53°42N 1°29W, pop (2001e) 315 200. Administrative centre of West Yorkshire, N England, UK; on the R Calder, 13 km/8 mi S of Leeds; a woollen centre since the 16th-c; railway; textiles, chemicals, mining machinery, machine tools; site of Battle of Wakefield (1460) in Wars of the Roses. Wakefield is a city in Yorkshire, south of Leeds, and by the River Calder. The city suffered a double…

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Wakefield (USA) - Music, Famous people born in or near Wakefield, Famous songs regarding Wakefield, Sport, Prisons, Location Grid

42º30N 71º04W, pop (2000e) 24 800. Town in Middlesex Co, NE Massachusetts, USA; incorporated as South Reading in 1812; the town prospered when Cyrus Wakefield established the Boston and Maine Foundry Company (1851) and the Wakefield Rattan Company, which popularized the use of wicker in the US; town re-named Wakefield in his honour (1868); birthplace of Lucius Beebe, Carleton Coon, David Delli…

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Wales - Etymology, History, Economy, Demographics, Culture, National symbols, Photos of Wales, Notable Welsh people

(UK) Wales (Welsh: Cymru; Wales is located in the south-west of Great Britain and is bordered by the English counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire to the east, the Bristol Channel to the south, St George's Channel to the south-west, and the Irish Sea to the west and north, and also by the estuary of the River Dee (Afon Dyfrdwy) in the north-east. …

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Walker Evans

Photographer, born in St Louis, Missouri, USA. In 1933 he started as an architectural photographer, but from 1935 began to record social deprivation in the Southern states for the US government Farm Security Administration, the two themes being combined in his American Photographs (1938). He was associate editor of Fortune (1945–65), and professor of graphic design at Yale (1965–74). His work wi…

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Walker Percy - Biography, Further reading

Writer, born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. After the suicide of his father (1929) and death of his mother (1931), he and his two brothers were adopted by their father's cousin, William Percy, who lived in Greenville, MS. Walker studied at the University of North Carolina (1937 BA) and Columbia University (1941 MD), and then worked as a pathologist in New York City, but he contracted tuberculosis an…

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walking - Biomechanics, Walking as a leisure activity, Walking as transportation, Walking in robotics

Either a leisurely pursuit, or a competitive sport, also known as race walking. As a sport, both road and track race walking are popular. The rules governing the use of the feet are strict: one foot must be touching the ground at all times, and the lead leg must be straight as it passes under the torso. It has been an Olympic event since 1956, over distances of 20 km (12·4 mi) and 50 km (31 m…

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Wall Street - History, Wall Street today, Buildings, Cultural influence, Similar institutions

A street in New York City, USA, where the New York Stock Exchange and other major financial institutions are located. The road follows what once was the walled N boundary of the original Dutch colony. Wall Street is a narrow street in lower Manhattan in New York City, running east from Broadway downhill to the East River. The phrase "Wall Street" is also used as a metonym to ref…

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Wallace (Earle) Stegner - Bibliography, Further reading about Stegner, Awards

Writer and educator, born in Lake Mills, Iowa, USA. The son of Scandinavian immigrants, he lived in a number of Western states with his family before they settled in Salt Lake City, UT. After completing his education at the universities of Utah (1930 BA) and Iowa (1935 PhD), he began teaching English, a career that would take him to several major universities, mostly at Stanford University, where …

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Wallace (Hume) Carothers - Biography

Chemist and inventor, born in Burlington, Iowa, USA. A teacher's son, he taught chemistry at several universities before concentrating on industrial research. Working for the Du Pont Company, he produced neoprene, the first synthetic rubber, and followed that success with the discovery of nylon. He committed suicide, and the patent for nylon went posthumously to Du Pont. Wallace Hume Caroth…

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Wallace (John) Eckert - Application: solution of differential equations for astronomy, Application: the Manhattan Project

Computer engineer, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. An astronomer by training, he was early intrigued by the possible application of computers to astronomical calculations. He established a computation laboratory at Columbia University and encouraged International Business Machines to support computer research (1933). He developed techniques for linking tabulating and adding equipment, and w…

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Wallace (Walter) Atwood

Geographer, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied at the University of Chicago (1897), and became deeply influenced by Rollin D Salisbury. He taught at Chicago and Harvard, then assumed the presidency of Clark University (1920–46). He travelled on every continent and wrote much, especially in the area of physical geography. Wallace Walter Atwood (1872 – 1949) was an American geograp…

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Wallace Beery

Film actor, born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. The half-brother of Noah Beery, he worked in the circus and in Broadway musicals, then went to Hollywood and began his long film career in 1913. At first he played tough villains, but with the advent of sound films he assumed a new persona as a rough-edged but loveable character. He won a Best Actor Oscar for The Champ (1931), and though he did not r…

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Wallace Clement (Ware) Sabine - Career

Physicist, the founder of architectural acoustics, born in Richwood, Ohio, USA. He studied at Ohio State University, then taught at Harvard, where he worked for the rest of his life. A specialist in the acoustic problems of buildings, by 1898 he had devised the Sabine law, that the reverberation time multiplied by the total absorptivity of the room is proportional to the volume of the room. He adv…

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Wallace Nutting

Congregational minister, antiquarian, photographer, and writer, born in Marlboro, Massachusetts, USA. Poor health led him to give up the ministry (1904), and to support himself he began to sell his atmospheric photographs of rural New England. By 1912 he was collecting genuine period furniture to place in four old houses he was restoring and, seeing a demand, he began (1917) to manufacture reprodu…

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Wallace Stevens - Life and career, Poetry, Bibliography

Poet and insurance executive, born in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. He took a special course at Harvard (1897–1900) and published some poems while there. He went to New York City to work as a journalist (1900–1), but did not care for journalism and went to New York University Law School (1901–3). He practised law in New York City (1904–16), and then joined the legal staff of the Hartford Acciden…

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wallaroo

A kangaroo with a shaggy coat and naked muzzle; two species: the solitary wallaroo, euro, or hill kangaroo (Macropus robustus) from rocky hill regions, and the antilopine wallaroo (Macropus antilopinus), which occurs in groups (‘mobs’) on N Australian grassland. A wallaroo is any of three closely related species of moderately large macropod, intermediate in size between the kangaroos and …

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walleye

Large, freshwater fish (Stizostedion vitreum) related to the zander, found in rivers and lakes of E North America; length up to 90 cm/3 ft; feeds mainly on small fishes and crustaceans; an excellent food fish and sport fish. (Family: Percidae.) …

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wallflower

A perennial reaching 20–60 cm/8–24 in (Cheiranthus cheiri), native to the E Mediterranean; stem slightly woody at base; leaves lance-shaped, crowded on stem; flowers yellow to orange-red, fragrant. Cultivars have a wide colour range and are grown as biennials. (Family: Cruciferae.) The genus Erysimum includes the wallflowers, which include both popular garden species and many wild forms…

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Wallingford - Geography, Character and local government, History, Famous residents and associated persons

41º27N 72º49W, pop (2000e) 43 000. Town in New Haven Co, Connecticut, USA; located along the Quinnipiac R, 8 km/5 mi S of Meriden and 21 km/13 mi N of New Haven; first settled, 1670; in 19th-c known for its production of silver, pewter, and Britannia ware; present town charter created a mayor-council form of government in 1962; birthplace of Moses Yale Beach and Clarence Edward Dutton; rai…

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Wallonia - Demographics and language, Economy, Politics, Etymology, Cinema, Holidays

French-speaking region of S Belgium; pop (2000e) 3 246 000. Walloons (36% of Belgian population); dividing line with Flanders to the N; many towns renowned for their art treasures (Tournai, Huy, Namur, Liège); steel, engineering. Wallonia (French: Wallonie, German: Wallonien, Walloon: Walonreye, Dutch: Wallonië) or the Walloon Region (French: Région Wallonne, Dutch: Waals Gewest…

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walnut - Uses, Health benefits of walnuts

A deciduous, spreading tree (Juglans regia), growing to 30 m/100 ft, native to the Balkans, and widely planted and naturalized elsewhere; leaves pinnate with 7–9 pairs of elliptical leaflets; male flowers in catkins on old wood, females in clusters on new wood; fruit 4–5 cm/1½–2 in, smooth, green. The wrinkled woody seed is the familiar walnut. The timber is used commercially, especially f…

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Walt (Whitman) Rostow - Bibliography

Economist, born in New York City, USA. He studied at Yale and Oxford universities, served with the US army, and became assistant chief of the German-Austrian economic division of the State Department. He taught at Oxford and Cambridge, then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies (1950–60), and was special adviser to presidents Kennedy (1961–3) and Johnson (…

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Walter (Adolph) Gropius - Life, Important buildings, Trivia

Architect, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied at Munich, and after serving in World War 1 was appointed director of the Grand Ducal group of schools of art in Weimar, which he reorganized to form the Bauhaus, aiming at a new functional interpretation of the applied arts. His revolutionary methods and bold use of unusual building materials were condemned in Weimar, and the Bauhaus was transferred …

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Walter (Charles) Hagen - Results in major championships

Golfer, born in Rochester, New York, USA. The first US-born winner of the (British) Open, he won the title four times (1922, 1924, 1928–9), the US Open twice (1914, 1919), the US Professional Golfers' Association Championship a record five times (1921, 1924–7), and captained the first six US Ryder Cup teams (1927–37). A flamboyant personality who insisted on good manners, he is credited with ra…

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Walter (Chauncey) Camp

Pioneer and coach of American football, born in New Britain, Connecticut, USA. He was called ‘The Father of American Football’ because he was largely responsible for transforming the US game into a unique contest, different from its soccer and rugby roots. He starred as a rugby runner and kicker at Yale (1876–81), and represented Yale at the intercollegiate football conventions (1877–1925). Am…

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Walter (Conrad) Arensberg

Art collector, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at Harvard (1900 BA; 1903–4), lived in New York City and worked as a newspaper reporter, then married and settled in Boston (1907). He collected works by Cubist artists, was a founder of the literary magazine, Others (1917), and attempted to prove through the use of cryptology that Francis Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare. He mo…

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Walter (Dorwin) Teague - External Links

Industrial designer, born in Decatur, Indiana, USA. After study at New York's Art Students League and subsequent freelance illustrating, graphic, and typographic work, he founded an industrial design office (1926) whose clients included Kodak, Corning Glass, Ford, US Steel, Texaco, and Du Pont. Among his notable designs were the 1928 Kodak Bantam Special camera, the 1935 Texaco gas station, Pyrex …

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Walter (Ernest) Allen - Works

Novelist and critic, born in Birmingham, West Midlands, C England, UK. He studied at Birmingham University, then held several university posts in Britain and the USA. He became part of a Birmingham School of Writers which included Louis MacNeice. His first novel, Innocence is Drowned, was published in 1938, and he scored a considerable success with Dead Man Over All, in 1950. He wrote several crit…

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Walter (Ernst Karl) Ulbricht - Political career

East German statesman, chairman of the Council of State (1960–73), born in Leipzig, EC Germany. At first a cabinet-maker, he entered politics in 1912, and in 1928 became Communist deputy for Potsdam. He left Germany on Hitler's rise in 1933, spending most of his exile in the Soviet Union. In 1945 he returned as head of the German Communist Party, and became deputy premier of the German Democratic…

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Walter (Francis) O'Malley - Birth, Education, George McLaughlin, Brooklyn Dodgers, Death, Timeline

Baseball executive, born in New York City, New York, USA. He was the owner of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1950–70). His decision to move the franchise from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958 was controversial, but it proved to be eminently successful. His son, Peter O'Malley, assumed the presidency of the Dodgers in 1970. Walter Francis O'Malley (October 9, 1903 - August 9, 1979) wa…

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Walter (Francis) White - Investigating the Elaine Race Riot

Civil-rights leader and writer, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Fair-skinned, blond, and blue-eyed, though part black, he could pass for white but chose to champion the cause of the black race after experiencing a race riot in Atlanta, GA (1906). In 1926 he published his novel Flight based on his experiences of ‘passing’. As an insurance company cashier, he took the lead in establishing a branch …

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Walter (Hamor) Piston - Life, Books

Composer, born in Rockland, Maine, USA. He trained as an artist and first took a serious interest in music at Harvard (1920–4), and after studies in Paris under Nadia Boulanger, he taught at Harvard (1926–60). A favourite of the conductor Serge Koussevitzky, he was noted for his solid craftmanship in Neoclassical works, including eight symphonies and five string quartets. He also wrote several p…

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Walter (Horatio) Pater

Critic and essayist, born in London, UK. He studied at Canterbury and Oxford, where he worked as a scholar, and became known with his Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873). His philosophical romance, Marius the Epicurean (1885), appealed to a wider audience, dealing with the spread of Christianity in the days of catacombs. He developed a highly polished prose style, and exercised consid…

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Walter (Hubert) Annenberg - Early life, Business life, Personal life, Philanthropy

Publisher and philanthropist, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Inheriting a communications empire that included the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Racing Forum, and broadcasting stations, he founded Seventeen magazine (1944) and the immensely successful TV Guide (1953), besides purchasing The Philadelphia Daily News (1957). A prominent Republican, he served as US ambassador to Britain (1969–74). He…

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Walter (Johannes) Damrosch - Work on Broadway, Educator/Popularizer

Conductor, composer, and educator, born in Wroc?aw, Poland (formerly Breslau, Prussia). The son of Leopold Damrosch, he went to the USA with his family (1871) and was largely trained in music by his father. When his father died, he took over his post as conductor of the New York Symphony Society (1885–1903). He also began an assistantship at the Metropolitan Opera (1885–91), during which time he…

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Walter (John) de la Mare - The imagination, Works, Short story collections, See Also

Writer, born in Charlton, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at London, worked for an oil company (1890–1908), then devoted himself to writing. His first work, Songs of Childhood (1902), was under the pseudonym of Walter Ramal. He wrote several volumes of poetry, novels, and short stories, including the prose romance Henry Brocken (1904), the poetic collection The Listeners (1912), and his fantasti…

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Walter (John) Travis

Golfer, born in Malden, Victoria, Australia. One of golf's pioneers, he emigrated to the USA at age 23 and won three US Amateur titles (1900–1, 1903). He founded American Golfer magazine in 1905. Walter Travis contributed heavily to the United States Golf Association Rules of Golf, and wrote extensively on various golf topics for the leading sports magazines of the time. As reported in …

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Walter (Perry) Johnson - Statistics

Baseball pitcher, born in Humboldt, Kansas, USA. During his 21-year career with the Washington Senators (1907–27) he won 416 games, the second highest in major league history, and pitched 110 shutouts, a major league record. One of the fastest throwers in the game's history, the right-hander led the league in strikeouts 12 times. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1936. Walter Pe…

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Walter (Philip) Reuther

Labour leader, born in Wheeling, West Virginia, USA. He worked at a Ford automobile plant (1927–32) and then went to the Soviet Union to work at the Gorki Auto plant (1933–5). On return to the USA he became one of the founders of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and took an active role in forcing General Motors to recognize the UAW. During World War 2 he solidified his reputation as a responsible l…

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Walter (Richard) Sickert - Life and work, Jack the Ripper theories

Artist, born in Munich, SE Germany. After three years on the English stage, he turned to art, studying in London and Paris, where he met Degas, and used his techniques to illustrate music-hall interiors and London life. The Camden Town Group (later the London Group) was formed under his leadership (c.1910), and he became a major influence on later English painters. His father Oswald was Dan…

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Walter (Robert) Dornberger

Rocket engineer, born in Giessen, WC Germany. An engineer and officer in the German army, he set up an experimental rocket station at Kummersdorf which successfully fired a 650 lb-thrust motor in 1932. In World War 2 the work was transferred to Peenemünde, where he directed the development of the V-2 rockets. After spending three years as a prisoner-of-war in England (1945–7), he went to the US…

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Walter (Sydney) Adams - Honors

Astronomer, born in Antioch, S Turkey (formerly Syria) to American missionary parents. In 1884 the family returned to the USA, where he studied astronomy at Dartmouth College, NH, then worked under George Hale at Yerkes Observatory at the University of Chicago (1900–4). He accompanied Hale to California and helped set up the Mt Wilson Observatory (1904), becoming its director on Hale's retirement…

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Walter (Wilhelm) Gieseking - Bibliography

Pianist, born of German parents in Lyon, SC France. He studied in Hanover and made his first public appearance in 1915. After World War 1 he established an international reputation, especially in the works of Debussy and Ravel. Walter Wilhelm Gieseking (November 5, 1895 – October 26, 1956) was a French-German pianist and composer. Gieseking is said to have been a natural and i…

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Walter B(radford) Cannon - Biography, Family, Research, Books, External links and references

Physiologist, born in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, USA. As a medical student at Harvard (1896–1900), he devised the use of radiopaque chemicals for X-ray diagnosis of the gastro-intestinal system (1897). He joined Harvard's faculty (1900–42) and investigated the physiology of digestion until 1911. Inquiries into the physiological effect of emotions (1911–17), including studies of surgical traum…

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Walter Bagehot

Economist and journalist, born in Langport, Somerset, SW England, UK. He graduated in mathematics at University College London, was called to the bar in 1852, and succeeded his father-in-law, James Wilson (1805–60), as editor of the Economist in 1860. His English Constitution (1867) is still a standard work. His Physics and Politics (1872) applied the theory of evolution to politics. He advocated…

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Walter Bedell Smith

US soldier and diplomat, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. With no college education, he began as a National Guardsman (1910) and rose slowly through the ranks of the regular army until General George Marshall brought him to Washington (1939) to assist in the build-up of the army. By 1942 he was secretary of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, and in 1942–5 he was Eisenhower's chief-of-staff, in which p…

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Walter Benjamin - Early life, Work, Criticism, Death, Legacy

Writer, born in Berlin, Germany. As an essayist and literary and social critic, he combined a dialectic-materialist approach to history with one tending towards messianistic eschatology. His works include Einbahnstraße (1928) and Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit (1936). His voluminous unfinished Passagenwerk takes the Paris arcades as a symbol of the 19th-c. …

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Walter Brennan - Early Life and Career, Successful Career as a Character Actor, Status in Film History

Film actor, born in Swampscott, Massachusetts, USA. He worked at various jobs while appearing in vaudeville and local theatre, and after serving in World War 1 entered Hollywood films as an extra and stuntman (1923). Over the next 50 years, he appeared in over 100 films as an outstanding character actor, becoming the first actor to win three Oscars, for Best Supporting Actor in Come and Get It (19…

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Walter Brown McGhee

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. As a child, he learned banjo and guitar, played organ, and sang in church, and at age 14 he began to play music in travelling shows. In the 1930s he played with blues singer Blind Boy Fuller and met harmonica player Sonny Terry. In the 1940s he performed and recorded extensively with Terry, becoming known in folk and blues circl…

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Walter Burley Griffin - Early life, Chicago career, Mason City, Iowa homes, Canberra, Legacy, Major works

Architect and town planner, born in Maywood, Illinois, USA. He studied at Illinois State University. In 1912 he won an international competition for the design of the new federal capital of Australia, Canberra, and went to Australia to supervise construction. He remained there, designing a number of notable buildings and the eccentric Castlecrag estate in N Sydney. In 1935 he went to India followi…

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Walter Crane - Early life and influences, Paintings and illustrations, Socialism, Mature work, External links and Resources

Painter and illustrator, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He came under the influence of the pre-Raphaelites, and became a leader with William Morris in the Arts and Crafts movement, and in early Socialism. He was particularly celebrated as an illustrator of children's books. He was director of Manchester School of Art (1893–6), Reading College (1896–8), and principal of the Royal …

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Walter de Merton

Clergyman, probably born in Surrey, SE England, UK. In 1264 he founded Merton College, Oxford, the prototype of the collegiate system in English universities. He was Bishop of Rochester from 1274. Walter de Merton (c.1205 - 27 October 1277) was Bishop of Rochester and founder of Merton College, Oxford. Walter was born probably at Merton in Surrey or educated there; We know that …

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Walter Donaldson

Composer, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He composed many hit songs of the 1920s and 1930s that were used in Broadway shows, films, and by big-name bands. He wrote Al Jolson's signature song ‘My Mammy’ (1918) and the score for the musical Whoopee (1928), which starred Eddie Cantor and contained the hit ‘Makin' Whoopee’. In the 1930s and 1940s he was a composer-arranger of Hollywood films. …

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Walter Duranty - Views on the Soviet Union, The Famine, Later Career, Books

Journalist, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. Joining the New York Times in 1913, he became its Moscow correspondent (1922–41) and won a 1932 Pulitzer Prize for reporting. Regarded by some as an expert, he has been soundly criticized for pro-Stalinist bias. Walter Duranty (1884–1957), born in Liverpool, England, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for a set of stories he wrote in 1…

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Walter Evans Edge

US senator, governor, and ambassador, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. A self-made advertising millionaire, he served in the New Jersey senate (Republican, 1911–16), and as governor of New Jersey (1917–20) reformed prison administration. In the US Senate (1920–9), he supported founding the bureau of the budget. He was appointed ambassador to France (1929–33), and later served as govern…

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Walter Fenner Leonard - People

Baseball player, born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA. As a first baseman for the Homestead Grays (1934–50), he was known as the ‘Lou Gehrig’ of the black baseball leagues. Teamed with Josh Gibson, he helped the Grays win the Negro National League pennant nine years in a row (1937–45). A solid ·340 hitter with power, he was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1972. …

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Walter Flex

Writer, born in Eisenach, C Germany. After serving as tutor to the Bismarcks, he volunteered for service in World War 1, where he met the leader of the ‘Wandervogel’ youth movement, Ernst Wurche, whose motto ‘Rein bleiben und reif werden’ (‘stay pure, become mature’) inspired Flex to his 1917 war novel Der Wanderer zwischen beiden Welten. This work exercised a profound influence on the post-…

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Walter Gilbert

Molecular biologist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He earned degrees in physics at Harvard and mathematics at Cambridge University, UK. In his long career at Harvard (1959), he taught successively physics, biophysics, biochemistry, and molecular biology, and was named Carl M Loeb university professor (1987). He identified the entire sequence of nucleotides in the DNA of a digestive protein p…

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Walter Greenwood

Writer, born in Salford, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. His best-known novel is Love on the Dole (1933), inspired by his experiences of unemployment and depression in the early 1930s. It made a considerable impact as a document of the times, and was subsequently dramatized in 1934 and filmed in 1941. Walter Greenwood (December 17, 1903 – September 13, 1974) was an English novelist, b…

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Walter H(ouser) Brattain

US physicist, born in Amoy, SE China, where his father was a teacher. He grew up on a cattle ranch in the State of Washington, and studied at the universities of Oregon and Minnesota. In 1929 he joined Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he worked as a research physicist on the surface properties of semiconductors. With Bardeen and Shockley he developed the point-contact transistor, using a thin ge…

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Walter Hallstein - Honours

German politician and lawyer, born in Mainz, WC Germany. He became professor at Rostock (1930) and Frankfurt-am-Main (1941). A member of the Christlich-Demokratische Union (CDU) he became state secretary Bundeskanzleramt (1950), member of the foreign office (1951), president of the European Commission (1958–67), president of the European Movement (1968–74), and member of the Bundestag (1969–72)…

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Walter Hampden

Stage actor, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. A romantic presence, he performed both classic and commercial theatre, appearing several times in the title role of Cyrano de Bergerac. Walter Hampden is the artist name of Walter Hampden Dougherty (born June 30, 1879 in Brooklyn; Hampden's last stage role was as Danforth in the original Broadway production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible.…

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Walter Hasenclever

Writer, born in Aachen, W Germany. His play Der Sohn (1914), with its theme of the conflict between father and son, became a manifesto of Expressionist literature and a symbol for the young. His popular work was frequently performed during the 1920s and includes the anti-war plays Das Retter (1915) and Antigone (1917). He later wrote comedies such as Ein besserer Herr (1927), Ehen werden im Himmel…

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Walter Hines Page

Editor, publisher, and diplomat, born in Cary, North Carolina, USA. As editor of the Atlantic Monthly(1895–8), he added a political dimension to its coverage, boosting its popularity and prestige. Also a partner in Doubleday, Page & Co publishers from 1899, he served during a crucial period as US ambassador to Britain (1913–18). Walter Hines Page (August 15, 1855 - December 21, 1918) was …

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Walter Hoving - Involvement with John F. Kennedy, An Exception to the Rule, Selling 'Esthetic Excitement'

Retail executive, born in Stockholm, Sweden. He emigrated to the USA as a child. During his long career in merchandising he became known for his impeccable taste and high standards. He was president of Lord & Taylor, New York (1936–46), then founded Hoving Corp (1946), which owned Bonwit Teller and Tiffany and Co. As chairman of Tiffany's (1955–80) he restored the store's faded cachet and profit…

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Walter Jackson Bate - Major works

Literary critic and educator, born in Mankato, Minnesota, USA. On the Harvard faculty (1946), he became a prominent spokesman for the humanistic literary tradition, resurrected the study of 18th-c English literature, and wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning literary biographies of John Keats (1963) and Samuel Johnson (1977). He is known for two Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies, of John Keats and …

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Walter James Vincent Maranville - Differences from hares, Humans' relationship with rabbits, Domestic rabbits, Environmental problems with rabbits, Classification

Baseball player, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. During his 23-year career as an infielder (1912–35), mostly with the Boston Braves, he established many fielding records with his colourful play, including most lifetime putouts by a shortstop (5133). He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1954. Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found i…

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Walter Jens

Writer, born in Hamburg, N Germany. A novelist and literary critic, he became professor of classical philology in Tübingen (1956) and then professor of rhetoric there (1963–88). His earlier work was influenced by Franz Kafka, and during 1947–55 he produced anti-fascist writing, since stressing the importance of the critical appraisal of current affairs. He combines literary traditions and scien…

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Walter Kempowski - Bibliography

Writer, born in Rostock, N Germany. Convicted of spying by the Russians in 1948, he was imprisoned in Bautzen until 1956, after which he moved to West Germany and became a teacher. His highly successful novels include the partially autobiographical saga about a middle-class family from pre-Weimar Republic to after World War 2. It begins with Tadellöser & Wolff (1971), which was made into a popula…

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Walter Lantz - Start in Animation, The Oswald Era, The Woody Woodpecker Era, Retirement, Characters, Walter Lantz "Cartunes"

Cartoonist and film animator, born in New Rochelle, New York, USA. An office boy on the New York American (1914), he studied cartooning by correspondence course, then started with William Randolph Hearst's animation studio in 1916. He rose to be writer/director/‘star’ of his own Dinky Doodle cartoons, then went to Hollywood, where he took over Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (1928), and remained with Un…

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Walter Legge - Further reading

Record producer, a major figure in the European classical record industry, and founder of the Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra, born in London, UK. He engaged Fischer-Dieskau, Nicolai Gedda, and his future wife Elisabeth Schwarzkopf for a series of classic recordings of opera under equally famous conductors, and was responsible for the revival of interest in Lieder. Legge first joined HMV in…

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Walter Lindrum - Early life, Billiards champion

Billiards player, born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Regarded as the world's greatest billiards player, he set the current world record break of 4317 while playing Joe Davis in 1932, at Thurston's Hall, London. He competed in only two world championships (1933–4), and won both. He retired from competitive play in 1950. Walter Albert Lindrum (29th August 1898 – 30 July 1960) was an Au…

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Walter Lippmann - Early life, Journalism and Democracy, Bibliography

Writer and editor, born in New York City, New York, USA. He was perhaps the most influential political commentator of his time, sought after by world leaders and followed by millions of loyal readers. After graduating from Harvard (1910), where he studied philosophy, political science, and economics, and was influenced by George Santayana, Lippmann assisted Lincoln Steffens in ‘muckraking’ resea…

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Walter Lowrie

Protestant administrator and US senator, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He emigrated to Pennsylvania with his family in 1792, and taught at a school in Butler, PA. He entered local politics, holding several small offices before winning election to the US Senate, and spoke out against slavery during his single Senate term (Democrat, 1819–25). In 1825–36 he was secretary of the Senate, after …

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Walter Matthau - Biography, Original name rumour, Trivia, Filmography, TV work, Stage appearances

Film actor, born in New York City, USA. The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, he studied at the New School for Social Research Dramatic Workshop, began working in Yiddish theatre, and made his Broadway debut in 1948. His film debut was in The Kentuckian (1955), and for many years he was cast as a villain. It was the 1967 Neil Simon comedy film The Odd Couple which pushed him into major film parts.…

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Walter Payton - Early life, College career, Professional career, Personal life, Playing style

Player of American football, born in Columbia, Mississippi, USA. In his career with the Chicago Bears (1975–88), he rushed for 16 726 yards, a National Football League record. In one game (1977) he rushed for a record 275 yards. His 110 rushing touchdowns were a record at the time of his retirement in 1988. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993. Walter Jerry Payton (July 25, 1954 –…

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Walter Rauschenbusch - Books

Protestant religious leader, born in Rochester, New York, USA. The son of an immigrant German clergyman, he studied in Germany and returned home to graduate from the Rochester Theological Seminary in 1887. His experience as pastor of an impoverished German immigrant parish in New York City turned him to the Social Gospel movement, of which he became a leader. In 1897 he left parish work to become …

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Walter Reed - Biography, Heritage, memorials

Physician and soldier, born in Belroi, Virginia, USA. He received a medical degree from the University of Virginia (1869) and served an internship in Brooklyn. Commissioned assistant surgeon (1875), he spent 11 years in frontier garrison posts. A transfer in 1890 gave him the opportunity to pursue bacteriological research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and he became professor of bacteri…

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Walter Rudolf Hess

Physiologist, born in Frauenfeld, N Switzerland. As professor of physiology at Zürich (1917–51) he did much important research on the nervous system, and developed methods of stimulating localized areas of the brain by means of needle electrodes. He shared the 1949 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Walter Rudolf Hess (March 17, 1881 – August 12, 1973) was a Swiss physiologist who …

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Walter Savage Landor - Early life, South Wales, First Publication and Gebir, Napoleonic Wars, Marriage and separation, Poetry, Bibliography

Writer, born in Warwick, Warwickshire, C England, UK. He was sent down from both Rugby School and Trinity College, Oxford, but despite this and his difficult character, he became an outstanding classicist. He published Poems in 1795, Citation and Examination of William Shakespeare (1834), and Hellenics (1847). His best-known work is the prose dialogue Imaginary Conversations (1824–9). Walt…

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Walter Scheel

West German statesman and president (1974–9), born in Solingen, C Germany. After serving in the Luftwaffe in World War 2 he went into business, joined the Free Democratic Party, and was elected to the Bundestag in 1953. He was minister for economic co-operation (1961–6) and foreign minister (1969–74), and in 1970 negotiated treaties with the USSR and Poland. Walter Scheel (born Solingen …

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Walter Shirlaw

Painter, born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, W Scotland, UK. He emigrated with his parents to New York in 1841. He became a bank-note engraver until 1870, then studied in Munich (1870–7), and was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists (1877). He painted genre scenes and murals. Walter Shirlaw (August 6, 1838 – 1909) was a Scottish-American artist. He was born in Pa…

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Walter Trampler

Violinist and violist, born in Munich, Germany. He briefly played violin in the Boston Symphony before founding the New Music String Quartet (1947–56), in which he played viola. He later taught at Juilliard and Boston University, meanwhile performing concerts into the 1990s. Walter Trampler (August 25, 1915- September 27, 1997) was a virtuoso performer and teacher of the viola and viola d'…

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Walter Wanger

Film producer, born in San Francisco, California, USA. After service in World War 1, he joined Paramount as a producer, moved to Columbia and MGM, then went independent. Among his more ambitious films were Stagecoach (1939) and Joan of Arc (1948). Walter Wanger (July 11, 1894 - November 18, 1968) was an important American film producer. His many significant productions include T…

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Walter Wellman

Journalist, explorer, and aeronaut, born in Mentor, Ohio, USA. A journalist given to making sensational expeditions, such as erecting a monument (1891) on Watling I, or San Salvador, where he said Columbus had first landed, he made two failed attempts to reach the North Pole in an airship (1907, 1909). In 1910 he was one of a crew of six who set off in another large airship to try to cross the Atl…

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Walter Winchell - Professional career, Style, Personal life, Legacy, Winchellism and Winchellese, Portrayals in the media

Journalist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Father of the newspaper gossip column which he pioneered in the 1920s along with many slangy neologisms, he was also a familiar voice on radio, from 1929 until the mid-1950s, with his staccato delivery punctuated by the sound of teletype keys. Walter Winchell (April 7, 1897 – February 20, 1972), an American newspaper and radio commentator, inven…

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Waltham - Places, Other

42º23N 71º14W, pop (2000e) 59 200. City in Middlesex Co, E Massachusetts, USA; 14 km/9 mi W of Boston; settled, 1636; gained city status, 1884; birthplace of Nathaniel Banks, Theodore Lyman, Kenneth Wilson; the first US paper mill founded here, 1788; railway; Brandeis University (1947); electronics, precision instruments. Waltham may refer to: In Canada: In Eng…

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Walther (Wilhelm Georg) Bothe - Biography, Personal life, External links and further reading

Physicist, born in Oranienburg, NE Germany. From 1934 he was head of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research at Heidelberg. His work on the development of the coincidence technique in counting processes brought him a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954. Walther Wilhelm Georg Bothe (January 8, 1891 – February 8, 1957) was a German physicist, mathematician, chemist, and Nobel…

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Walther Bauersfeld

Physicist and engineer, born in Berlin, Germany. As a leading employee of the Zeiss works in Jena, he developed its projection planetarium and made discoveries in the fields of cinematics, photogrammetry, and applied mechanics. Walther Bauersfeld (January 23, 1879 in Berlin–October 28, 1959 in Heidenheim an der Brenz) was a German engineer, employed by the Zeiss Corporation, on a suggesti…

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Walther Flemming

Biologist, born in Sachsenberg, WC Germany. He studied medicine at five German universities, and in 1876 became professor of anatomy at Kiel. In 1882 he gave the first modern account of cytology, including the process of cell division, which he named mitosis. Walther Flemming (born April 21, 1843 in Sachsenberg, Germany; He was born as the fifth child and only son of the psychia…

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Walther Funk - Early life, Political life, Third Reich career, Nuremberg

Nazi politician, born in Trakehnen, Germany. He studied at Berlin and Leipzig, was one of Hitler's chief advisers, and succeeded Schacht as minister of economics and president of the Reichsbank. He played a leading part in planning the economic aspects of the attack on Russia, and in the exploitation of occupied territories. Captured in 1945, he was sentenced to life imprisonment as a war criminal…

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Walther Rathenau - Family, Political career, Assassination, Works

Industrialist and statesman, born in Berlin, Germany. He organized German war industries during World War 1, and in 1921, as minister of reconstruction, and after February 1922 as foreign minister, dealt with reparations. His attempts to negotiate a reparations agreement with the victorious Allies, and the fact that he was Jewish, made him extremely unpopular in nationalist circles, and he was mur…

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Walther von der Vogelweide - Life history, Assessment, Works, Sources

German lyric poet. In 1190–8 he was in high favour at the court of Austria, and was later at Mainz and Magdeburg. In 1204 he outshone his rivals in the great contest at the Wartburg. He first sided with the Guelphs, but made friends with the victorious Hohenstaufen, Frederick II, who gave him a small estate. He wrote political, religious, and didactic poems, and a wide range of love poems. …

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Walton (Harris) Walker - World War II, Post-World War II, Korean War, Death

US soldier, born in Belton, Texas, USA. A combat veteran of both World Wars, he commanded United Nations ground forces in Korea in 1950. He directed the defensive battle of the Pusan Perimeter, then led the counter-offensive that drove North Korean forces N to the Manchurian border. He was killed when his jeep collided with a truck near Seoul. Walton Harris Walker (December 3, 1889—Decemb…

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waltz - Origin, Various styles of waltz

A dance in triple time, originating in Austria and S Germany, which supplanted the minuet and the Deutsche (German Dance) to become the most popular ballroom dance in 19th-c Europe - despite the initial shock caused by the requirement that the man should grasp his female partner at the waist. Austrian composer and violinist Joseph Lanner (1801–43) and the Strauss family established the style in V…

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Walvis Bay

22°59S 14°31E, pop (2000e) 35 000. Seaport in WC Namibia; on the Atlantic Ocean coast, 275 km/171 mi WSW of Windhoek; Walvis Bay enclave (area 1124 km²/434 sq mi) formerly administered by South Africa as part of Cape Province; annexed by the Dutch, 1792; taken by Britain, 1878; incorporated into Cape Colony, 1884; a South African enclave after Namibian independence; transferred to Namibi…

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wampum - Description, Post-colonization wampum, Wampum as transcription, Modern References

Beads used as a form of exchange, mnemonic devices, and guarantees of promises by certain Iroquois-speaking North American Indian groups, and later in trade with Europeans. They were made of bits of seashells cut, drilled, and strung into belts or strands. Wampum, is a string of white shell beads fashioned from the North Atlantic Whelk shell also known as the Knobbie and is traditionally us…

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Wanda (Louise) Landowska

Harpsichordist and music teacher, born in Warsaw, Poland. After studying at the Warsaw Conservatory, she became a prominent concert pianist in Europe until about 1910, when she decided to devote her career to playing the harpsichord. She taught in Berlin and then in Paris, promoting older music, particularly that of Bach, and commissioning new works for the harpsichord. Although she made her first…

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wandering Jew - Origin of the legend

A species of tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis) with variegated leaves. It is a popular house plant. (Family: Commelinaceae.) The Wandering Jew is a figure from Christian folklore, a Jewish man who, according to legend, taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. When some interpreters see the "Wandering J…

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Wandering Jew - Origin of the legend

A character in Christian legend who taunted Christ as he carried his cross, and was condemned to wander the Earth until the end of the world or until Christ's second coming. Various Jews, notably Ahasuerus of Hamburg in 1602, have been identified with the character, who has been seen as a symbol of the Diaspora of the Jewish people. The Wandering Jew is a figure from Christian folklore, a J…

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Wang Anshi - Further reading

Chinese reformer, the chief councillor to Song Emperor Shenzong (ruled 1068–85), born in Kiangsi Province, China. He travelled widely in China, and later initiated major economic reforms in the interest of small farmers and merchants, including reduced interest, commutation of labour services, and reduced prices and land taxes. He also set up state financial planning, reduced the professional arm…

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Wang Jingwei - Rise to prominence, Rivalry with Chiang Kai-shek, Japanese collaboration

Associate of the revolutionary and Nationalist leader Sun Yixian (Sun Yatsen), born in Guangzhou (Canton), SE China. He studied in Japan, where he joined Sun's Revolutionary Party, and from 1917 became his personal assistant. In 1927 he was appointed head of the new Nationalist government at Wuhan, and in 1932 became titular head of the Nationalist Party. In 1938, after the outbreak of war with Ja…

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Wang Mang

Chinese minister-regent, who usurped the throne and established the Xin (Hsin) or ‘New’ dynasty. Aided by the scholar-minister Liu Xin, he nationalized land, abolished slavery (but not state slaves), extended state monopolies, and carried out many financial reforms. Mistakenly seen by 20th-c ideologues as the first Chinese Socialist, his reforms were designed to raise funds for war against the H…

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Wang Wei - Poetry sample

Poet and painter of the T'ang dynasty, born in Ch'i-hsien, NEC China. An ardent Buddhist, he is best known as one of the first to paint landscapes, which he executed in ink monochrome, and as the founder of the Southern school of painter-poets. Wang Wei (Traditional Chinese: 王維) (701 - 761), sometimes titled the Poet Buddha, was a Tang Dynasty Chinese poet, musician, painter and statesm…

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Wang Yangming - Philosophy, Influence and Trivia

Philosopher, civil administrator, and general, born in Yu-yao, E China. He was a critic of the neo-Confucian Zhu Xi, and influenced by Zhu's contemporary, Lu Jiuynan (1139–93). He believed in the essential goodness of all (though he crushed the Jiangsu rising 1518), and viewed the human spirit as central to the universe. His philosophy clearly influenced 17th-c Japanese thinkers, 19th-c Japanese …

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Wangari Maathai - Education, Activism and political life, Nobel Peace Prize, Personal life, Bibliography, External links and sources

Environmentalist and human rights campaigner, born in Nyeri, Kenya. She studied biology at Mount St Scholastica College, KS and at the University of Pittsburgh, PA. Returning to Kenya, she worked in veterinary medicine research at the University of Nairobi, gaining a Ph.D there, the first woman in C or E Africa to do so. She later became head of the veterinary medicine faculty, achieving further d…

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Wankel engine - Naming, How it works, Advantages, Disadvantages, History, Drones, UAV with Wankel rotary engine, Other uses

A particular form of internal combustion engine whose piston rotates about a horizontal axis in a specially shaped combustion chamber, rather than oscillating within a cylinder, as in a conventional internal combustion engine. Although not the only type of rotary piston engine, the Wankel engine has been mass-produced for use in motor cars, and is the best-known example. Particular problems relate…

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Wantage - Geography and character, Local government, Transport, History, Historic buildings, Famous people

51º36N 1º25W, pop (2001e) 9400. Town in Oxfordshire, SC England, UK; located at the foot of the Downs in a wide agricultural belt; historic town has cobbled streets and passages with many 17th–18th-c buildings; birthplace of Alfred the Great, Joseph Butler, Lester Piggott; Church of St Peter and St Paul (part 13th-c); statue of Alfred (1877); tourism. Wantage is a town and civil parish …

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war - Morality of war, Limitations on war, Causes of war, Types of war and warfare

A military conflict between two or more states, or, in the case of civil war, between different groups within a state. International war is subject to international law, and wars can be either lawful or unlawful. There have been a series of treaties since the 18th-c covering the conduct of war, largely designed to prevent ‘unnecessary suffering’, or action that has no military advantage. The mos…

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War of (1812) - Overview, Origins, Course of the war

(1812–14) A war between Britain and the USA, declared by the latter on the basis of British conduct towards neutral US shipping during the Napoleonic Wars. Expectations of conquest were also important. Fought at sea, along the Canadian border, in Chesapeake Bay, and on the lower Mississippi, it brought the British capture and burning of Washington, DC, and the bombardment of Baltimore. US victori…

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War of the Pacific - Origins, The War, Characteristics of the War, Aftermath, Prominent military commanders

(1879–83) A war fought by Chile with Peru and Bolivia (in alliance since 1873) and arising out of Chilean grievances in the Atacama desert, then Bolivian-held. Chile won command of the sea in the early months of the war, and sent large expeditions to Peru, occupying the capital, Lima (Jan 1881). Peace treaties with Peru (1883) and Bolivia (1904) gave Chile large territorial gains. The War …

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warble fly

A small, robust fly; larvae live as parasites under the skin of mammals, feeding on fluids exuding from tissues, and causing swellings (warbles) under the skin; some species important as pests of domesticated animals. (Order: Diptera. Family: Oestridae, c.60 species.) …

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Ward Hunt

Judge, born in Utica, New York, USA. He served on the New York state legislature (1838) and as mayor of Utica (1844). An early Republican Party organizer, he was elected to the US Court of Appeals (1865–72) and was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Grant (1873–82). Ward Hunt (June 14, 1810-March 24, 1886), was an American jurist and politician. Hunt was born and r…

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warez - Etymology, History of warez, Types of warez, Distribution of warez, Motivations and arguments, Legality, Terminology

Illegally copied or pirated software. This is usually computer application software, but may be any pirated digital media. Typically, a website devoted to warez downloads might contain software, music files, and copyrighted images. There is a tendency among the distributors of warez to append a ‘z’ to any word to denote its illegal provenance. Thus there are websites containing ‘tunez’, ‘file…

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warfarin - Mechanism of action, Uses, Side-effects, Pharmacology, Other coumarins

An anticoagulant, sometimes used therapeutically to dissolve blood clots. It is a member of the coumarin class of anticoagulants. Coumarins were discovered in the 1920s, following the observation that cattle feeding on a certain type of hay - later found to contain dicoumarol - were prone to prolonged bleeding when injured, as well as to spontaneous haemorrhages. The name warfarin is an acronym of…

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warlords

Chinese provincial military rulers who engaged in a bitter power struggle and civil war after the death of Yuan Shikai in 1916. They were partially subdued by the Northern Expedition of Jiang Jieshi in 1927, though substantial local power remained. Chinese warlordism may be traced back to the 5th-c BC. The term has more recently been used for local military leaders in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, …

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Warlpiri - History, Location, Tradition, Kinship, Language

The dominant language of the central desert of Australia. Warlpiri country was colonized by cattle stations (ranches) during the early 20th-c. Resistance culminated in the Coniston massacre of 1928, after which many Warlpiri sought work looking after cattle. Some cattle stations are now Aboriginal-owned. The principle Warlpiri settlement is Yuendumu, NW of Alice Springs. The Warlpiri are a …

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Warren (Edward) Spahn

Baseball player, born in Buffalo, New York, USA. He holds the record for games won by a left-handed pitcher (363), and (jointly) the record for a left-hander of winning 20 or more games in each of 13 seasons. He played for the Boston Braves in the National League (1942–52), then moved with the team to Milwaukee (1953–64). In 1965, his final season, he played for two other NL teams, the New York …

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Warren (Gamaliel) Bennis - Military Service, Career, Werner Erhard, Bibliography

Psychologist, management educator, and consultant, born in New York City, New York, USA. Trained as an economist, he had a varied academic career (including the presidency of the University of Cincinnati (1971–7) before joining the University of Southern California's management faculty (1980). He became well known as a consultant to major corporations. He developed behaviourist-based management t…

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Warren Beatty - Biography, Politics

Actor and film-maker, born in Richmond, Virginia, USA, the younger brother of actress Shirley MacLaine. He made his film debut in Splendor in the Grass (1961). A broodingly handsome leading man, his enduring Casanova image has done a disservice to his many political interests and consistent efforts to expand the scope of his talents. At the same time as acting, he produced Bonnie and Clyde (1967),…

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Warren Buffett - Overview, Philanthropy, Management style, Investment approach, Public stances, Historical timeline, Personal life, Further reading

Investment entrepreneur and executive, born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. A stockbroker's son, he studied at the University of Nebraska and Columbia University, and formed his own firm, Buffett Partnership, in his hometown (1956). His investment successes, particularly in buying undervalued companies whose stocks shortly began to rise, made him extremely rich and gained him the sobriquet, ‘oracle of O…

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Warren Chappell

Typographer, book illustrator, and graphic artist, born in Richmond, Virginia, USA. He studied at the Art Students League in New York, then set up a studio there in 1932 and pursued a career as a graphic artist, book illustrator and typographer, and book designer. He illustrated many classic texts, designed two admired typefaces, Lydian and Trajanus, and wrote several books on typography. During h…

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Warren de la Rue - Honors

Astronomer and physicist, born in Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK. He studied at Paris, and early entered his father's business - the manufacture of paperwares - for which he devised many new processes, including an envelope-making machine. He invented the silver chloride battery and did research on the discharge of electricity in gases. A pioneer of celestial photography, he invented the photohelio…

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Warren Hastings

British colonial administrator in India, born in Churchill, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. Educated at Westminster, he joined the East India Company in 1750, and by 1774 was Governor-General of Bengal. Carrying out several reforms, he made the Company's power paramount in many parts of India. However, wars (1778–84) interfered with trade, and damaged his reputation, and on his return to England in …

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Warren Mitchell

Actor, born in London, UK. After studying at Oxford, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and made his first appearance at the Finsbury Park Open Air Theatre in 1950. He won great acclaim for his interpretation of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman at the National Theatre in 1979. His later performance in Miller's The Price gained him a Laurence Olivier Award (2…

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Warren Weaver

Mathematician, born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, USA. A mathematics teacher early in his career, he was noted for promoting scientific research, especially as director of natural sciences for the Rockefeller Foundation (1932–55) and adviser to other foundations (1956–78). A past president of the National Academy of Sciences and a defence department adviser, his varied writings included mathematics t…

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Warrington - History, Geography, Arts and entertainment, Culture, Shopping, Buildings, Educational institutions, Sports, Famous people, Civil Parishes, Districts

53°24N 2°37W, pop (2001e) 191 100. Town in Cheshire, NWC England, UK; on the R Mersey, 25 km/15 mi SW of Manchester; designated a ‘new town’ in 1968; unitary authority from 1998; railway; engineering, brewing, distilling, tanning, wire, chemicals, soap. Warrington is the largest town and borough in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, in the North-West of England. The former W…

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Warsaw - Geography, History, Population, Municipal government, Politics, Transport, Education, Tourist attractions, Trivia

52°15N 21°00E, pop (2000e) 1 665 000. River-port capital of Poland, on R Vistula, on the Mazovian plain; city centre is a world heritage site; established, 13th-c; capital of the Duchy of Mazovia, 1413; capital of Poland, 1596; occupied by Germany in both World Wars; Jewish ghetto established in 1940, with uprising and death of most residents in 1943; largely destroyed in World War 2; post-wa…

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Warsaw Ghetto - Formation of the Ghetto, Destruction of the Ghetto

The Nazi-enforced Jewish quarter of Warsaw, established in 1940 following the German occupation of Poland in World War 2. Some 500 000 Jews were isolated in a ghetto of less than 2·6 km² (1 sq mi), through which Poles were allowed to pass. Between July and October 1942 more than 300 000 were sent to concentration camps, most of them to Treblinka, where they died in the gas chambers. In repr…

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Warsaw Pact - Members, History, Post-Warsaw Pact

The countries which signed the East European Mutual Assistance Treaty in Warsaw in 1955: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the USSR. Albania withdrew in 1968. The pact established a unified military command for the armed forces of all the signatories. All members were committed to giving immediate assistance to any other party attacked in Europe. It was…

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Warsaw uprising - Legacy

The name given to two uprisings during the German occupation of Poland during World War 2. 1 The 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising (19 Apr–16 May) was a reaction to the massive daily transportation of Jews from July 1942 onwards from the Ghetto to the extermination camp at Treblinka. It was brutally suppressed by the Waffen-SS and the police, leading to the deaths of a further 50 000 Jews. 2 The 1944 …

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wart

A small benign overgrowth in the outer layer of the skin, arising from a virus infection; also known as a verruca. Warts are common in children, and unpredictable in occurrence, recurrence, and spontaneous disappearance. …

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Warwick - Overview, History, Transport, Administration, Suburbs, Landmarks, Town twinning

52°17N 1°34W, pop (2001e) 126 000. County town of Warwickshire, C England, UK; on the N bank of the R Avon, 15 km/9 mi SW of Coventry; founded in 914 and partly destroyed by fire in 1694; university (1965); railway; agriculture, engineering, carpets, tourism; 14th-c Warwick Castle, Lord Leycester hospital (1383); annual Mop Fair. Warwick (pronounced /ˈwɒɹɪk/) is the historic count…

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Warwickshire - Geography, Main settlements, History, Economy, Local government, Transport

pop (2001e) 505 900; area 1981 km²/765 sq mi. County of C England, UK; drained by R Avon; county town, Warwick; chief towns include Nuneaton, Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon; agriculture, tourism, engineering, textiles; castles at Kenilworth and Warwick; Shakespeare industry at Stratford; annual Mop Fairs. Warwickshire (pronounced /ˈwɒɹɪkˌʃə/, /ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃ…

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Washakie

Shoshone chief, born in the Green River Valley of present-day E Utah and S Wyoming, USA. He assisted early trappers, traders, and settlers, and fought with the USA in their wars with the Sioux and other tribes that had been traditional enemies of the Shoshone. In 1868 he exchanged Shoshone lands for a reservation at Wind River, WY. He served as a chief through the 1870s. The epitaph on his grave i…

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Washington (DC) - History, Important cities and towns, Education, Professional sports teams, Miscellaneous topics

38°54N 77°02W, pop (2000e) 572 000. Capital of the USA, co-extensive with the District of Columbia; situated between Maryland and Virginia, on the E bank of the Potomac R, at its junction with the Anacostia R; the US legislative, administrative, and judicial centre: the Federal Government provides most of the city's employment; site chosen in 1790 by George Washington, planned by Pierre L'Enfa…

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Washington (Pennsylvania) - History, Important cities and towns, Education, Professional sports teams, Miscellaneous topics

40º10N 80º14W, pop (2000e) 15 300. City in Washington Co, W Pennsylvania, USA; incorporated as a borough, 1810; gained city status, 1924; birthplace of Edward Goodrich Acheson and Rebecca Harding Davis. Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Areas under the management of the National Park Service include: Areas under the National Wil…

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Washington (state) - History, Important cities and towns, Education, Professional sports teams, Miscellaneous topics

pop (2000e) 5 894 100; area 176 473 km²/68 139 sq mi. State in NW USA, divided into 39 counties; the ‘Evergreen State’; first settled in the late 18th-c, part of Oregon Territory, a prosperous fur-trading area; Britain and the USA quarrelled over the region until the international boundary was fixed by treaty to lie along the 49th parallel, 1846; became a territory, 1853; joined the Uni…

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Washington Allston

Artist and writer, born at Allston plantation, Brook Green Domain on the Waccamaw R, South Carolina, USA. The earliest US Romantic painter, he studied at Harvard and the Royal Academy in London before going on to Paris and Rome, eventually settling at Cambridgeport, MA, in 1830. He painted large canvases, particularly of religious scenes, such as ‘Belshazzar's Feast’, ‘The Flood’, and ‘Elijah…

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Washington Irving - Biography, Pen Names and Associated Writings, Bibliography, In other works

Writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. He was educated privately, studied law, and began to write essays for periodicals. He travelled in France and Italy (1804–6), wrote whimsical journals and letters, then returned to New York City to practise law in a haphazard way. He and his brother William Irving and James Kirke Paulding wrote the Salamagundi papers (1807–8), a collection of humorou…

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Washington Monument - History, Construction details

A marble column in honour of George Washington, designed by Robert Mills (1781–1855) and erected (1848–84) in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. The tower, which is 169 m/555 ft high, incorporates many blocks of stone bearing inscriptions from the states, foreign governments, or organizations who donated them. Its lengthy period of construction was caused by a shortage of funds. The…

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wasp

The common name of several different types of solitary and social insects of the order Hymenoptera, including spider wasps, digger wasps, ichneumons, woodwasps, potter wasps, gall wasps, and hornets. Social wasps (mainly in the family Vespidae) are usually banded black and yellow; females inflict painful stings; some produce nests of paper-like material; larvae fed on masticated paste of arthropod…

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Wassily Kandinsky - Artistic periods, Kandinsky's conception of art, Quotations on Kandinsky

Abstract painter and art theorist, born in Moscow, Russia. Raised in Odessa in a musical family, he learned the piano and cello at an early age. Music was to prove a strong influence in his art and he later wrote about the similarities between music and painting. He studied law and economics at the University of Moscow (1886), and became a lecturer at the Moscow Faculty of Law. In 1896 he moved to…

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Wassily Leontief - Biography, Major contributions, Publications, Awards, In Honor, Memberships, Quote

Economist, born in St Petersburg, NW Russia. He studied at Leningrad (St Petersburg) and Berlin universities, taught at Harvard (1931–75), and became director of the Institute of Economic Analysis at New York University (1975–84). He was awarded the 1973 Nobel Prize for Economics for developing the input–output method of economic analysis, used in more than 50 industrialized countries for plann…

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Wat Tyler

English leader of the Peasants' Revolt (1381). The rebels of Kent, after taking Rochester Castle, chose him as captain, and marched to Canterbury and London. At the Smithfield conference with Richard II blows were exchanged, and Tyler was wounded by the Mayor of London, William Walworth (d.1385). He was taken to St Bartholomew's Hospital, where Walworth had him dragged out and beheaded. Wal…

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watch - Overview, Watch cases, Watch movements, Power sources, Displaying the time, Watch functions, Fashionable watches, Advanced watches

A small timepiece for wear or in the pocket. Watches have been made ever since the invention of the mainspring (c.1500) which Peter Henlein, a locksmith in Nuremberg, used to replace weights in driving clocks. Like clocks they needed a means of maintaining a constant speed as the mainspring ran down. The earliest means was the fusee (a cord wound round a conical barrel). From c.1670 the spring-mai…

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water - Chemical and physical properties, Position of the Earth relating to water, Effects on life, Politics

H2O. The commonest molecular compound on Earth; a liquid, freezing to ice at 0°C and boiling to steam at 100°C. It covers about 70% of the Earth's surface, and dissolves almost everything to some extent. However, it is a poor solvent for substances which are found in solution as molecules (eg oxygen, methane). It is essential to life, and occurs in all living organisms. It is strongly hydrogen-b…

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water beetle

A dark, shiny beetle up to 40 mm/1½ in long; silvery in appearance underwater because of air layer trapped on the underside of body and wing cases; larvae feed on snails; adults usually plant feeders; abundant in the tropics. (Order: Coleoptera. Family: Hydrophilidae, c.2000 species.) A water beetle is a beetle adapted for living in water. Many water beetles carry an air bubb…

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water birth - Research, Advantages, Disadvantages, Acceptance

A technique in which a mother gives birth to her baby while seated in a pool of warm water. The pool contains water at 35–37°C to a depth of 38–40 cm, allowing the level to reach the armpits when seated, and the mother-to-be usually enters the water when her cervix is 5–7 cm dilated. The technique was pioneered in the 1960s by Dr Igor Tjarkousky, then developed by Dr Michel Odent at Pithivie…

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water boatman

A predatory aquatic bug that swims upside-down in water, using its paddle-like hindlegs; forelegs used to grasp prey; worldwide. (Order: Heteroptera. Family: Notonectidae, c.200 species.) Water boatmen, formally the family Corixidae, are a type of insect. …

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water buffalo - Asia, Europe and Middle East, Uses

A SE Asian member of the cattle family; lives near water; often wallows; closely related to the anoa; two species: Bubalis bubalis (Asian water buffalo, wild water buffalo, Asiatic buffalo, carabao, or arni - widely domesticated), and Bubalis mindorensis (tamaraw or tamarau). The Water Buffalo is a very large ungulate and a member of the bovine subfamily. The Arni or Wild Buffalo survives i…

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water gas

A gas produced by passing steam over hot coke to give hydrogen and carbon monoxide: H2O + C ? CO + H2. This process yields a gas of high energy content, but it is endothermic, and is thus often made concurrently with producer gas, so that the reaction is spontaneous. The resulting ‘semiwater gas’ has a lower energy content. Water gas is a process by which hydrogen is produced by the…

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water hyacinth

A free-floating perennial aquatic plant (Eichhornia speciosa), native to South America, and introduced elsewhere; roots purple; leaves in rosettes, blade circular, stalk inflated and bladder-like; flowers c.4 cm/1½ in long, funnel-shaped, violet, in short dense inflorescence. It grows and spreads rapidly, blocks waterways, reservoirs, etc, and is probably the world's most troublesome aquatic we…

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water polo - Basic skills, Overview, Positions, Offense strategy, Defense strategy, Ball handling skills, Game variations, History

Developed in Britain in 1869, and played by teams of seven-a-side in a swimming pool. The object is to score goals by propelling the ball into the opposing team's goal at the end of the pool. Originally known as ‘football in water’, it is now an Olympic event. Water polo is a team water sport, which can be best described as a combination of swimming, football (soccer), basketball, ice hoc…

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water rat

A term used generally for many unrelated rats which inhabit the edge of water bodies; some species modified to a semi-aquatic lifestyle, with webbed hind feet and waterproof fur. The name is sometimes used for the water vole. …

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water skiing - Brief history, Competitive

Recreational and competitive sport in which persons, either barefoot or mounted on special skis made from wood, plastic, or reinforced fibreglass, are towed across the surface of the water by fast-moving motorboats. The sport was invented in 1922 in the USA, and the first national skiing tournament was held at Long Island, New York in 1939. International competitions, including the prestigious Wor…

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water table - Form

The surface below which the ground is saturated with water. The position of the water table varies with the topography and amount of rainfall; where it intersects the surface, springs are formed. The water table or phreatic surface is the surface where the water pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure. The water table is also often erroneously defined as the surface that separates t…

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water vole - Description, Species name, Range, Habitat, Diet, Conservation

A vole of genus Arvicola; three species: Arvicola richardsoni of NW North America, Arvicola sapidus from Europe, and Arvicola terrestris from Europe and Asia; most individuals burrow into banks of streams and ponds, but some live away from water; also known as bank vole. The European Water Vole (Arvicola amphibius or A. Water voles reach 5–9 inches in length (120–235 mm) plu…

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watercress - Watercress cultivation, Food value

A semi-aquatic perennial (Nasturtium officinale), native to Europe and Asia; hollow stems creeping, rooting; leaves pinnate; flowers small, white, cross-shaped. It has been cultivated since the 19th-c as a vitamin-C-rich salad plant. Its peppery tasting leaves stay green in the autumn. (Family: Cruciferae.) Watercress (Nasturtium nasturtium-aquaticum, N. Cultivation of watercres…

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waterfall - Formation, Examples of large waterfalls

A sudden interruption in the course of a river or stream where water falls more or less vertically, in some cases for a considerable distance, such as over the edge of a plateau or where overhanging softer rock has been eroded away. The spectacular Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls are probably the best-known, but are not among the world's highest waterfalls. A waterfall is usually a geologi…

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Waterford (city) - History, Climate, Sister cities

52°15N 7°06W, pop (2000e) 42 000. Seaport, county borough, and capital of Co Waterford, Munster, S Ireland; on R Suir at its mouth on Waterford harbour; railway; technical college; shipyards, food processing, footwear, paper; noted for its glass and crystal; remains of city walls, cathedral (1793), Blackfriars priory (1226); light opera festival (Sep). Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge) is…

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Waterford (county) - History, Climate, Sister cities

pop (2000e) 92 000; area 1839 km²/710 sq mi. County in Munster province, S Ireland; bounded S by Atlantic Ocean, with coastal inlets at Youghal, Dungarvan, Tramore, and Waterford; Knockmealdown Mts in the W; watered by Suir and Barrow Rivers; apple growing, cattle, glass making; popular resorts such as Tramore on S coast. Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge) is, historically, the capital o…

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Waterloo - Battle, Places, Other

43º28N 80º32W, pop (2002e) 84 000. Town in S Ontario, S Canada; a twin city with Kitchener; settled in the early 1800s by German immigrants; area still populated by Amish and Mennonite farmers; birthplace of Isaiah Bowman; Wilfred Larier University (1911), University of Waterloo (1959); railway; rubber, furniture, leather, textiles, foodstufs. …

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Watford - Transport, North of Watford, People, Sport, Nearby places, Twinning, Other Watfords, Watford Colosseum, Future Plans

51º40N 0º25W, pop (2002e) 84 405. Residential town in Greater London urban area and Watford district, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK; 30 km/19 mi NW of central London; R Gade is to the W, R Colne is to the E; town was owned by Henry VIII (1539) and eventually passed to the 4th Earl of Essex (1770); malting and wool production (13th–14th-c); 18th-c silk spinning industry, the last mill closed…

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watt - SI multiples, Derived and qualified units for power distribution

SI unit of power; symbol W; named after James Watt; the production of 1 joule of energy per second corresponds to a power of 1 watt; commonly used as kilowatts (kW, 103 W) or megawatts (MW, 106 W). The megawatt (symbol: MW) is equal to one million (106) watts. …

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wattle

Any of a large group of mainly trees or shrubs, native to many tropical and subtropical areas, but notably Australia where (together with the eucalypts) they form the dominant tree vegetation. The leaves are divided into numerous tiny leaflets or, in many species, reduced in the adult form to a flattened leaf-stalk (phyllode) resembling a leaf-blade. The flowers are mostly yellow, very small but n…

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wattle and daub - Wattle and daub in Ireland, Acacias

A framework of interlaced twigs and rods plastered with mud or clay. The walls of timber-framed houses were often made of wattle and daub. If protected from the weather by good overhanging eaves to the roof, these walls can last for hundreds of years. This is the page for two building materials. If you meant Wattle and Daub the pigs, see Blart Daub and wattle are building materi…

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wattmeter

An instrument for measuring electric power. Many types are used, the most common being the electrodynamic wattmeter which depends on the interaction of fields in two sets of coils. The thermal wattmeter depends on the heating effect of the current, and the electrostatic wattmeter is employed for calibration and standardization purposes. The wattmeter is an electrodynamic instrument for meas…

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Watts Towers - Design and construction, After Rodia, References in Popular Culture

A group of sculptures incorporating metal, stone, cement, tiles, glass, and waste materials, in the Watts district of Los Angeles, California, USA. The towers were completed in 1954, having been constructed over a period of 35 years by Simon Rodin (1879–1965). Nuestro Pueblo, commonly called the Watts Towers, in the Watts district of Los Angeles, California, is a collection of 17 interconn…

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wave (oceanography) - Characteristics, Mathematical description

In oceanography, a disturbance moving under or along the surface of the water. Most ocean surface waves are generated by the wind blowing over the surface of the sea, imparting energy to the water. The speed with which these waves travel is determined by their wavelength and/or the depth of the water through which they are moving. The height of wind-generated ocean surface waves is determined by t…

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Wave Rock

Unique rock formation in SC Western Australia, near the town of Hyden; estimated to be 2700 million years old; wave-shaped granite formation eroded by water and wind. Wave Rock is a natural rock formation near the small town of Hyden in Western Australia. It should be pointed out that the shape of the rock is not caused by a wave phenomenon. Near the Wave Rock is another famous …

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wavefunction - Definition, Interpretation

In quantum mechanics, a wave expression containing all possible information about a quantum system, such as electrons in atoms. The square of the wavefunction is related to the outcome of physical observation. Variation of wavefunction in space and time is described by Schrödinger's equation. The modern usage of the term wave function refers to a complex vector or function, i.e. Typically,…

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wavelength - In non-vacuum mediums, Quantum wavelength of particles

The distance between two successive peaks of a wave along the direction of propagation; symbol ?, units m (metres). The wavelength of light is 390–780 nm; the wavelength of sound, 16 mm–16 m. In a sine wave, the wavelength is the distance between the midpoints of the wave: The x axis represents distance, and I would be some varying quantity at a given point in time as a fun…

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wax - Wax types

A substance of a firm but plastic solid consistency, with a low coefficient of friction, and water-repellant. There are two main kinds. Mineral waxes, notably paraffin wax, are hydrocarbons of high molecular weight with a microcrystalline structure. Plant and animal waxes are esters of fatty acids, which fulfil a mainly protective function (as beeswax in the honeycomb). There are also synthetic or…

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waxwing

A songbird of the N hemisphere; grey-brown with black tail; head with crest; some individuals with red, wax-like tips to some wing feathers; inhabits woodland and gardens; eats berries and insects. (Family: Bombicillidae, 3 species.) …

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Waylon Jennings - Albums, Awards

Country-rock singer and songwriter, born in Littlefield, Texas, USA. Originally a disc jockey, he played with Buddy Holly in the 1950s and as a sole performer in the 1960s. In the 1970s he and Willie Nelson championed the ‘outlaw movement’ of country music, breaking away from the commercialism of Nashville; their Wanted! The Outlaws (1976) was the first country album to sell a million copies. Je…

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Wayne (Douglas) Gretzky

Ice-hockey player, born in Brantford, Ontario, SE Canada. He joined the Edmonton Oilers in 1979, and scored more goals in a season than any other player (92 in 1981–2), and a record 215 points in 1985–6. Voted the Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League for the ninth year in 1989, he is the NHL's all-time leading scorer (894 goals, 1963 assists). A member of four Stanley Cup winning t…

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Wayne (Lyman) Morse

US senator, born in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Dean of the University of Oregon law school, he won fame as a labour arbitrator before being elected to the US Senate (Republican, Oregon, 1945–69). Renowned for his support of human rights, education, progressive farm policies, and environmentalism, he found himself at odds with the Republican Party, declared himself an independent (1953), and won re-…

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Wayne Rooney - Career, Personal life, Career stats

Footballer, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He joined Everton Football Club as a youth and first played for England in the under-15 team. A talented forward, he made his premiership debut with Everton in 2002 and scored his first goal for the club a few days before his 17th birthday. He was voted BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2002. In 2003 he became the youngest ever s…

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Wayne Shorter - Early life and career, With Miles Davis, Weather Report period, 1970 to 1986, Recent career

Jazz saxophonist, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. He studied music at New York University, then played with the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers (1959–63) and Miles Davis (1964–70), during the period of the trumpeter's first experiments in electric jazz-rock fusion. He then co-founded the quintet Weather Report, which performed from 1971 until the mid-1980s. Since then, he has continued in the electr…

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Wayne Sleep

Dancer and choreographer, born in Plymouth, Devon, SW England, UK. He later moved to County Durham and at age 12 he won the Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School and then joined the Royal Ballet in 1966. Promoted to principal dancer in 1973, his small stature, extrovert personality, and technical prowess landed him choice roles in such ballets as Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Count…

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weak interaction - Properties, Electroweak Theory

The feeble short-range force responsible for radioactive beta decay, characterized by the presence of a particle called the neutrino; also known as weak nuclear force. It is mediated by W and Z particles. Weak force is the only force exhibiting a handedness. The weak interaction (often called the weak force or sometimes the weak nuclear force) is one of the four fundamental interactions of …

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The Weald - The Weald, Other English Wealds, Wold

Area in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, SE England, UK, between North and South Downs; fertile agricultural area; fruit, vegetables, hops, sheep; former extensive woodlands, providing charcoal for iron industry in Middle Ages; often refers strictly to area in Kent SW of the greensand ridge from Hythe through Ashford to Westerham. A weald once meant a dense forest, especially the famous great wood…

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weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - Historic use of the term WMD, WMD use and control, WMD Use, Possession and Access

Weapons which are capable of a high level of physical destruction or which can be used to kill large numbers of people. They include nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC), and radiological weapons. Nuclear weapons include atomic and hydrogen bombs. Biological weapons include the use of such diseases as anthrax, botulinum toxin, ricin, plague, and smallpox. Chemical weapons include the use of mustard…

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weasel - Species of weasel

A small carnivorous mammal with a long thin body, short legs, and small head; tail usually half length of body; brown with pale underparts (may be all white in winter). The name is also used for the North African striped weasel (Poecilictis libyca), African striped weasel (Poecilogale albinucha), and Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus). (Genus: Mustela, 9 species. Family: Mustelidae.) …

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weather - Basic mechanism, Terrestrial weather, Extra-terrestrial weather, Extra-planetary weather

The atmospheric processes operating at a location at a particular time: for example, day-to-day conditions of temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, and wind; the scientific study of weather is meteorology. A location's range of weather conditions is determined by its climate. Weather differs from climate in that it is concerned with short-term meteorological events, whereas climate enc…

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weather satellite - History, Types

A satellite used to record global weather patterns. It contains several remote sensing instruments, and measurements are made of atmospheric energy fluxes, atmospheric and surface temperatures, cloud cover, and amounts of water vapour. Weather satellites are generally in polar, near-polar, or geostationary orbit. In polar orbit (eg NOAA 14) they are c.500–1500 km/300–900 mi above the Earth, an…

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weaving - Process, History, Weaving in Colonial America, Weaving in America, 1800-1900, Weaving in Amazonia

An ancient craft in which fabric is produced by interlacing warp (lengthwise) and weft (crosswise) threads on machines called looms. Hand looms are known from very early times. They developed little until the flying shuttle was invented by John Kay in 1733, followed later in the century by Cartwright's power loom (1785). Today's modern weaving machines have dispensed with shuttles; ‘bullets’, ‘…

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Webb - Places, People, Things

Social reformers, historians, and economists: Sidney James Webb (1859–1947) and (Martha) Beatrice Webb, née Potter (1858–1943), married in 1892. He was born and studied in London, UK, became a lawyer, and joined the Fabian Society, where he wrote many powerful tracts. She was born in Standish, Gloucestershire, SWC England, and became involved with the social problems of the time. After their ma…

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weber - Other, People, Places, Companies

SI unit of magnetic flux; symbol Wb; named after German scientist Wilhelm Weber (1804–91); defined as the amount of flux which, when allowed to decrease steadily to zero in 1 second, will produce 1 volt of electromotive force in the loop of wire through which the flux passes. See also: People named Weber Weber is the name of several places including: …

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Weddell Sea

Arm of the Atlantic Ocean, SE of Argentina; bounded by the Antarctic Peninsula (W), Coats Land (E), and S Orkney and Sandwich Is (N); ice shelves cover the S extent; named after James Weddell (1787–1834), who claimed to have discovered the sea in 1823. The sea is named after the British sailor James Weddell who entered the sea in 1823 as far as 74° S. It was in this sea that S…

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weever

Bottom-dwelling fish with powerful poison spines on first dorsal fin and gill covers; eyes large and placed on top of head, mouth oblique; typically lives partly buried in sandy bottoms feeding on small fishes and crustaceans. (Genus: Trachinus. Family: Trachinidae.) …

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weevil

A robust beetle with a characteristic snout on the front of the head; wing cases often sculptured and toughened; antennae club-like, with elbow joint; species include many important pests such as the grain weevil and cotton boll weevil. (Order: Coleoptera. Family: Curculionidae, c.60 000 species.) A weevil is a beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. …

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weigela

A small deciduous shrub native to E Asia; leaves opposite, oval, finely toothed; flowers trumpet-shaped, 5-lobed, pink or crimson, in clusters. It is widely grown as an ornamental. (Genus: Weigela, 12 species. Family: Caprifoliaceae.) …

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weight - Weight and mass, Units of weight (force) and mass, Sensation of weight, Measuring weight

The downwards force on an object due to the gravitational attraction of the Earth; symbol G, units N (newton); distinct from mass. The weight of an object of mass 1 kg is 9·81 N, using G = mg, where m is mass and g is acceleration due to gravity, g = 9·81 m/s2. Weight decreases with altitude. In modern scientific usage, weight and mass are fundamentally different quantities: mass i…

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weightlifting - The lifts, Top lifters, Records

A test of strength by lifting weights attached to both ends of a metal pole (barbell). Weightlifting formed part of the Ancient Olympic Games, and in the 19th-c was a popular attraction at many of the leading circuses. It was introduced as a sport c.1850, and held its first world championship in 1891. Competitors have to make two successful lifts: the snatch, taking the bar directly above the head…

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Weimar - Famous residents of Weimar, Districts, Sister Cities, Transportation, Sporting clubs, Education

50°59N 11°20E, pop (2000e) 67 100. City in Weimar district, S Germany, on R Ilm; railway; colleges of technology, music, and architecture; farm machinery, chemicals; associations with Schiller, Goethe, Liszt; former concentration camp of Buchenwald nearby; Goethe National Museum, Liszt Museum, observatory, Weimar Castle, Belvedere Castle (18th-c); fire in 2004 at the Anna-Amalia Library destro…

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Weimar Republic - Controlled revolution: the establishment of the Republic (1918–1919)

The name by which the German federal republic of 1919–33 is known. In 1919 a National Constituent Assembly met at Weimar, on the R Elbe, and drew up a constitution for the new republic. The government moved from Weimar to Berlin in 1920. The period was one of great instability, economic crises, and artistic achievements. Unable to meet reparation costs drawn up at Versailles, Germany's currency c…

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welfare economics - Two approaches, Efficiency, Income distribution, A simplified seven equation model, Efficiency between production and consumption

The branch of economics concerned with how economies should be run (in contrast to positive economics, which concerns how they actually work). Welfare economics considers the criteria which should decide what goods and services are produced, what methods should be used to produce them, and how purchasing power should be allocated to individuals. It also studies how far such criteria can be satisfi…

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welfare state - Etymology, The development of welfare states, Arguments for and against the welfare state

A system of government whereby the state assumes responsibility for protecting and promoting the welfare of its citizens in such areas as health, income maintenance, unemployment, and pensions. Although earlier origins can be found, the development of modern welfare states was significantly influenced by the Beveridge Report of 1942, and a comprehensive system was established in the UK following W…

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Wellesley - People, Places, Other

42º18N 71º18W, pop (2000e) 26 600. Town in Norfolk Co, Massachusetts, USA; 24 km/15 mi W of Boston; first settled, 1630s; birthplace of Roger Baldwin; railway; Wellesley College (1875); town hall (19th-c). Wellesley may refer to: …

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Wellington - Settlement, Earthquakes, New Zealand's capital, Location and geography, Energy, Demographics, Arts and culture, Sport

41°17S 174°47E, pop (2000e) 355 000. Capital city and seat of government of New Zealand, on S coast of North Island; founded, 1840; capital, 1865; airport; railway; ferry to South Island; university (1899); vehicles, footwear, chemicals, soap, metal products, trade in dairy produce, meat; Government Building, Parliament Buildings (1922, 1980), General Assembly Library (1897), War Memorial Muse…

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wels - Geography

Large, nocturnal, freshwater catfish (Silurus glanis) found in large rivers and lakes of E Europe; length up to 3 m/10 ft; body devoid of scales, mouth with long barbels, anal fin long; feeds on fish and other aquatic vertebrates; fished commercially in some areas using traps and lines, and also farmed. (Family: Siluridae.) Wels is located in the Hausruckviertel at an elevation of 317 m. …

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Welsh

The Celtic language spoken in Wales, assigned equal status with English in all legal and administrative affairs. Of all the extant Celtic languages, Welsh enjoys the most vibrant literary scene, which continues a tradition dating from the epic poem Taliesin (c.6th-c), and the prose tales of the Mabinogi, preserved in mediaeval manuscripts recording an oral tradition many centuries older. Its high …

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Welsh Assembly

A legislative body established under the 1998 Government of Wales Act, following a 1997 referendum at which just over half of those voting were in favour. The Assembly was formally opened in 1999, taking over the powers and authority previously exercised by the secretary of state for Wales. Broadly these include responsibility for secondary legislation in all policy areas except foreign affairs, d…

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Welsh literature - The Middle Ages, The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, The Eighteenth Century, The Nineteenth Century

The cynfeirdd or early poets produced a rich literature in Welsh, composed mainly of eulogies and religious verse, from the late 6th-c, many poems being attributed to Aneirin and Taliesin from that period. This poetry survives in the ‘Four Books of Wales’, dating from the 12th–14th-c, which also contain the mediaeval prose tales comprising the Mabinogion, a conscious synthesis of Arthurian and …

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Welsh poppy

A perennial growing to 60 cm/2 ft (Mecanopsis cambrica), native to W Europe, an isolated, westernmost species of an otherwise Asian genus; leaves pale green, divided into lobed segments; flowers 5–7 cm/2–2¾ in diameter, 4-petalled; fruit an elliptical capsule; producing yellow latex. (Family: Papaveraceae.) …

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welwitschia

A peculiar gymnosperm (Welwitschia mirabilis) found only in the deserts of SW Africa, where most of the moisture comes from sea fogs. Its turnip-like stem produces just two strap-shaped leaves several metres long, which grow throughout the plant's life of over a century, becoming torn and ragged. (Family: Gnetaceae.) Welwitschia is a monotypic genus of gymnosperm plant, comprised solely of …

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Welwyn Garden City - Popular culture, Local Schools

51°48N 0°13W, pop (2000e) 41 900. Town in Hertfordshire, SE England, UK; 10 km/6 mi NE of St Albans; founded in 1919 by Ebenezer Howard; designated a ‘new town’ in 1948; railway; chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, food processing. Welwyn Garden City is a town (not a city) in Hertfordshire, England. Welwyn Garden City is also known as WGC or, somewhat incorrectly, "Welwyn". …

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Wembley Stadium - Football, Other sports, Music, Redevelopment

One of the most famous football stadiums in the world, built in Wembley in NE London in 1923 for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924–5. Designed by Sir John Simpson and Maxwell Ayrton, it had a capacity of 120 000, later reduced to 92 000. It was used for a wide range of other occasions, such as greyhound racing, hockey matches, speedway racing, pop concerts, and religious meetings. It was de…

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Wendell (Meredith) Stanley

Biochemist, born in Ridgeville, Indiana, USA. He studied at Illinois University, joining the Rockefeller Institute at Princeton in 1931, where he did important work on the chemical nature of viruses. He isolated and crystallized the tobacco mosaic virus, and worked on sterols and stereo-isomerism. He later became professor of molecular biology and of biochemistry at California, Berkeley (1948–71)…

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Wendell Castle - Permanent collections, Publications

Furniture maker, born in Emporia, Kansas, USA. He studied at the University of Kansas, where he gained a MFA (1961) in sculpture. He developed a method of laminating wood to make organic-shaped furniture, and in 1970 began a production line to make limited editions of his designs. He went on to explore more traditional styles using exotic woods and pieces with illusionistic carvings, and establish…

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Wendell Phillips - Education, Abolitionism, Postbellum activism

Orator and reformer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. A graduate of Harvard College (1831) and Law School (1834), he soon abandoned his legal practice. Influenced by his abolitionist wife Ann Terry Greene and his Calvinist upbringing, he dedicated himself to lecture on behalf of abolition, even at the expense of dissolving the Union. In many respects the most radical of the abolitionists, he al…

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Wendell Willkie - Political life, Presidential campaign, After 1940, Willkie's Legacy

Businessman and US presidential candidate, born in Elwood, Indiana, USA. Trained as a lawyer, he practised briefly before entering the army in World War 1, and in the 1930s became president of an Indiana utilities holding company, Commonwealth and Southern Corporation. Though not widely known outside the business community, he was recruited as the ‘dark horse’ Republican candidate against Frankl…

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Wends

A C European people, of Slavic origins, who settled in Lusatia in the 9th-c, in a region around modern Dresden; also known as Sorbs or Lusatians. They were conquered by the Germans in the 10th-c, and by the Poles and again by the Germans in the 11th-c. In 1815 much of the region eventually became part of Prussia. Small numbers of Sorbian (or Wendish) speakers remain in modern S Germany. Wen…

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Wendy (Mary) Cope - Bibliography

Poet, writer, and journalist, born in Kent, SW England, UK, and educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She went on to become a teacher in London. Her first, best-selling collection of poems, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, was published to great acclaim in 1986. Witty and colloquial, her poems parody the works of poets such as Wordsworth, T S Eliot, Phillip Larkin, and Ted Hughes. She won the Cho…

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Wendy Wasserstein - Background, Career, Life and illness, Works, Obituaries

Playwright, writer, and screenwriter, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She studied at Mount Holyoke College, MA and at Yale University School of Drama. She first gained attention with Uncommon Women and Others (1977), written while at Yale. The one-act play, starring Glenn Close, was expanded and staged off-Broadway and later filmed for television with Meryl Streep. In 1989 The Heidi Chronicles wo…

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werewolf - Origins and variations of the word, History of the werewolf, Becoming a werewolf, Theories of origin

In traditional belief, a person assuming the form of a wolf, usually involuntarily and temporarily. There are traces of the belief in Ancient Greek religion, and it existed in much of Europe, but especially in the Balkans. It seems to be related to some kind of initiation rite, in which youths wore animal skins. A werewolf (also lycanthrope or wolfman) in folklore and mythology is a person …

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Werner (Karl) Heisenberg - Biography and controversy

Theoretical physicist, born in Würzburg, SC Germany. He studied at Munich and Göttingen. After a brief period working with Max Born (1923) and Niels Bohr (1924–7), he became professor of physics at Leipzig (1927–41), director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin (1941–5), and director of the Max Planck Institute at Göttingen (and from 1958 at Munich). He developed a method of expressing…

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Werner (Wilhelm) Jaeger - Works

Classicist, born in Lobberich, Germany. He received his PhD at the University of Berlin, where he studied with Wilamowitz (1914). When only 26, he assumed the chair at the University of Basel, Switzerland, a position once held by Friedrich Nietzsche, and in 1921 he returned to the University of Berlin and took up Wilamowitz's chair. Although his works on Aristotle and the Cappadocian Church Father…

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