Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 9

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Barry John

Rugby union player, born in Cefneithin, Carmarthenshire, SW Wales, UK. One of the greatest of a remarkable succession of Welsh outside-halves, he played 25 times for his country, scoring a then-record 90 points before retiring at the early age of 27. A devastating player with Llanelli and Cardiff at club level, his elusiveness and skill at dropping goals made him equally effective at international…

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Barry Levinson

Film director and producer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He was a comic writer for television before Mel Brooks engaged him as a scriptwriter. He made his directorial debut with Diner (1982), which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. Other films include the comedy Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Rain Man (1988, Oscar), and Bugsy (1991). He produced, directed, and wrote Sleepers …

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Barry Marshall - Life and research, Other awards, Appearance in infomercial, Trivia

Microbiologist, born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. He studied at the University of Western Australia (1968–74) and began work at the Royal Perth Hospital as research fellow (1977–76). He held senior posts at the University of Virginia, USA (1986–96) before joining the University of Western Australia as clinical professor of medicine (1997) and microbiology (1999), and in 2003 was appointed …

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Bart Bok - Honors, Bibliography

Astronomer, born in Hoorn, W Netherlands. He went to Harvard College on a fellowship in 1929 and stayed until he became director of the Mt Stromio Observatory in Australia (1957–66). At the University of Arizona, he directed the Steward Observatory (1966–70). His classic The Milky Way, co-authored with his wife Priscilla Bok, went through many editions. Bart Jan Bok (Hoorn, April 28, 1906…

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barter - Transaction Issues, History of barter, Swapping

Trade conducted without the use of currency. Goods are directly exchanged for one another, each party to the exchange seeking to make a profit. In the absence of a currency, the relative value of goods must often be negotiated through haggling. Barter is a type of trade in which goods or services are exchanged for other goods and/or services; Barter and money are different means…

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Barthold Georg Niebuhr

Historian, born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied at Kiel, London, and Edinburgh, in 1816 became Prussian ambassador at the Vatican, and on his return in 1823 lectured at Bonn. His main work, the Römische Geschichte (1811–32, History of Rome), based on the constructive analysis of historical source material, marked him out as a founder of the 19th-c school of German historical scholarship. …

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Bartholomew Gosnold - Possible discovery of his grave, Further reading

Navigator and colonizer, born in England, UK. Looking for a western passage to Asia, he led an expedition in the Concord which went to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Elizabeth's Isle, all of which he named (1602). He was vice-admiral of the original Virginia Company fleet (1606–7) and died of malarial fever in Jamestown. Bartholomew Gosnold (1572 - August 22, 1607) was an English lawyer,…

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Bartolomeo Colleoni - Biography, Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni

Condottiere, born in Solza, Lombardy, N Italy. He was in the service of Braccio di Montone (1419), Muzio Attendolo Sforza (1424), fought for Venice with Carmagnola (1431) and Gattamelata (1432–7), once again for Venice, and defended Verona (1441). He was briefly head of the Ambrosiana Republic's army, but returned to Venice and became commander-in-chief in 1454 but was finally confined to Malpaga…

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Bartolomeo Cristofori - Life, The initial reception of the piano, Surviving instruments, Assessments of Cristofori

Harpsichord-maker, born in Padua, NE Italy. He is usually credited with the invention of the pianoforte in c.1710. Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco (May 4, 1655 - January 27, 1731) was an Italian maker of musical instruments, generally regarded as the inventor of the piano. The available source materials on Cristofori's life include his birth and death records, two wills, the …

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Baruch - People with the given name Baruch

Biblical character, described as the companion and secretary of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 36), possibly of a wealthy family. His name became attached to several Jewish works of much later date, known as: 1 Baruch (the Book of Baruch); 2 (the Syriac Apocalypse of) Baruch; and 3 (the Greek Apocalypse of) Baruch. There is also a Christian Apocalypse of Baruch in Ethiopic. Baruch (בָּרוּ

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Baruch S(amuel) Blumberg

Epidemiologist, born in New York City, New York, USA. He worked and performed research in New York City hospitals (1951–5), then became a biochemist at Oxford University (1955–7). He moved to the National Institutes of Health (1957–64), where he investigated protein variations in human populations from around the world. In 1963 while studying antibodies in the serum of multitransfused blood rec…

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Baruj Benacerraf

Immunologist, born in Caracas, Venezuela. He moved to Paris with his family (1925) and emigrated to the USA (1940). After his medical internship and US Army service (1945–8), he joined Columbia University (1948–50). He performed research in Paris (1950–6), relocated to New York University (1956–68), moved to the National Institutes of Health (1968–70), then joined Harvard (1970–91), concurre…

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baryon - Background, Baryonic matter, References and further reading

In particle physics, a collective term for heavy matter particles which experience strong interactions. Baryons are composed of three quarks. The least massive baryon is the proton, into which other baryons decay. In particle physics, the baryons are the family of subatomic particles which are made of three quarks. The term "baryon" is derived from the Greek βαρύς (barys), meaning …

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Bas de Gaay Fortman - Career before politics, Political career, Career after politics, Political Views, Miscellaneous facts, External links

Dutch politician and parliamentarian, born in The Hague, W Netherlands, the son of W F de Gaay Fortman. He studied law and economics at the Free University of Amsterdam, then taught at the University of Lusaka (Zambia) (1967–71), and chaired the Zambian government committee on agricultural prices. Originally a member of the Anti-Revolutionaire Partij (ARP), in 1967 he left the ARP, disagreeing wi…

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bas-relief

Low relief sculpture, in which the design projects only very slightly from the background, as on a coin. Masters of the technique include Donatello and Desiderio da Settignano. Bas-relief is a method of sculpting which entails carving or etching away the surface of a flat piece of stone or metal. For example, if a stone slab is two inches thick before sculpting begins, the non-image (…

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basalt - Types of basalt, Petrology, Geochemistry, Morphology and textures, Distribution, Lunar basalt, Metamorphism

The most common extrusive igneous rock, characterized by low silica content, and composed essentially of plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene. It is a dark, fine-grained rock, solidified from lava erupted from fissures or craters. Submarine basalts, extruded along mid-ocean ridges, form the oceanic crust. Subaerial eruptions produce extensive flows, the largest of which form the Deccan Plateau, India…

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Bascom Lamar Lunsford - Early life, North Carolina folklore, The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Politics and fame, Discography

Folklorist, born in Mars Hill, North Carolina, USA. He was a North Carolina lawyer and farmer who, though he lacked formal musical training, became well known for collecting, recording, and performing Appalachian folk music. His commercial and archival recordings eventually numbered 3000 items. He founded among other festivals the annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Asheville, NC (1928). …

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base (chemistry) - Base definitions, Bases and pH, Neutralization of acids, Alkalinity of non-hydroxides, Strong bases

A substance liberating hydroxide ions in water, an acceptor of protons, or a donor of electron pairs: each of these definitions includes the previous one. The term is thus the opposite of an acid, whatever definition of acid is used. In water, strong bases include the hydroxides of the alkali metals, while weak bases include ammonia and the amines. You can think of bases as the chemical opp…

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base (mathematics)

The number on which a system of counting is constructed (number-base). The numbers in common use are in base ten, which uses ten symbols 0–9, and expresses numbers in multiples of powers of ten; thus ‘three hundred and forty-two’ is written 342, since it is 3 × 102 + 4 × 10 + 2. A number in base five, which uses five symbols 0–4, would be written as the sum of multiples of powers of …

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baseball - History of baseball, Gameplay, Other personnel, Baseball's unique style, Statistics, Popularity, Organized leagues

A team game played on a wedge-shaped field, with a diamond-shaped infield (the diamond), by two sides of players with a bat and ball. One team, on offence or at bat, tries to score the most runs by having their players circle the bases before they are put out by the other team which is in the field. An out is made when the batter fails to hit a legally pitched ball on three successive occasions (a…

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Basel - History, Transportation, Architecture, Education, Politics, Sport, Culture, Chronological table

47°35N 7°35E, pop (2000e) 179 000. Capital of Basel-Stadt demicanton and of Basel canton, N Switzerland; on the R Rhine, 69 km/43 mi N of Bern; centre of the Regio Basiliensis ‘natural region’; second largest city in Switzerland; river port at the terminus of Rhine navigation; on the site of a Roman fort; mediaeval centre for silk, dyeing, and printing; joined the Swiss Confederacy, 1501; …

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basenji - Appearance, Temperament, History, Basenjis in popular culture, Health

A spitz breed of dog developed in C Africa for hunting; pale brown and white; short coat; keeps itself meticulously clean; cannot bark, but makes a yodelling noise. The Basenji is a breed of dog considered by some, particularly in North America, to be a member of the sighthound family; Basenjis are small, elegant-looking, short-haired dogs with erect ears, a tightly curled tail,…

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BASIC

Acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, a high-level computer programming language developed in the late 1950s at Dartmouth College in the USA, which has the advantage of being relatively simple to learn and implement. It has since been widely adopted as a standard language by microcomputer manufacturers, though there are now a large number of ‘dialects’ of BASIC for differ…

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basil

A bushy aromatic annual or perennial (Ocimum basilicum), growing to 1 m/3¼ ft, but often less; stems square; leaves oval, pale, glossy, in opposite pairs; flowers 2-lipped, white or purplish, in whorls; probably native to SE Asia, but widely cultivated in Europe and USA as a culinary herb and for use in perfumery. (Family: Labiatae.) …

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Basil (Lanneau) Gildersleeve

Classicist, born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. A child prodigy who read widely in Latin by the age of six, he received his BA from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) at age 17 and his PhD from the University of Gottingen at 22. Thought of as the greatest American classicist of his day, his Latin Grammar (1867), Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes (1885), and Greek Syntax (1900), w…

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Basil (Lewis) D'Oliveira

Cricketer, born in Cape Town, SW South Africa. As a Cape Coloured he had no prospects of first-class cricket within South Africa, but moved to England in 1960 to play league cricket in Lancashire, and eventually joined Worcestershire. Selected for England in 1966, he played 44 times as an aggressive middle-order batsman and useful change bowler, and scored five Test centuries. He was chosen for th…

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Basil (Philip St John) Rathbone - Early life, Personal life, Career

British actor, born in Johannesburg, NE South Africa. He made his film debut in The Fruitful Vine (1921), and went on to become a major star of the 1930s, with roles in several films from literature, such as David Copperfield (1935), Anna Karenina (1935), and Romeo and Juliet (1936). A character actor who specialized in villains, he also played Sherlock Holmes in several films. Basil Rathbo…

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Basil Bunting

Poet, born in Scotswood, Northumberland, NE England, UK. He worked as a journalist in Paris, was much influenced by Pound and the American Modernists, and published his early poetry abroad. After some years in Paris, where he worked on translation, he returned to Britain and established his reputation with Briggflatts (1966), a semi-autobiographical poem deeply rooted in the North East. Bas…

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Basil I - From peasant to emperor, Reign, Family

Byzantine emperor (867–86), born in Thrace. He rose in the imperial service from obscure origins to become co-ruler in 867 with Michael III, whom he murdered in the same year. He formulated the Greek legal code, in a text known as the Basilica. The dynasty he founded ruled Constantinople until 1056. Basil I, called the Macedonian (Greek: Βασίλειος Α΄ο Μακεδών, Basileios …

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Basil II - Birth and childhood, Asian rebellions and alliance with Rus', Campaigns against the Arabs, Bulgarian campaigns

Byzantine emperor, who came to the throne as sole ruler in 976. A palace revolution was crushed by his alliance with Vladimir I the Great, Prince of Kiev. Vladimir's troops became the core of the future Varangian Guard, the elite unit of the Byzantine army. Basil's 15-year war against the Bulgarians culminated in the victory in the Belasica Mountains which earned him his surname. Bulgaria was anne…

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basilica - The basilica in architecture, The ecclesiastic basilica, Sources and references

Originally a royal palace or large oblong hall with double colonnades, for the administration of justice and commerce. It was later adopted by early Christians as a similarly arranged church with two or more aisles, timber roof, and apse. The name derives from Greek basileus, ‘king’. In architecture, the Roman basilica was a large roofed hall erected for transacting business and disposing…

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Basilides - Basilides, Influence

Gnostic philosopher, who founded a sect in Alexandria. His esoteric doctrines seem to have blended Christian thought with elements from Zoroaster, Indian philosophy, and magic. His disciples (Basilidians) were active in Egypt, Syria, Italy, and even Gaul into the 4th-c. Basilides was a pupil of an alleged interpreter of St. Peter, Glaucias by name, and taught at Alexandria during the reign …

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basilisk (mythology) - Euhemeristic accounts, Usage in market-directed culture and video games

A fabulous beast, a small dragon-like creature combining features of the snake and the cockerel. Its eye could freeze and kill, hence the expression ‘If looks could kill’. It is equivalent to the cockatrice, which was hatched by a serpent from the egg of a cock. In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk (from the Greek βασιλίσκος basiliskos, a little king, in Latin Regulus)…

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basilisk (zoology) - Euhemeristic accounts, Usage in market-directed culture and video games

An iguana native to South America; male with bony projections on head and prominent sail-like crests along back; tail long; may run upright on long hind legs; can even run on water for short distances. (Genus: Basiliscus, 5 species.) In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk (from the Greek βασιλίσκος basiliskos, a little king, in Latin Regulus) is a legendary reptile reputed…

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Basingstoke - Facilities, Geographical Location, History of the town, References to Basingstoke, Twinned towns, Famous people

51º16N 1º05W, pop (2001e) 80 200. Town in the local government district of Basingstoke and Deane, N Hampshire, S England, UK; 27 km/17 mi NE of Winchester and 80 km/50 mi W of London; birthplace of John Arlott and Thomas Warton; railway; engineering, light industries; Willis Museum; Silchester Roman site is 17 km/10 mi to the N. Basingstoke is a large town and third largest settle…

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basketball - History, Common techniques and practices, Variations and similar games

A five-a-side team ball game, invented by James Naismith in 1891 in Springfield, MA; but a similar game was played by the Olmecs in Mexico in the 10th-c BC. It is especially popular as a professional sport in the USA. Played on a court, the object is to throw the ball through your opponent's basket, situated at the end of the court, and 10 ft (3·05 m) above the ground. Virtually all professiona…

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basking shark - Taxonomy, Distribution and habitat, Anatomy and appearance, Diet, Behaviour, Reproduction, Importance to humans

Extremely large, inoffensive shark (Cetorhinus maximus), second only to the whale shark as the largest living fish; length up to 10 m/33 ft, weight c.6000 kg/13 200 lb; lives in oceanic surface waters feeding entirely upon plankton filtered by stiff bristles on its long gill arches. (Family: Cetorhinidae.) The basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus, is the second largest fish, after the wha…

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Basra - Overview, Islamic theology and scholarship, History, Trivia, Bibliography

30°30N 47°50E, pop (2000e) 954 000. Port capital of Basra governorate, SE Iraq, at head of the Shatt al-Arab, c.120 km/75 mi from the Persian Gulf; major centre of literature, theology, and scholarship in 8th–9th-c; modern administrative and commercial centre; airport; railway; university (1967); oil refining, fertilizers; port badly affected in 1980s by Iran–Iraq war and again in 1991 dur…

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bass - Places, People with the surname Bass

Marine and brackish-water fish (Dicentrarchus labrax) found in the surf zone around rocks and beaches of the NE Atlantic; body blue-grey with silver sides, length up to 1 m/3¼ ft; valuable commercial and sport fish. (Family: Serranidae.) The name is also used for other species of the families Serranidae and Centrarchidae. Bass may refer to: …

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Bass Strait - Islands, Natural resources

A channel separating Tasmania from Victoria, Australia, maximum width 240 km/150 mi, depth 50–70 m/180–240 ft; named in 1798 after the British explorer George Bass; oil and natural gas. Bass Strait (IPA: [bæs]) is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the south of the Australian mainland (Victoria in particular). It contains many islands, with King Island and Flinders Island ho…

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Bassae

A temple dedicated to Apollo Epicurius on the slopes of Mt Lykaion, SW Arcadia, Greece; a world heritage site. It was built in the 5th-c BC by Ictinos for the people of Phigalia after their city escaped a plague epidemic. Rediscovered in 1763, it has since been largely re-erected. Bassae (Latin) or Bassai, Vassai or Vasses (Greek, Modern: Βασσές, Ancient: Βασσαί) is an archaeolo…

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Basse-Terre - Geography, Towns

pop (2000e) 178 000; area 848 km²/327 sq mi. One of the two main islands of the French Overseas Department of Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles, E Caribbean; separated from Grande-Terre I by the narrow Rivière Salée; mountainous, with active volcano Grande Soufrière rising to 1484 m/4869 ft; national park in C of island; capital, Basse-Terre, pop (2000e) 14 500; tourism. Basse-Terre …

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basset hound - Temperament, History, Health and care, Training, Popular culture

A breed of dog formerly used in France and Belgium for hunting; long, solid body, with very short legs; muzzle long and broad; ears long and pendulous; short-haired coat of white, black, and tan. The Basset Hound is a short-legged breed of dog of the hound family. The name Basset derives from the French word "bas" meaning "low;" "basset" meaning, literally, "rather low." Although any …

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basset-horn - Basset horn soloists and ensembles

An 18th-c musical instrument belonging to the clarinet family, with a lower compass than that of the normal clarinet. It was much used by Mozart, but fell into disuse in the 19th-c. In the 19th century, Felix Mendelssohn wrote two pieces for the basset horn, clarinet and strings (opus 113 and 114, (string parts often arranged for piano)), but the instrument was largely abandoned until…

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Basseterre - History, Geographical Setting, Around town, The City, Religion, Economy, Transportation, Prominent people

17°17N 62°43W, pop (2000e) 15 200. Capital and chief port of St Kitts-Nevis, N Leeward Is, E Caribbean, on SW coast of St Kitts I; airport; distribution centre; electrical components, garments, data processing, beverages; cathedral. The city of Basseterre, estimated population 15,500 (2000), is the capital of the federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies. The city lies with…

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bassoon - Development, Construction and characteristics, Usage in ensembles, Technique, Reeds and reed construction, The bassoon in jazz

A musical instrument consisting of a jointed wooden pipe, about 2 m 54 cm/8 ft 4 in long, doubled back on itself, and fitted with metal keys and a curved crook with a double reed. It is, in effect, a bass oboe. The larger double bassoon, or contrabassoon, sounds one octave lower than the standard instrument. The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that plays in th…

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Bastia

42°40N 9°30E, pop (2000e) 40 500. Port and capital of Haute-Corse department, NW Corsica, France; in NE corner on narrow Cap Corse between mountains and sea; founded by the Genoese, 1380; capital of Corsica until 1811; largest port and chief town of the island; airport; railway; fishing, wine, tobacco, shipping trade, tourism. Bastia (French & …

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Bastille - Early history of the Bastille, Storming, Historical assessment, Notable prisoners, Demolition, The area today

A mediaeval fortress and prison in E Paris, France. King Charles V built the Bastille of Paris as a fortress in c.1370. For centuries it was used as a political prison by French monarchs, the symbol of Bourbon despotism. Stormed by a Parisian mob on 14 July 1789, its destruction came to have a unique place in French Revolutionary ideology as marking the end of the ancien régime and the beginning …

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bat

A nocturnal mammal, widespread in tropical and temperate regions; hibernates in winter in cold areas; usually hangs head-down at rest; the only mammal capable of sustained flight (the wing is a web of skin stretched between elongated fingers and joined to the rear legs and tail); probably evolved to exploit night-flying insects. Most members of the suborder Microchiroptera eat insects; some also e…

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Batavia

The name given by Jan Pieterszoon Coen to the Dutch fort at Jacatra in Java in 1621, after relief of the siege by the Sultan of Bantam. This town became the capital of the Dutch East Indies until 1949, when the Indonesian government changed the name to Jakarta. …

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Batavian Republic

The name given to Holland 1795–1806, after that country had been conquered by Revolutionary French forces in 1794–5. Between 1806 and 1810 the Kingdom of Holland was ruled by Napoleon's brother, Louis Bonaparte, but Holland was incorporated into France between 1810 and the collapse of French rule in 1813. From 1795 to 1806, the Batavian Republic (Bataafse Republiek in Dutch) designated th…

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Batavians - Location, Military units

A tribe in the Rhine Delta in Roman times, known in The Netherlands as Bataven, Batavi, or Batavieren. They were allies (socii) of Rome, providing auxiliary troops. In 69AD, with other Germanic tribes, they revolted under Gaius Julius Civilis (known as Claudius Civilis), but were defeated by Quintus Petilius Cerealis, who restored the frontier, which lasted until the arrival of the Salic Francs c.…

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batch processing

A defined series of tasks which are submitted to larger computers and executed only when time becomes available on the computer. This is in contrast to interactive computing, where the user accesses the computer in a conversational mode. Batch processing is the execution of a series of programs ("jobs") on a computer without human interaction, when possible. Batch jobs are set u…

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Bath - Geography, Politics, Demographics, Culture, Sport, Business, Tourism, Transport, Architecture, Education, Media, Places of interest, External links

51°23N 2°22W, pop (2000e) 84 400. Spa town, part of Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority (from 1996), SW England, UK; on R Avon, 19 km/12 mi ESE of Bristol; noted since Roman times for its hot springs; chartered in 1189; fashionable spa centre in 18th-c; railway; university (1966); tourism, printing, plastics, engineering; Roman baths, 15th-c Roman bath museum, abbey church, notabl…

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batholith

A very large igneous rock mass, typically granite, intruded while molten into the surrounding country rock, outcropping over at least 100 km²/40 sq mi and extending to unknown depth. It is characteristic of orogenic belts and subduction zones, such as the Andean batholith in South America or the Coast Range of W Canada and Alaska. A batholith (from Greek bathos, depth + lithos, rock) is…

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Bathurst

33º27S 149º35E, pop (2002e) 28 100. Town in New South Wales, Australia; located W of Sydney, on the Macquarie R; birthplace of Charles Bean; railway; airfield; one of the country's oldest towns, with many 19th-c buildings; plastics, food processing, tanning. Bathurst can refer to several cities in English-speaking countries: Other geographical features named Bathurst include…

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bathymetry

The measurement of the depths of sea-bottom features in large bodies of water. Bathymetric charts indicate the depths of water in feet, fathoms, or metres, and are used to show the morphology of submarine topographic features. Detailed bathymetric mapping was only possible with the advent of continuous echo-sounding, which was first extensively used during the German Meteor Expedition (1925–7). …

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bathyscaphe

Any free-moving vessel designed for underwater exploration, consisting of a flotation compartment with an observation capsule underneath. Originally designed by Auguste Piccard in 1948, they have proved capable of reaching depths of over 10 000 m/32 000 ft. Modern submersibles (such as Alvin, which explored the Titanic) are much more manoeuvrable. A bathyscape, bathyscaphe, or bathyscap…

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batik - History, Procedure, Tradition

A form of dyeing in which parts of the fabric are left undyed because of wax printed or painted onto it. The fabric is then crushed to crack the wax, and dyed. Removal of the wax leaves undyed areas covered in fine lines. This method, a form of resist dyeing, originated in Indonesia. Batik is a Javanese word that refers to a generic wax-resist dyeing technique used on fabric. Th…

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battery (electricity) - Battery concepts, Environmental considerations, Electrical component

A device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. The first battery, made by Alessandro Volta in c.1800, was the basis of the voltaic cell - two chemicals immersed in an electrolyte, enabling electrons to travel from one to the other along a circuit. Primary cells only discharge electricity, whereas secondary cells (or accumulators) can also be recharged. The batteries commonly encoun…

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battery (law)

In several legal systems, the intentional touching of another person without that person's consent. It involves physical contact beyond that customary in everyday life, but not necessarily physical damage or force. Also, the person need not be aware that a battery is to take place (as in the case of a blow from behind) or has taken place (they might suffer a battery while unconscious). Consent may…

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Battista Farina

Automobile designer, born in Turin, Piedmont, NW Italy. He established his car bodywork design business in Turin in 1930, producing many classic designs for prestigious Italian car makers. He also designed car bodies for mass production. His nickname was adopted in the company name (Pininfarina) in 1961, and by his son Sergio Pininfarina (1926– ) who took charge in 1959. Giovanni Battista …

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battleship - Early Battleships, The Age of Sail

The most powerful warship capable of engaging an enemy; the word is derived from ‘line-of-battle ship’. All other vessels originally served subsidiary purposes which aided the battleship in its role. The largest battleships ever built were the Japanese Musashi and Yamato (72 800 tonnes), each mounting 18·1-inch guns; both were sunk in World War 2. The largest battleship now in service is the U…

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baud

A unit used to measure the capacity of a communications channel to carry digital data; named after the French inventor, J M E Baudot. The baud rate of a communications channel is the number of signal changes per second with which the channel can cope. Using an analog link and current modem technology, up to 16 bits can be coded into each signal change; hence a 2400 baud channel can (but rarely doe…

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Baudot code - Details

A code for transmitting verbal messages in telegraph systems, devised by Jean-Maurice-Emile Baudot in 1874, and originally known as the International Telegraph Code 1. Unlike Morse code, which uses short dots and long dashes, the Baudot code uses equal length electrical pulses, either on or off. Every letter, number or figure can be represented by a five-bit combination of these pulses. Two sets o…

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Bauhaus - Context, History of the Bauhaus, Architectural output, Impact, Gallery

An influential school of arts and crafts founded in Weimar by Walter Gropius in 1919. The aim was for artists and architects to work together to create a new unity in the arts. At first expressionist in style, the Bauhaus quickly championed the stark simplicity of functionalism. Students and teachers included Feininger, van Doesburg, Moholy-Nagy, Kandinsky, Klee, and Mies van der Rohe. The school …

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bauxite - Formation, World Bauxite Mine Production, Reserves, and Reserve Base, Processing

A natural mixture of hydrated aluminium oxide minerals produced by the weathering of rocks in hot, humid climates in which more soluble constituents are leached out. It is the chief ore of aluminium. Bauxite is an aluminium ore which consists largely of the Al minerals gibbsite Al(OH)3, boehmite and diaspore AlOOH, together with the iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral …

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Bavaria - History, Culture, Administrative divisions, Historical Buildings, Miscellaneous, Bavarian Culture Overseas

pop (2000e) 11 677 000; area 70 553 km²/27 233 sq mi. Province in SE Germany; bounded (E) by Czech Republic and (S) by Austria; largest province in former West Germany, and Europe's oldest existing political entity; capital, Munich; chief towns, Augsburg, Passau, Nuremberg, Würzburg, Regensburg; chief rivers, the Danube, Isar, Lech, Main; surrounded by the Bavarian Forest (E), Fichtelgeb…

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Bay of Pigs

The attempted invasion of Cuba (Apr 1961) by Cuban exiles supported by the USA. The invasion force of 1300 men landed at Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the S coast, but was rapidly overwhelmed and defeated by Cuban troops commanded by Fidel Castro. The Bay of Pigs (Spanish: Bahía de Cochinos) is a bay on the southern coast of the Matanzas Province in Cuba. The translation of cochinos …

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bay owl

An owl native to Africa and SE Asia; inhabits wet tropical forest; eats insects and vertebrates. (Genus: Phodilus, 2 species. Family: Tytonidae.) …

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Bayard Rustin - Early life, Evolving affiliations, Influence on the civil-rights movement, Trivia

Institute head and civil-rights activist, born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA. Schooled in literature and history at Cheyney State (Pennsylvania) and Wilberforce (Ohio) colleges, he joined the Young Communist League (1936) and became an organizer (1938). He also sang occasionally at a New York City nightclub with notables Josh White and Leadbelly. He left the Communist Party (1941), joined the…

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Bayard Taylor

Traveller, journalist, and writer, born in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, USA. Brought up as a Quaker, he travelled widely in Europe (1844–5) and the Near and Far East (1851–3), and became a master's mate aboard Commodore Perry's expedition to Japan (1853). He wrote and lectured extensively about his travels. Meanwhile, he continued to publish poetry, novels, and his translation of Goethe's Faust…

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Bayeux Tapestry - Origins of the Tapestry, Modern history of the Tapestry, The plot of the Tapestry

An embroidered wall-hanging in coloured wool on linen, narrating events leading up to the invasion of England by William of Normandy, and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Probably commissioned by William's half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux in N France, and embroidered in S England c.1067–77, its length is 68 m/224 ft, and its height 46 cm–54 cm/18–21 in. The contemporary social, military, …

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bayonet - History, Design, Modern use, Cultural impact

A steel blade, thought to have been invented in Bayonne, France, in the 17th-c, which turns an infantryman's firearm into a thrusting weapon. Originally plugging into the end of the musket, by the early 19th-c bayonets were designed to fit into a slot beneath the muzzle, allowing the weapon to be fired at will. The bayonet was sheathed in a short scabbard when not in use. Modern infantry weapons s…

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Bayonne - Description, Culture and sport, Economy and products, Communications, Famous residents, Civic information

43º50N 1º48W, pop (2002e) 40 400. City in the Pays Basque region, SW France; large port on the Adour estuary, located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, on the Atlantic coast; most westerly route into Spain; formerly part of Aquitaine (13th-c) that came under British rule following the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine with Henry Plantagenet; Aquitaine returned to France after the Hundred Years'…

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bayou

A section of still or slow-moving marshy water cut off from a main river channel. It is often in the form of an oxbow lake. Bayous are typical of the Mississippi R delta in Louisiana, USA. Bayou Country is most closely associated with Cajun (Acadian French) and Creole (mixed French, African, and Indian) cultural groups native to the Gulf Coast region generally stretching from Houston,…

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Bayreuth - Richard Wagner and Bayreuth, Sights, City partnerships, Famous Citizens, Economy and traffic

49°56N 11°35E, pop (2000e) 73 500. Industrial and marketing town, capital of Oberfranken district, Germany, on a tributary of R Main; world famous as a festival city committed to the operas of Wagner; railway; university (1975); textiles, machinery, electricity supply; 16th-c old palace, new palace (1753), Wagner theatre (1872–6); Wagner Festival (Jul–Aug). Coordinates: 49°57′N 11

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bazooka - Development, Service, Variants, Specifications

A US infantry weapon developed during World War 2 which fires a small rocket projectile from a simple launching tube. The projectile's warhead is effective against light tank armour. The bazooka was a man-portable anti-tank rocket launcher made famous during World War II where it was one of the United States Armed Forces's primary infantry anti-tank weapons. In addition to an ac…

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BBC

Abbreviation of British Broadcasting Corporation, the UK organization responsible for local, regional, national, and international television and radio services. It began radio broadcasts in November 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company, and received a Royal Charter in 1927, thereafter maintaining a national radio service (a monopoly until 1973). It began its television service in 1936 (a mono…

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BBC World Service

A part of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), providing radio services in English and 32 other languages. Based in London, it is funded by a grant from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but is editorially independent of the UK government. The BBC made its first overseas broadcast in 1932, and launched its first foreign language service, Arabic, in 1938. More than 900 national and local …

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BCS theory - More details

A quantum theory of superconductivity; developed by John Bardeen, Leon Cooper, and John Schrieffer in 1957. Bound states of two electrons (Cooper pairs) form, which account for zero electrical resistance and the Meissner effect. There has been experimental verification of the prediction that magnetic fields through a superconducting ring should have values that are multiples of a basic magnetic un…

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beach - Components, How beaches are formed, Beaches and recreation, Beaches as habitat, Reference

Unconsolidated earth materials ranging in size from silt to boulders, which occur along a shore. Broadly defined, a beach extends from the upper landward limit of wave effects (usually the base of a sea cliff or dune) offshore to the greatest depths normally affected by wave activity (where storm waves break). Beaches of fine sand and silt-size particles normally occur where gentle wave action dom…

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beagle - Appearance, Temperament, Health, Miscellaneous

A breed of dog developed in Britain; a medium-sized hound with a sturdy body and short coat (coarse-haired forms exist); white, tan, and black; broad pendulous ears, deep muzzle; formerly used to track hares by scent. A Beagle is a medium-sized dog breed and a member of the hound group, similar in appearance to a Foxhound but smaller with shorter legs, and with longer, softer ears. Beagles …

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Beaker culture - Pottery, Origin, Interpretation

A prehistoric culture defined archaeologically by finely-made, pottery drinking vessels for mead or beer, often burnished and geometrically decorated. Found in graves of the 3rd millennium BC from Spain, Czech Republic, and Hungary to Italy and Britain, Beakers have often been taken as evidence for trans-European migrations perhaps originating in Spain. Equally, they could be no more than a status…

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bean - Name, Types of beans, Cultural aspects, Toxins, Flatulence

A general name applied to the seeds of many plants, but particularly those belonging to the pea family, Leguminosae, many of which are edible. Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae) used for food or feed. Bean originally meant the seed of the broad bean, but was later broadened to include members of the genus Phaseolus su…

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bear - Physical attributes, Habitats, Behavior, Other, Bears as food and medicine, Classification, Evolutionary relationships, Bears in mythology

A carnivorous mammal, widespread in the N hemisphere; head large with short, rounded ears and long muzzle; body bulky with thick (usually shaggy) coat and very short tail; eats meat (polar bear), or meat and plants (other species). It may rest for long periods during winter months, but this is not true hibernation as the body temperature does not fall. (Family: Ursidae, 7 species.) Both Gre…

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Bear Bryant - Biography, Playing Career, Integration, Libel case, Retirement, Legacy

Coach of American football, born in Kingsland, Arkansas, USA. As a player with the University of Alabama football team, he won the 1935 Rose Bowl game. He started coaching in 1945 at Maryland, and from 1958 was coach at Alabama. He broke the all-time career victories record in 1981 with 315 victories (not broken until 1985), and retired with 323. At the university a hall and stadium are both named…

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bearberry

A low, mat-forming evergreen shrub (Arctostaphyllos uva-ursi), native to arctic moorland in the N hemisphere; leaves 1–2 cm/0·4–0·8 in, elliptic or widest above middle, dark green above, pale beneath; flowers drooping, 4–6 mm/?–¼ in, almost globular, white tinged with pink; berry round, glossy red. (Family: Ericaceae.) Bearberries are three species of dwarf shrubs in the genus Ar…

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Beardsley Ruml

Public official, born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. He joined R H Macy and Co (1934–49, chairman 1945–9) and the New York's Federal Reserve Bank (director 1937–47, chairman 1941–7), and acted as a ‘New Deal’ adviser. He devised the federal tax witholding system (1943), and was instrumental in establishing the International Monetary Fund (1944). Beardsley Ruml (5 November 1894 - 18 April…

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beat generation - Meaning and usage, History, The Beatnik stereotype, Influences on Western culture

A group of US writers of the 1950s who rejected conventional society and its values for a life and writing based on an authentic individual experience, according to the poet Allen Ginsberg (Howl, 1957), ‘of God, sex, drugs, and the absurd’. Besides Ginsberg, novelist Jack Kerouac (On the Road, 1957) and poets Gregory Corso and Laurence Ferlinghetti were principal beat writers. Their ‘outsider’…

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Beatitudes - Content, Parallels and differences, Interpretations, Cultural references

The common name for the opening pronouncements of blessing upon the poor, the hungry, and others in Jesus's great Sermon on the Mount, reported in Matthew's gospel (nine listed in Matt 5.3–10) and the Sermon on the Plain in Luke's gospel (four listed in Luke 6.20–3). The Beatitudes (from Latin, beatitudo, happiness) is the name given to the well-known, definitive and beginning portion of …

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Beatrice (Gladys) Lillie - Early career, Relationships and marriages, Retirement

Revue singer, born in Toronto, Ontario, SE Canada. After an unsuccessful start as a drawing-room ballad singer, she found her true talent in 1914 in music hall and the new vogue of ‘intimate revue’ which came from Paris. She is particularly remembered for her version of Noel Coward's ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’. During World War 2 she played to the troops, and was decorated by General de Gaulle.…

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Beatrice Cenci - History, Literature and arts

Noblewoman, born in Rome, Italy. Her story became the subject of many literary works, including a tragedy by Shelley (1819, The Cenci). She was the youngest daughter of a wealthy Roman nobleman, Count Francesco Cenci, who conceived an incestuous passion for her. With her stepmother and her brother, Giacomo, she plotted his murder in 1598. The Cenci family were arrested and tortured and, in spite o…

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Beatrice Wood - Childhood, Dada and the Avant-garde, Ojai, California, Works, Films inspired by Wood, Obituaries

Ceramicist, born in San Francisco, California, USA. After art study at Académie Julian in Paris, she returned to New York (1914), where she joined Marcel Duchamp's circle. In 1928 she moved to Los Angeles and began to study ceramics with Glen Lukens and the Natzlers. She established a studio in Ojai, CA in the 1940s where she continued to produce her famed lustre glaze pots well into her nineties…

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Beatrix

Queen of The Netherlands (1980– ), born in Soestdijk, WC Netherlands, the eldest daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard Leopold. In 1966 she married West German diplomat Claus-Georg Wilhelm Otto Friedrich Gerd von Amsberg (1926–2002); their son, Prince Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand (1967– ) is the first male heir to the Dutch throne in over a century. There are two other sons, …

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Beatrix Farrand

Landscape architect, born in New York City, New York, USA. The niece of Edith Wharton, she was tutored at home, travelled frequently to Europe with her mother, and in 1893 studied horticulture with Charles Sargent at the Arnold Arboretum near Boston. She began her career in her mother's New York home (1895), winning her first major commission the following year. In 1899 she founded the American So…

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Beaufort Scale

A scale of windspeed, ranging from 0 to 12, devised by Admiral Francis Beaufort (1774–1857) in the mid-19th-c, which uses descriptions of the way common outdoor features (eg smoke, trees) respond to different wind conditions. …

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Beaufort Sea

Region of the Arctic Ocean, N of Alaska and W of the Canadian Arctic archipelago; covered with pack-ice; major oil deposit discovered at Prudhoe Bay (1968), linked by pipeline to Valdez. The Beaufort Sea (French: mer de Beaufort) is a large body of water, part of the Arctic Ocean, located north of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska and west of Canada's Arctic islands. …

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Beaufort West

32º35S 22º57E, pop (2001e) 31 300. Town in Western Cape, SW South Africa; located 500 km/300 mi NE of Cape Town; founded (1818) by Lord Charles Somerset, then governor of the Cape, and named for his father, the 5th Duke of Beaufort; proclaimed South Africa's first municipality, 1837; birthplace of Christiaan Barnard; railway; distribution and manufacturing centre; sheep farming, horse breedi…

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Beaujolais - History, Beaujolais Wines

Sub-division of the old province of Lyonnais in EC France, now forming part of Rhône and Loire departments; granite upland on edge of Massif Central; major wine-growing region; N part known as Beaujolais Villages; centre Villefranche. Beaujolais is a historical province and a wine-producing region in France. The historical capital of the province is Beaujeu and the economic cap…

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Beaumont Newhall - Childhood and Education, The Museum of Modern Art, The Newhall Library

Photohistorian, born in Lynn, Massachusetts, USA. A Harvard-trained art historian, he was librarian at the Museum of Modern Art (1935–42), where he wrote the catalogue for the exhibition, Photography 1893–1937 before becoming its first curator of photography (1940). An officer for US Air Force photographic intelligence in Egypt, North Africa, and Italy (1942–5), he began his teaching career at …

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Beauvais - History, Geography, Cathédrale de Saint-Pierre, Bishops of Beauvais, Other highlights, Economy, Sport

49º25N 2º08E, pop (2000e) 58 900. Market town and capital of Oise department, N France; on R Thérain, 76 km/47 mi N of Paris; railway; bishopric; former tapestry-making centre; agricultural equipment, rayon, tiles, fruit, dairy produce; cathedral (13th–16th-c), with highest Gothic vault in existence (48 m/156 ft). Beauvais is a town and commune of northern France, préfecture (cap…

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beaver - General, Species, Habitat, Danger signal, Fur trade, In culture, 1911 encyclopedia text

A large squirrel-like rodent from North America, N Europe, and Asia; semi-aquatic; hind feet webbed; tail broad, flat, and scaly; builds a ‘lodge’ from logs and mud in woodland ponds; often dams streams to create ponds; was formerly hunted for fur; young called kits. (Family: Castoridae, 2 species.) In 2005 six European beavers were reintroduced to the UK, 500 years after they were hunted to ext…

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bebop - Style, Samples, Bebop musicians

A jazz style, also known as bop, characterized by fast tempos, extended chordal harmonies, and agitated rhythms. It was cultivated in the 1940s by small groups of musicians, among them Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk. Bebop or bop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. Many bebop tunes…

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becquerel - Origin

The activity of a radioactive source as the number of disintegrations per second; SI unit; symbol Bq; named after Henri Becquerel. The becquerel is named for Henri Becquerel, who shared a Nobel Prize with Pierre and Marie Curie for their work in discovering radioactivity. …

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Bedchamber Crisis

A British political crisis which occurred in May 1839, after Melbourne, prime minister in the Whig government, offered to resign, and advised the young Queen Victoria to appoint Peel and the Tories. The Queen refused to dismiss certain Ladies of the Bedchamber with Whig sympathies, whereupon Peel refused office and the Whig government continued. The Bedchamber crisis (May 1839) is the unoff…

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Bedford - Education, Features and events, Transport, Demographics

52°08N 0°29W, pop (2001e) 147 900. County town of Bedfordshire, SC England, UK; a residential town 32 km/20 mi SE of Northampton and 75 km/47 mi N of London; railway; foodstuffs, engineering; John Bunyan (1628–88) was imprisoned here for 12 years, during which time he wrote The Pilgrim's Progress. Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, England. It is the administrative centre …

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Bedfordshire - Transport, Towns and villages, Places of interest, List of notable Bedfordians

pop (2001e) 381 600; area 1235 km²/477 sq mi. County in SC England, UK; drained W–E by the R Ouse; county town, Bedford; Luton a new unitary authority from 1997; distribution centre, motor vehicles, bricks, wheat, barley. Bedfordshire (abbreviated Beds) is a county in England that forms part of the East of England region. Although not a major transport destination, Bedfor…

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Bedlington terrier - History

A British breed of dog, with a tapering muzzle, and no obvious forehead in side view; coat curly, usually pale, but may be grey or brown. The original short-legged breed was crossed with the whippet to produce the longer-legged modern form. The Bedlington Terrier is a breed of dog. The original name of this breed of dog was the Rothbury Terrier after a town, like Bedlington, in …

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Bedouin - Changing ways of life, Traditional Bedouin culture, Bedouin tribes and populations, References in popular culture

Arabic-speaking nomads of Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and other desert areas in the Middle East. They mainly herd animals in the desert during winter months - camels, sheep, goats, and (in the case of the Baqqarah) cattle - and cultivate land in summer; camel herders have the highest prestige. Many have been forced to settle in one locality, because of political or economic moves, such as restric…

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bee - Pollination, Bee evolution, Eusocial and semisocial bees, Solitary and communal bees, Cleptoparasitic bees, Miscellaneous

A winged insect that builds and provisions a nest for its young; the common name of several different types of hymenopteran, including solitary mining bees (Family: Andrenidae), carpenter bees (Family: Anthophoridae), bumblebees, orchid bees, stingless bees, and honeybees (all Family: Apidae). Social structure ranges from the solitary bees, in which each queen effectively raises her own brood, to …

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bee orchid

The name for various species of the genus Ophrys, widespread throughout Europe, W Asia, and N Africa; remarkable for their flowers which mimic insects. The lower lip (labellum) of the flower resembles a female insect in both colour and texture, and the flower emits a powerful pheromone-like scent to attract males of the same species. The males are induced to attempt copulation with the mimic, and …

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bee-eater - Species list

A brightly-coloured bird native to the Old World, especially Africa and S Asia; slender, pointed bill; eats ants, bees, and wasps caught in flight. Some species migrate thousands of kilometres. (Family: Meropidae, 24 species.) The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Family: Meropidae …

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beech

A deciduous, shallow-rooted tree native to the N hemisphere; leaves oval, margins wavy; flowers tiny, males in long-stalked clusters, females (and later, nuts) in pairs enclosed in 4-lobed, spiny case. The leaves are very resistant to decay, forming deep, nutrient-poor litter in beech woods, discouraging the growth of other plants. Young beech trees retain dead leaves throughout the winter, and ma…

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Beelzebub - Religious meaning, Apocryphal literature, Later accounts

In the New Testament Gospels, the ‘prince of demons’, the equivalent of Satan. He is possibly linked with the Old Testament figure Baal-zebub (‘lord of flies’), the god of Ekron, or with the Canaanite Baal-zebul (‘lord of the high place’). Beelzebub /biˈɛl.zəˌbʌb/, Ba‘al Zebûb or Ba‘al Z), appears as the name of a deity worshipped in the Philistine city of Ekron. …

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beer - History, Brewing, Ingredients, Styles, Culture, Health effects, Strength

An alcoholic beverage made from ale (malted barley) which has been flavoured with hops - a drink popular since ancient Egyptian times. It is currently an umbrella term covering a wide range of drinks, distinguished by the type of yeast used, such as bitter (a beer brewed with more hops and a lighter malt than mild), lager (a light beer which matures over a long period of time at a low temperature)…

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Beersheba - History, Neighborhoods, Beersheba Municipality, Demographics, Income, Education, Sports

31°15N 34°47E, pop (2000e) 154 000. Industrial town in South district, S Israel; on N edge of Negev desert; important centre for development of Negev; railway; airfield; university (1965); desert farming research; oil pipeline; ruins of ancient city to the E. Coordinates: 31°14′0″N, 34°47′0″E Beersheba (Hebrew romanization Be'er Sheva or Be'er Sheba) is the largest…

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beeswax - Physical characteristics, Uses as a product, Historical use

Wax secreted by bees of the family Apidae, including bumblebees, stingless bees, and honeybees. It is produced by glands beneath the abdominal body plates (sterna or terga), and used in nest construction. Honeybees use the beeswax to build honey comb cells in which their young are raised and honey and pollen are stored. For the wax-making bees to secrete wax the ambient temperature in the h…

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beet

An annual, biennial, or perennial native to Europe and Asia; leaves shiny, often tinged dark red. Cultivated beets, all derived from the wild beet (Beta vulgaris), are divisible into two groups: leaf beets, including spinach beets and chards, are grown as leaf vegetables; root beets, including beetroot and mangel-wurzel, are biennials grown for their edible, swollen roots. Sugar-beet, containing u…

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beetle - Anatomy, Physiology, Development, Reproduction, Parental care, Predation, Evolutionary history and classification, Study and Collection, Gallery

A winged insect with forewings modified as rigid, horny cases covering membranous hindwings and abdomen beneath; hindwings used in flight, sometimes missing; biting mouthparts; range in size from less than 0·5 mm/0·2 in to c.170 mm/7 in; development includes distinct larval and pupal phases; c.350 000 species known, including many pests. Most feed on live plants or plant material, but some …

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begonia - References and external links

A tuberous or rhizomatous perennial, sometimes a shrub or climber, native to warm regions, especially America; leaves asymmetric, one side larger than the other, often spotted or marked with white or red; male flowers with two large and two small petals, females with 4–5 more petals; fruit a winged capsule; sometimes called elephant's ear, from the shape of its leaves. It reproduces readily from …

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Beijing - History, Demographics, Culture, Education, Media, Books

39°55N 116°25E; pop (2000e) 8 208 000, administrative region 12 062 000;; municipality area 17 800 km²/6900 sq mi. Capital city and municipality of NE China; as Yenching, principal city of NE China, and secondary capital of Liao dynasty (10th-c); seized by Mongols (1215); as Khanbaligh, capital of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), and fully described by Marco Polo (late 13th-c); extensive…

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Beira

19°46S 34°52E, pop (2000e) 379 000. Seaport capital of Sofala province, Mozambique, SE Africa, at the mouth of the Buzi and Pungué Rivers, 725 km/450 mi NNE of Maputo; Mozambique's main port; occupied by the Portuguese, 1506; founded as the seat of the Mozambique Company, 1891; airport; railway; minerals, cotton, foodstuffs. Beira can refer to: …

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Beirut - History, Religion, Colleges and universities, Geography, Transportation

33°52N 35°30E, pop (2000e) 1 690 000. Seaport capital of Lebanon, on a promontory which juts into the Mediterranean Sea; airport; railway; American University (1866), Lebanese University (1953), Arab University (1960); Grand Seraglio, Cathedrals of St Elie and St George, national museum; the ‘Green Line’ refers to the division of the city during the 1975–6 civil war into Muslim (W) and Chr…

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Bel and the Dragon

An addition to the Book of Daniel, part of the Old Testament Apocrypha, or Chapter 14 of Daniel in Catholic versions of the Bible. It contains two popular tales, probably from the 2nd-c BC: one of how Daniel discredited Bel (patron god of Babylon) and its priests, and the other of Daniel in the lion's den. The tale of Bel and the Dragon is from chapter 14 of the Book of Daniel. The chapter …

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Belarus - History of the name, History, Politics, Administrative Divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, International rankings

Official name Republic of Belarus, also spelled Byelarus, formerly (to 1991) Belorussian SSR or White Russia Belarus (Belarusian: Беларусь, Łacinka: Biełaruś; Throughout much of history, the area which is now known as Belarus was part of various countries including the Duchy of Polatsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian…

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Bel - Meanings within certain fields, Use as a prefix, Proper nouns, Places, Currency, In other languages

1°27S 48°29W, pop (2000e) 1 388 000. Port capital of Pará state, Norte region, N Brazil; at the mouth of the Tocantins R; founded, 1616; airport; railway; university (1957); trade in jute, nuts, rubber, black pepper, cassava, aluminium; cathedral (1748); Teatro da Paz, Santo Aleixandre church; Emilio Goeldi Museum, 17th-c Mercês Church, Basilica of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré (1909). …

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Belfast - History, Geography, Climate, Points of interest, Local politics, Local sport, Media, Transport, 2001 Census

54°35N 5°55W, pop (2000e) 285 800. Capital of Northern Ireland in Belfast district, Antrim, NE Northern Ireland; at the mouth of the Lagan R, on Belfast Lough; original settlement and castle destroyed in 1177; settled in the 17th-c by English, Scots, and Huguenots, becoming a centre of Irish Protestanism; capital, 1920; well-defined Nationalist (Catholic) and Unionist (Protestant) areas; disru…

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Belgian Revolution - Causes of the Revolution, Opera riot, Ten Days Campaign, European Powers, Independent Belgium

(1830) The movement which led to the secession of the Southern provinces of the kingdom of The Netherlands and the establishment of an independent kingdom of Belgium. Much of the population of the south were Catholic, French-speaking, or liberals who regarded King William I's rule as despotic, and among the working classes there was unemployment and industrial unrest. On 25 August 1830, after a sp…

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Belgium - Communities/Languages, Origin, History, Government and politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, climate, and environment

Official name Kingdom of Belgium Fr Royaume de Belgique, Flemish Koninkrijk België Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Romance Europe, it is linguistically divided. Mainly two languages are spoken in Belgium: Dutch is spoken by 58% of the whole Belgian population, in Flanders to the north, that is to say by 6 million people; French is spoken by 42% of the entire Bel…

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Belgrade - History, Demographics, Economy, Culture, Transportation, Miscellaneous

44°50N 20°30E, pop (2000e) 1 574 000. Capital city of Serbia in the Union of Serbia and Montenegro (former federation of Yugoslavia), at the junction of the Danube and Sava Rivers; damage from NATO bombing in Kosovo crisis (Apr–Jun 1999); airport; railway; university (1863); arts university (1957); communications centre; machine tools, electrical equipment, light engineering, vehicles, pharm…

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Belisarius - Early life and career, Military campaigns, Legend of Belisarius as a blind beggar, Belisarius in fiction

Byzantine general under Emperor Justinian, born in Germania, Illyria. He defeated the Persians (530), suppressed an insurrection in Constantinople (532), and defeated the Vandals in Africa (533–4) and the Ostrogoths in Italy (535–40). He later again drove back the Persians (542), and repelled an assault of the Huns on Constantinople (559). Falsely accused of conspiracy against the emperor, he wa…

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Belize - History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Demographics, Religion, Gallery, Further reading

Timezone GMT -6 Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, is a small nation on the eastern coast of Central America on the Caribbean Sea bordered by Mexico to the northwest and Guatemala to the west and south. The name is shared by the Belize River, Belize's longest river, and Belize City, the former capital and largest city. The only English-speaking country in Central …

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Belize City

17°29N 88°10W, pop (2000e) 66 500. Seaport in Belize district, Belize, Central America; at the mouth of the Belize R where it meets the Caribbean Sea; capital of Belize until 1970; occasionally badly damaged by hurricanes; airport; timber, coconuts, fishing, commerce, tourism; 19th-c cathedral; Government House. Belize City is the largest city in and former capital now Belmopan of the C…

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bell

A hollow vessel of bronze or other material which, when struck, vibrates to produce a ringing sound (or rather, a complex of sounds) which, if the bell is tuned, may be heard as a musical note of definite pitch. Bells have been made for some 4000 years for a variety of uses and in many different shapes and sizes. A bell fastened to a cat's collar as a warning to birds may be no larger than a small…

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Bell's palsy - Investigation, Diagnosis, Pathology, Epidemiology, Complications, People with Bell's palsy

Paralysis of the muscles of one side of the face innervated by the VIIth cranial nerve (the facial nerve). Damage to the nerve may be caused by trauma, virus infection, or undue pressure as the nerve emerges through its canal at the base of the skull. The condition is named after Scottish surgeon Charles Bell (1774–1842). Bell's palsy (facial palsy) is characterised by facial drooping on t…

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Bella Abzug

Feminist, lawyer, and politician, born in New York City, USA. She studied at Hunter College and Columbia University, and practised as a lawyer in New York City. A prominent peace campaigner, she founded Women Strike for Peace (1961) and the National Women's Political Caucus. Winning a seat in Congress (1971), she was a vigorous champion of welfare issues. Bella Savitsky Abzug (July 24, 1920…

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Belle Boyd

Confederate spy, born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA. She brought information about Federal troops to Confederate commands, especially to General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. She was arrested twice (1862, 1863) and was captured on her way to England carrying letters from Jefferson Davis. Capitalizing on her notoriety, she appeared on the London stage (1866) and the New York stage (1868), then took t…

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Belle Case La Follette

Social reformer and journalist, born in Summit, Wisconsin, USA. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and after teaching and marrying her college classmate, Robert La Follette (1881), she became the first woman to graduate from that university's law school (1885). She never actually practised law but used her legal training in her work with her husband. Until her husband's election as go…

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Bellerophon - Bellerophon's Myth, Capturing Pegasus, Bellerophon in popular culture

In Greek mythology, a hero who was sent to Lycia with a letter telling the king to put him to death. The king set him impossible adventures, notably the killing of the Chimera. In later accounts it is said that Athena helped him to tame Pegasus. Bellerophon or Bellerophontes (perhaps "bearing darts") was a hero of Greek mythology, "the greatest hero and slayer of monsters, alongside of Kadm…

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Bellini

A family of 15th-c Venetian painters. Jacopo Bellini (c.1400–70) studied under Gentile da Fabriano, painting a wide range of subjects, but only a few of his works remain. His son Gentile Bellini (c.1429–1507) worked in his father's studio, and painted many portraits, especially that of Sultan Mohammed II in Constantinople (now in the National Gallery, London). His other son, Giovanni Bellini (c.…

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Belmopan - History, Social and community activities, Educational institutions, Culture, Economy, Government

17°18N 88°30W, pop (2000e) 6600. Capital of Belize, Central America, between the Belize and Sibun Rivers, 80 km/50 mi inland, W of Belize City; made capital in 1970, following major hurricane damage to Belize City in 1961; airfield; new settlement at the Valley of Peace for refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala was made permanent in 1985. Belmopan, estimated population 12,300, is the…

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Belo Horizonte - Economy, Transportation, Weather, Notable landmarks, Culture, Sports, Sister Cities, Picture Gallery

19°54S 43°54W, pop (2000e) 2 786 000. Commercial and industrial capital of Minas Gerais state, Sudeste region, SE Brazil; N of Rio de Janeiro, altitude 800 m/2625 ft; Brazil's first planned modern city, founded, 1897; International (39 km/24 mi) and National (8 km/5 mi) airports; railway; three universities (1927, 1954, 1958); industrial area (c.10 km/6 mi from city centre) third larg…

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Belshazzar - Belshazzar in contemporary Babylonian sources, Belshazzar in classical sources, Belshazzar in the Book of Daniel

Son of Nabonidus, King of Babylon (556-539 BC), and ruler after his father was exiled in 550 BC. In the Book of Daniel, mysterious writing appears on the wall of his palace, which Daniel interprets as predicting the fall of the empire to the Persians and Medes. He died during the capture of Babylon. Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus, who after ruling only three years, went to the oasis of…

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Beltane - Etymology, Origins, Neopaganism

An ancient Celtic festival held at the beginning of May, and also in late June, when bonfires were lit on the hills. The custom of lighting bonfires continued in many localities, especially in the N of Scotland, into the 19th-c, and is still celebrated in Peebles. Beltane or Bealtaine (Irish, pronounced IPA /ˈbʲɑlˠ.t̪ˠə.n̪ʲə/) is an ancient Gaelic holiday celebrated around May 1. …

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Belva (Ann) Lockwood - Early life, Life in Washington, DC

Lawyer, born in Royalton, New York, USA. She began teaching by age 15, and after meeting Susan B Anthony became dedicated to fighting for women's rights. Moving to Washington, DC (1866), she applied for admission to a law school and was eventually awarded a degree (1873). Her first petition to practise before the Supreme Court (1876) was denied, but after getting Congress to pass a bill to support…

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Ben Hecht - Jewish and anti-Holocaust activism, Quotes, Academy Award nominations, Writing filmography, Books (partial list)

Screenwriter, director, and playwright, born in New York City, New York, USA. After youthful forays as a concert violinist and circus acrobat, he went to Chicago at age 16 and became a newspaper reporter. He was a foreign correspondent in World War 1, and back in Chicago tried his hand at more serious fiction and started the Chicago Literary Times (1923–5). During the next 40 years he was one of …

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Ben Holladay

Stagecoach operator and financier, born in Carlisle Co, Kentucky, USA. He moved to Missouri and operated a store and hotel. He furnished supplies for the US Army during the Mexican War, and bought oxen and wagons for bargain prices at the end of that conflict. He entered into trade with Salt Lake City and California, and bought the Central Overland California and Pike's Peak Express for $100 000.…

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Ben Nevis - Geography, History, Ascent routes, The summit, Climbing on Ben Nevis, The Ben Race, Environmental issues, Trivia

56°48N 5°00W. Highest mountain in the UK; in Grampian Mts, Highland, W Scotland; 7 km/4 mi E of Fort William; height 1344 m/4409 ft. Ben Nevis (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Nibheis) is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. The mountain attracts an estimated 100,000 visitors a year, around three quarters of whom use the well-constructed tourist path. Ben Nevis's popularity,…

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Ben Nicholson

Artist, born in Denham, Buckinghamshire, SC England, UK, the son of Sir William Nicholson. He exhibited with the Paris Abstraction-Création group (1933–4) and at the Venice Biennale (1954). He designed a mural panel for the Festival of Britain (1951), and executed another for the Time Life building in London (1952). As one of the leading abstract artists, he gained an international reputation, a…

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Ben Okri - Awards, Works

Novelist and short-story writer, born in Minna, C Nigeria. He studied in Nigeria, then at the University of Essex, UK. His first books were the autobiographical novels Flowers and Shadows (1980) and The Landscapes Within (1981). Later works include two books of short stories (1986, 1988) and the novels The Famished Road (1991, Booker Prize), Dangerous Love (1996), Infinite Riches (1998), and In Ar…

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Ben Pollack

Musician, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a drummer, an ambitious bandleader, and a discoverer of young talent, his distinguished band members including Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jack Teagarden, and Harry James. He played with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings (1922–4), then led his own band in Chicago and New York (1924–40). He worked thereafter as a music businessman and restaurateur in H…

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Benares or Banares - Name, History, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Transport, Civic administration and utility services, People and culture, Education, Tourism

25°22N 83°08E, pop (2000e) 1 087 000. City in Uttar Pradesh state, N India; on N bank of R Ganges, 120 km/75 mi E of Allahabad; one of the seven most sacred Hindu cities, reputed to be Shiva's capital while on Earth; also a holy city of Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains; Hindu city since the 6th-c; invaded by Afghans, 1033; ceded to Britain, 1775; airfield; railway; two universities (1916, 1958);…

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Benazir Bhutto - Early years, Imprisonment, elections and exile, Charges of corruption, Return of Murtaza Bhutto, Afghanistan policy

Pakistani stateswoman and prime minister (1988–91, 1993–6), born in Karachi, SE Pakistan the daughter of the former prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. She studied at Oxford, returned to Pakistan, and was placed under house arrest (1977–84) after the military coup led by General Zia ul-Haq. She moved to England (1984–6), becoming the joint leader in exile of the Opposition Pakistan People's P…

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benchmark

A surveyor's mark placed permanently on some buildings and rock outcrops. Their elevations are surveyed with respect to a fixed datum level, and can be used in further topographical surveys. The term benchmark originates from the chiseled horizontal marks that surveyors made, into which an angle-iron could be placed to bracket ("bench") a levelling rod, thus ensuring that the levellin…

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Benedetto Cairoli

Italian patriot, politician, and prime minister (1878, 1879–81), born in Pavia, Lombardy, N Italy. A follower of Mazzini, he took part in the 1st and 2nd Independence wars and in the Expedition of the Thousand with Garibaldi. A deputy of the left (1860–70), he became prime minister (1878), but his ‘clean hands’ policy against expansionism caused him to resign after the Berlin Congress. He was …

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Benedetto Croce - Biography, The philosophy of spirit, History, Beauty, Selected Quotes, Selected bibliography, Further reading

Philosopher, historian, and critic, born in Pescasseroli, EC Italy. He studied at Rome, and in Naples devoted himself at first to literature and antiquarian studies, founding the review, La Critica (1903), and making major contributions to idealistic aesthetics in his Estetica (1902, Aesthetic) and La Poesia (1936, Poetry). His thought centres on his doctrine of ‘absolute historicism’, ie identi…

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Benedetto Marcello - Life, Music, Writing

Composer, born in Venice, NE Italy. He was a judge of the Venetian Republic and a member of the Council of Forty, and afterwards held offices at Pola and Brescia. As a composer he is noted for his Estro poetico armonico (1724–7), an eight-volume collection of settings for 50 of the Psalms of David, his oratorio Le quattro stagioni (1731, The Four Seasons), and his keyboard and instrumental sonata…

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Benedetto Varchi

Scholar, born in Florence, Tuscany, NC Italy. While in Cosimo de' Medici's service, he wrote a history of the city, Istorie fiorentine (1527–30). Other works include Sonetti (1555–7), which show the influence of both Petrarca and Dante, and the dialogue L'Ercolano. in which he maintains the Florentine character of the Italian language. Benedetto Varchi (born 1502 or 1503 in Florence; …

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Benedict (Joseph) Flaget - Early life, Education and Call to Ministry, Early Church work in America, Bishop, Legacy

Catholic prelate, born in Contournat, France. A Sulpician priest, he emigrated to the USA after the French Revolution and, after pastoral work and teaching theology, served (from 1811) as first Bishop of Bardstown (later Louisville), KY. He travelled tirelessly throughout his far-flung territory, which was ultimately carved into 35 dioceses in seven states, and was influential in building up and s…

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Benedict Arnold - Early life, Pre-revolutionary activities, Wartime career, Saratoga, West Point, Fighting for Britain, Legacy

American soldier and turncoat, born in Norwich, Connecticut, USA. On the outbreak of the War of Independence (1775–83) he joined the colonial forces, assisted Ethan Allen in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga (1775), and took part in the unsuccessful siege of Quebec in 1775, for which he was made a brigadier-general. He fought with distinction at L Champlain, Ridgefield, and Saratoga. Though greatly…

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Benelux

A customs union between Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg which came into existence in 1947 as the result of a convention concluded in London in 1944. Despite the difficulties of achieving economic integration and the exclusion of agriculture from the union, mutual trade between the three countries expanded. A treaty established a more ambitious economic union between the three in 1958. …

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Benguela

12º34S 13º24E, pop (2001e) 129 800. Capital of Benguela province, W Angola, SW Africa; 31 km/19 mi S of Lobito; founded, 1617; railway; airfield; a rail track was built in the 1920s to extract minerals (notably copper) from Democratic Republic of Congo and C Angola. Benguela (São Felipe de Benguela, formerly spelt Benguella) is a port in western Angola, south of Luanda, and capital o…

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Beniamino Gigli - Career, Personal life, The Voice

Tenor, born in Recanati, EC Italy. He won a scholarship to the Liceo Musicale, Rome, and made his operatic debut in Ponchielli's La gioconda in 1914. By 1929 he had won a worldwide reputation as a lyric-dramatic tenor of great vitality, at his best in the works of Verdi and Puccini. Beniamino Gigli (March 20, 1890 - November 30, 1957) was an Italian singer, widely regarded as one of the gre…

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Benidorm

38°33N 0°09W, pop (2000e) 42 600. Resort town in Alicante province, E Spain, on the Mediterranean Costa Blanca; two beaches on either side of a rocky promontory; a leading centre of low-cost package holidays. Coordinates: 38°32′N 0°07′W Benidorm is a Valencian coastal town and municipality located in the comarca of Marina Baixa, in the province of Alicante, Spain, by t…

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Benin (former kingdom) - Name, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Miscellaneous topics

A powerful kingdom in the S Nigerian rainforest, founded in the 13th-c AD, which survived until the 19th-c. The Portuguese turned to Benin as a source of cloth, beads, and slaves in the 15th–16th-c, and it was later involved in the slave trade. The culture is renowned for the life-size brass heads and human/animal plaques cast for its ruler, the Oba, from the 15th-c onwards. Benin was conquered b…

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Benin (republic) - Name, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Miscellaneous topics

Official name Republic of Benin, Fr République du Benin, formerly (to 1990) The People's Republic of Benin Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in Western Africa, formerly known as Dahomey (until 1975) or Dahomania. The name Benin has no proper connection to Kingdom of Benin (or Benin City). However, the Republic of Benin is actually named after the historic Ki…

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Benito (Amilcare Andrea) Mussolini - Early years, Birth of Fascism, Fascist dictatorship, The Axis of Blood and Steel, World War II

Dictator and prime minister of Italy (1922–43), born in Predappio, Romagna. From a poor family, he was expelled from two schools for knife-assaults on other students, and soon became one of Italy's most intelligent and menacing young Socialists. He broke with the Italian Socialist Party after advocating Italian intervention in World War 1. In 1919 he helped found the Fasci di Combattimento as a w…

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Benito Arias Montano

Theologian and poet, born in Fregenal de la Sierra, SW Spain. A professor of oriental languages at the Escorial for many years, he was persuaded to abandon the life of a recluse to supervise the printing of the Biblia Regia Ámberes, the Antwerp Polyglot Bible (1569–72). While in Flanders he enriched the library of Felipe II at the Escorial by judicious book-collecting on a grand scale. He was pa…

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Benjamin (Apthorp) Gould

Astronomer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The son of the principal of the Boston Latin School, he graduated from Harvard and studied in Germany. He founded the Astronomical Journal (1849) and worked with the US Coast Survey (1852–67). His major interest was in the stars of the S hemisphere, and to this end he helped found the National Observatory in Cordoba, Argentina (1865). Serving as its…

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Benjamin (Henry) Latrobe - Biography, Works

Architect and civil engineer, born in Fulneck, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He trained in England with Cockerell, enjoying a successful practice there before emigrating to the USA (1795), where he introduced the Greek Revival style and was surveyor of public buildings in Washington, DC (1803–17). As an engineer he designed waterworks for the city of Philadelphia (1801), worked on the Washington…

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Benjamin (Ide) Wheeler - Publications, Reference

University president, born in Randolph, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at the University of Heidelberg (PhD), and became a professor of Greek and comparative philology. As president of the University of California (1899–1919), he guided extensive expansion, adding 20 departments, attracting an internationally renowned faculty, and strengthening graduate divisions and research activities. B…

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Benjamin (Lawson) Hooks - Early life, Education, Law career, Many careers, The NAACP, Views on equality, Retirement, Professional memberships

Judge, public official, and civil rights reformer, born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. A lawyer as well as an ordained minister, he was pastor of the Middle Baptist Church of Memphis (1956–72), and co-founder and vice-president of the Mutual Federal Savings and Loan Association (1955–69). He gained national recognition as the first African-American to serve on the Federal Communications Commission …

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Benjamin (McLane) Spock - Life, Books, Claims that Dr. Spock advocated permissiveness, Politics, Public misconceptions

Paediatrician, psychiatrist, writer, and social activist, born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. While in medical school at Yale he rowed for the gold-medal US crew team in the 1924 Olympics. He served residencies in New York City hospitals (1931–3) and began a six-year training programme with the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. While teaching paediatrics at Cornell University's Medical College …

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Benjamin (Obadiah Iqbal) Zephaniah - Discography, Books, External links and references

Poet, born in Birmingham, West Midlands, C England, UK. He spent much of his childhood in Jamaica. A popular performance poet, he has toured throughout the UK, Europe, and the Caribbean. His first book, Pen Rhythms (1981), was followed by The Dread Affair (1985), a passionate condemnation of aggression. Later collections include Too Black, Too Strong (2001), We Are Britain! (2002), and J is for Ja…

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Benjamin (Ricketson) Tucker - Summary, Dates, places and events

Anarchist and reformer, born in South Darmouth, Massachusetts, USA. Although he studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1870–3), he was more drawn to social reform than engineering, and became a convert to individualist anarchism (1872). Leaving school, he travelled to France to study the works of French Socialist Pierre Joseph Proudhon, on whom he became an authority. He translated…

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Benjamin Banneker - Benjamin Banneker Park and Memorial, Washington, DC

Astronomer and mathematician, born near Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the grandson of an Englishwoman and a freed black slave, but son of a slave father and freed black mother. He was allowed to attend a local elementary school, where he showed a talent for mathematics and science. Although his main occupation was as a farmer, he devoted his spare time to applied sciences, publishing an almanac (1792

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Benjamin Boyd - In Australia, Later years

Australian colonist, born at Merton Hall, near Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland, UK. He arrived in Hobson's Bay in 1842, and became one of the largest and most powerful squatters in SE New South Wales. He spent a fortune trying to found ‘Boyd Town’ as a commercial port. When the enterprise failed, he sailed off in 1849 to join the Gold Rush in California. Benjamin Boyd, …

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Benjamin Champney

Painter, born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, USA. He worked as a lithographer in Boston, MA, became a portraitist (1841), travelled to Europe (1841, 1846–8), and exhibited panoramas in Boston and New York (1848–50). He wintered in Massachusetts, spent summers in North Conway, NH, and painted landscapes, including ‘Picnic on Artist's Ledge Overlooking Conway Meadows, NH’ (1874). Benjamin…

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Benjamin Church - Political Ambiguities, Director General, Assessment, Trivia

American soldier and Indian fighter, born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA. In 1676 he led the fight at Mount Hope, RI that resulted in the death of King Philip. Later he led five different raids against the French and Indians in the areas of Maine and Nova Scotia. Dr. Benjamin Church (August 24, 1734 – 1776) was effectively the first surgeon general of the U.S. Army, serving as the "Chief…

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Benjamin Franklin - Biography, Exhibitions, Franklin in popular culture, Other references

US statesman, printer, writer, and scientist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The 15th child in his family, he went to work at age 10 in his father's chandlery, then in a brother's printing house. Ambitious and intent on self-improvement, he became a skilled printer while reading widely and developing a writing style. At age 17 he left for Philadelphia where, starting with no capital, he advan…

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Benjamin Franklin Bache

Journalist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. A grandson of Benjamin Franklin, from the age of seven to sixteen he lived in France under his grandfather's supervision and learned the printing trade there. On Franklin's death (1790), he inherited a printing house in Philadelphia where, at age 21, he established a newspaper called the General Advertiser (later the Aurora General Advertiser). …

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Benjamin Goodhue

US representative and senator, born in Salem, Massachusetts, USA. A prosperous merchant, he was chosen to represent Massachusetts in the US House of Representatives (Federalist, 1789–96) and the US Senate (1796–1800), where he served as chairman of the Committee on Commerce. Benjamin Goodhue (September 20, 1748-July 28, 1814) was a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts. He worke…

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Benjamin Harrison - Biography, Presidency 1889-1893, Media

US statesman and 23rd president (1889–93), born in North Bend, Ohio, USA. The grandson of a US president and son of a US senator, he took up law practice in Indianapolis in 1854. During the Civil War he raised a regiment and led it with distinction. Active thereafter in Republican politics, he made two unsuccessful bids for the Indiana governorship before gaining a seat in the US Senate (1881–7)…

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Benjamin Harrison - Biography, Presidency 1889-1893, Media

US governor, born in Charles City Co, Virginia, USA, the father of William Henry Harrison. He served in the Virginia House of Burgesses (1749–75), later leading resistance to the British. In the Continental Congress (1774–7), he presided over debates which led to the Declaration of Independence, which he signed. A member of Virginia's House of Delegates (1777–81, 1784–91), and Virginia's gover…

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Benjamin Hawkins - Indian Agent

US senator and Indian agent, born in Bute Co, North Carolina, USA. He served as George Washington's aide and translator (with Indians) during the American Revolution and as a member of the Confederation Congress (1781–4, 1786–7). He also served as one of North Carolina's first two US senators (Federalist, 1789–95). His most important work was as a commissioner who negotiated treaties with vario…

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Benjamin Huntsman

Inventor, born in Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. After an apprenticeship to a clockmaker, he established a business in Doncaster making clocks, locks, and scientific instruments. Dissatisfied with the quality of available steel, he developed the crucible, or casting, process which produced a better and more uniform steel with less expenditure of labour and fuel, at a found…

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Benjamin Jowett - Early career, Master at Oxford, Height of power, Later life and death

Scholar, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and spent his career there. Elected a fellow (1838), tutor (1842), and master (1870) of Balliol College, he was professor of Greek (1855–93), and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford (1882–6). He is best known for his translations of the Dialogues of Plato (1871), Thucydides (1881), the Politics of Aristotle (1885), and Plato's Republic (1894). Benj…

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Benjamin Lincoln - Legacy

Revolutionary soldier and politician, born in Hingham, Massachusetts, USA. A farmer's son, modestly educated, he took an early interest in militia and public affairs, serving in the Massachusetts legislature (1772–3) and as secretary of the Provincial Congress (1775). In 1777, as a major-general of continental forces, he operated effectively on the flank of the British army in upstate New York, c…

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Benjamin Lundy

Abolitionist, born in Sussex Co, New Jersey, USA. Observing slavery as a saddler in Virginia (1808–12), he formed a pioneering anti-slavery group soon after settling in St Clair, OH (1815) and, risking harm, published several abolitionist papers, including The Philanthropist (with abolitionist Charles Osborne) and The Genius of Universal Emancipation (1821). He journeyed to such places as Haiti a…

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Benjamin Luxon - Selected discography

Baritone, born in Camborne, Cornwall, SW England, UK. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music, London, and was a teacher before becoming a professional singer in 1963. His major roles include Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni, and Julius Caesar. …

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Benjamin of Tudela - Sources

Rabbi, born in Navarre, N Spain. From 1159 to 1173 he made a journey from Saragossa through Italy and Greece to Palestine, Persia, Turkey, Iraq, India, and the borders of China, to discover distant Jewish communities, returning by way of Egypt and Sicily. He was the first European traveller to describe the Far East, and died in the year of his return. His account, The Itinerary of Rabbi Benjamin o…

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Benjamin Peirce - Works

Astronomer and mathematician, born in Salem, Massachusetts, USA, the father of Charles Sanders Peirce. Encouraged by Nathaniel Bowditch as a youth, he went on to become a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Harvard (1833–80), founder of the Harvard Observatory (1843), and an organizer of the Smithsonian Institution (1847). He was a consulting astronomer to the American Nautical Almanac(1849…

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Benjamin Robins

Mathematician and father of the art of gunnery, born in Bath, SW England, UK. A teacher of mathematics in London, he carried out experiments on the air resistance of projectiles, studied fortification, and invented the ballistic pendulum, which for the first time allowed the measurement of muzzle velocities. His New Principles of Gunnery (1742) laid the groundwork for modern field-artillery. …

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Benjamin Rush - Life, Constitutional ideas, Corps of discovery, Controversial theories, Contributions to medicine, Religious views and vision, Sources

Physician, Revolutionary patriot, and educator, born in Byberry, Pennsylvania, USA. After studying medicine in Philadelphia, he completed his studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1768). He set up his practice in Philadelphia, taught chemistry at the medical college there, and published the first American chemistry text (1770). He also wrote on social and political subjects, and, as th…

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Benjamin Stoddert - Sources

Public official, born in Charles Co, Maryland, USA. He was a Revolutionary militia captain and secretary to the Board of War of the Continental Congress (1779–81). As the first secretary of the navy (1798–1801) he added 50 vessels to the navy, pushed for the construction of docks and naval yards, and promoted the construction of a naval hospital at Newport, RI. His business affairs suffered afte…

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Benjamin Thompson - Early life in America, Bavarian maturity, Later life, Honours

Architect and urban designer, born in St Paul, Minnesota, USA. He studied at the University of Virginia before graduating from Yale, then served in the US Navy in World War 2 (1941–5). After the War, he and some young architect friends at Harvard's architecture school invited the school's head, Walter Gropius, to start a firm with them. It was known as Architects' Collaborative, and it took the l…

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Benjamin Trott

Painter, probably born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. An artist in New York (c.1791), he moved to Philadelphia (c.1794–7), then travelled continuously, painting miniatures, until he settled in Baltimore, MD (c.1839). Benjamin Trott (born September 22, 1977) is a co-founder of Six Apart, creator of Movable Type and TypePad. Trott is chief technical officer of Six Apart. …

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Benjamin West - Works Cited, Books About Benjamin West

Painter and teacher, born in Springfield, Pennsylvania, USA. He painted portraits in Philadelphia (1756), travelled to Rome (1759–62), where he was influenced by the classical German painter Anton Mengs, then settled in London (1763). There he became a charter member of the Royal Academy (1768; president 1792), and was appointed historical painter to George III (1772). ‘Death of Wolfe’ (1771), …

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Benjamin Whichcote

Philosopher and theologian, born in Stoke, Shropshire, WC England, UK. He was a student at Cambridge, a fellow of Emmanuel College in 1633, and was ordained and appointed Sunday Afternoon Lecturer in Trinity Church (1636–56). He became provost of King's College in 1644, but lost the post at the Restoration in 1660 by order of Charles II. He published nothing in his lifetime, but is regarded as th…

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Bennett (Alfred) Cerf - Biography, Bibliography

Publisher, editor, and writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. After successfully marketing reprint classics under the Modern Library imprint, he co-founded Random House in 1927, serving as its president for nearly 40 years. An editor of humour and other anthologies, he also wrote a syndicated newspaper column and appeared regularly on television. Bennett Alfred Cerf (May 25, 1898 - A…

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Bennington

42º52N 73º11W, pop (2000e) 15 700. Town in Bennington Co, SW Vermont, USA; located on the Walloomsac R, between the Green Mountain and Taconic Mountain ranges; borders the Green Mountain National Forest; 15 km/9 mi N of Williamstown, MA; chartered, 1749, and named for Benning Wentworth, a New Hampshire governor; birthplace of Hiram Bingham, Anne Botta, James Fisk, Simon Fraser; Robert Frost …

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Benno Moiseiwitsch - Repertoire, Filmography

Pianist, born in Odessa, S Ukraine. He studied at the Imperial Academy of Music, Odessa, where he won the Rubinstein Prize at the age of nine, and subsequently studied in Vienna. Rapidly winning recognition as an exponent of the music of the Romantic composers, he first appeared in Britain in 1908, and took British nationality in 1937. Moiseiwitsch was particularly known for his interpretat…

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Benny Carter

Alto saxophonist and composer, born in New York City, USA. Although also a trumpeter and clarinettist, it was the warm tone of the alto saxophone that set the swing era style. He was among the outstanding early writers of big band arrangements, composing for Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, and Count Basie, and also for singers including Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1943 he composed his fir…

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Benny Goodman - Childhood and early years, Career, Fame, Racial integration, Later years, Samples

Jazz musician, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was raised in a poor immigrant family, received early clarinet lessons at Hull House, and studied privately with Franz Schoepp. He joined the musicians' union, began playing professionally at age 13, and in 1925 joined Ben Pollack's orchestra, working with it in California, Chicago, and New York until 1929. He played with Red Nichols (1929–30), an…

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Benny Hill - Beginnings, Films and recordings, The Benny Hill Show, Hill's repertory group

Comedian, born in Southampton, Hampshire, S England, UK. An enthusiastic performer in school shows, he was a milkman, drummer, and driver before finding employment as an assistant stage manager. During World War 2 he appeared in Stars in Battledress, and later followed the traditional comic's route of working-men's clubs, revues, and end-of-the-pier shows. An early convert to the potential of tele…

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Benny Lynch

Boxer, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. In 1935 he became the first Scot to hold a world title, taking the National Boxing Association/International Boxing Union version of the world flyweight title. From 1937 to 1938 he was undisputed world champion, but he forfeited the title when he failed to make the weight for a title bout against Jacky Jurich of the USA. During his career he won 82 out of 11…

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Beno Gutenberg

Seismologist, born in Darmstadt, Germany. During his graduate studies at the University of Goettingen, Germany, he made the first known correct determination of the size and composition of the earth's inner core. He left Germany (1930) to join the seismology laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, where he collaborated with Charles F Richter to develop the definitive scale of earthqu…

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Benozzo Gozzoli - Biography

Painter, born in Florence, NC Italy. A pupil of Fra Angelico, in Florence (1456–64) he adorned the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi with scriptural subjects, including his famous ‘Journey of the Magi’ (1459) in which Florentine councillors accompanied by members of the Medici family appear, and painted similar frescoes at Gimignano (1464–7), and in the Campo Santo at Pisa (1468–84). Benozzo Goz…

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Bentivoglio - History, Rulers of Bologna, Other notable family members, Power base

A Bolognese family belonging to the Guelph faction. They ruled the city at first intermittently and then on a hereditary basis with Sante (1446–63) and Giovanni II (1463–1506), but eventually were forced to give Bologna to Pope Giulio II (1506) and moved to Ferrara. Guido (1579–1644), as head of the Inquisition, condemned Galileo (1633). Bentivoglio (in Latin, rendered as Bentivoius) was…

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Benton Mackaye

Regional planner, born in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. He studied geography at Harvard and then joined the Forestry Service (1905–17). In 1921 he published his proposal for the Appalachian walking trail from Georgia to Maine. A founder of the Regional Planning Association of America (1923), he undertook studies for planning commissions (1925–45) including the Tennessee Valley Authority. His far-s…

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Benvenuto Cellini - Life, Works, Cellini in literature, Further reading

Goldsmith, sculptor, engraver, and writer, born in Florence, NC Italy. He is particularly known for his autobiography (1558–62). By his own account, it seems he had no scruples about murdering or maiming his rivals, and at the siege of Rome (1527) he killed the Constable de Bourbon. He was several times imprisoned. His best work includes the gold saltcellar made for Francis I of France, and his b…

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benzaldehyde - Production, Reactions, Uses

C6H5CHO, IUPAC phenylmethanal, boiling point 179°C. A colourless liquid, with the odour of almonds, used as a flavouring. It is readily oxidized to benzoic acid. Benzaldehyde (C6H5CHO) is a chemical compound consisting of a benzene ring with an aldehyde substituent. Benzaldehyde can be obtained by many process. There is also a number of discontinued applications such as partial…

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benzene - History, Structure, Substituted benzene derivatives, Production, Uses, Reactions of benzene, Health effects

C6H6, melting point 5°C, boiling point 80°C. An aromatic liquid obtained from coal tar, which may be synthesized by dehydrogenation of petroleum hydrocarbons. It is the simplest of the large series of aromatic compounds. Although the bonds in the benzene ring are often represented as alternating single and double, they are in fact all equivalent, this fact usually being described by the misleadi…

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benzoic acid - History, Production, Uses, Biology and health effects, Chemistry, Laboratory preparations

C6H5COOH, melting point 122ºC. A white crystalline compound obtained by the oxidation of toluene. It is the simplest aromatic acid, a weak acid. Its sodium salt, sodium benzoate, is used as a preservative. Benzoic acid, C6H5COOH, is a colorless crystalline solid and the simplest aromatic carboxylic acid. The name derived from gum benzoin, which was for a long time the only source for …

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benzyl - Benzyl protective groups

C6H5CH2–, IUPAC phenylmethyl. A functional group containing a phenyl ring, whose addition to a name usually indicates its substitution for hydrogen in a compound. In organic chemistry, benzyl is the term for the radical, ion or functional group C6H5CH2, which can be obtained formally by removing a hydrogen atom from toluene's methyl group. Benzyl groups are frequently used in o…

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Beppe (Giuseppe) Fenoglio - Works

Writer, born in Alba, Piedmont, N Italy. A partisan during World War 2, he made that experience one of the main subjects of his work. His description of peasant life in Piedmont's Langhe region breaks away from neo-realism because of its focus on the individual. Notable is his use of both the local dialect and English within his books, which include I ventitré giorni della città di Alba (1952), …

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Berengar of Tours - Biography, Reassertion in France, Significance

Scholastic theologian, born probably in Tours, WC France. He studied at Chartres under Fulbert, in 1031 was appointed preceptor of the cathedral school in Tours, and about 1040 archdeacon of Angers. An opponent of the doctrine of transubstantiation, he was excommunicated by Pope Leo IX in 1050, and imprisoned by Henri I in the same year. He made a series of partial retractions, the last in 1080, a…

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Berenice

The daughter of Herod Agrippa I. Four times married, she then became the mistress of Flavius Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, during the Jewish rebellion (AD 70), and followed him to Rome. She is the heroine of Racine's tragedy. She is known as the ‘Jewish Berenice’, to distinguish her from several other women of that name from the house of Ptolemy. …

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Berenice Abbott - Youth, Europe: Photography and poetry, Changing New York, Scientific work, Beyond New York City

Photographer, born in Springfield, Ohio, USA. She studied at Ohio State University (1917–18) and briefly at Columbia University in New York City (1918), then took up drawing and sculpture in New York City (1918–21), Paris (1921–3, partially under Antoine Bourdelle), and Berlin (1923). Back in Paris she became an assistant (1923–5) to the photographer Man Ray, and later opened her own portrait …

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Bergama

39°08N 27°10E, pop (2000e) 55 000. Town in Izmir province, W Turkey, N of Izmir; former capital of the ancient Kingdom of Pergamum, and of the Roman province of Asia; parchment is supposed to have been invented here; carpet making, tourism; Acropolis, Temples of Trajan and Dionysos, Sanctuary of Athena, Altar of Zeus. Bergama (Greek: Πέργαμος) is a city and its depending distric…

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Bergamo - Description, Gallery, Sister cities

45°42N 9°40E, pop (2000e) 122 000. Capital town of Bergamo province, Lombardy, N Italy; between the Brembo and Serio Rivers, NE of Milan; first seat of the Republican fascist government set up in N Italy by Mussolini after his fall from power, 1943; airport; railway; textiles, cement, printing, electrical switches, bottling plant; Romanesque basilica (1137–1355), 15th-c cathedral; annual trad…

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Bergen (Norway) - History, The name, Cityscape, Administration, Climate, Universities and research, Commerce and industry, Transportation, Culture and sports

60°23N 5°20E, pop (2000e) 223 000. Seaport and administrative capital of Hordaland county, SW Norway; on a promontory at the head of a deep bay; old shipping and trading town; second largest city in Norway; founded, 1070; capital, 12th–13th-c; occupied by Germans in World War 2; bishopric; airport; railway; university (1948); shipyards, engineering, paper, fishing, fish products, pottery, off…

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Bergen op Zoom - History, Population centres, The city of Bergen op Zoom

Margravate in the dukedom of Brabant. It was mentioned as a ‘sovereignty’ in 1287 and made a margravate by Charles V in 1533. After the death of John IV of Glimes, the last margrave, it came into the hands of John of Withem in the 1580s, who tried to hand it over, with its garrison, to Parma. He was deprived of his margravate by the States-General, who conferred it on the Prince of Orange. It wa…

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Bering Sea

area 2 304 000 km²/890 000 sq mi. Part of the Pacific Ocean between Siberia (W) and Alaska (E), bounded S by the Aleutian Is and Trench; connected to the Arctic by the Bering Strait (90 km/56 mi wide at narrowest point); often ice-bound (Nov–May); contains boundary between Russia and USA; depths reach 4000 m/13 000 ft (SW), but 25–75 m/90–240 ft over continental shelf in NE; explo…

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Berkeley

37º52N 122º16W, pop (2000e) 102 700. City in Alameda Co, W California, USA; residential suburb N of Oakland, on the E shore of San Francisco Bay; birthplace of Ben Affleck and James Ivory; university (1868); engineering. Berkeley may refer to: Places in England and English people called Berkeley are pronounced /ˈbɑː.kliː/ while American places named Berkeley are pronounc…

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Berkshire - History, Politics, Places of interest

pop (2000e) 781 700; area 1259 km²/486 sq mi. Former county of S England, UK; replaced in 1998 by the unitary authorities of Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, and Bracknell Forest; continues to receive widespread cultural recognition. Berkshire (IPA: [ˈbɑːkʃə] or [ˈbɑːkʃɪə]?; It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire bec…

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Berlin - Geography, Government, Demographics, Economy, Education, Culture, Sports, Infrastructure, Berlin quotations

52°32N 13°25E, pop (2000e) 3 530 000; area 883 km²/341 sq mi. Capital of Germany, partitioned in 1945 into East Berlin and West Berlin; founded in the 13th-c; former residence of the Hohenzollerns and capital of Brandenburg; later capital of Prussia, becoming an industrial and commercial centre in the 18th-c; in 1949 West Berlin became a province of the Federal Republic of Germany (pop (…

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Berlin Wall - Construction begins, 1961, Official crossings and usage, The fall, 1989, Legacy

A concrete wall built by the East German government in 1961 to seal off East Berlin from the part of the city occupied by the three main Western powers. Built largely to prevent mass illegal emigration to the West, which was threatening the East German economy, the wall was the scene of the shooting of many East Germans who tried to escape from the Eastern sector. The wall, seen by many as a major…

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Bermuda - History, Politics, Military, Geography, Economy, Holidays, Culture

(UK British Overseas Territory), formerly Somers Is Bermuda (alias, The Bermuda Islands formerly, The Somers Isles) is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the North Atlantic Ocean, situated around 640 miles (975?km) off the coast of the United States. Bermuda has a thriving economy, with a large financial sector and tourism industry. Bermuda is one of the few islands in the…

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Bermuda Triangle - The triangle, History, Famous incidents

An area of the North Atlantic Ocean, roughly delimited by Bermuda, the Greater Antilles, and the US coast, which has become part of maritime mythology. Reports of vessels which have been abandoned or disappeared, vanishing aircraft, and other inexplicable events have been known for over a century, and have attracted diverse explanations involving extraterrestrial beings, force fields, crippling se…

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Bern - History, Geography, Politics, Main sights, Culture, Education and science, Transportation, Miscellaneous

46°57N 7°28E, pop (2000e) 140 000. Federal capital of Switzerland and of Bern canton, W Switzerland; on R Aare 94 km/58 mi SW of Zürich; founded, 1191; joined the Swiss Confederation, 1353; capital, 1848; airport (Belpmoos); railway junction; university (1834); textiles, machinery, chocolate, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, graphic trades, electrical equipment, engineering, tourism; Gothic cat…

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Bernard (Augustine) DeVoto - Selected works of Bernard DeVoto

Writer, critic, and historian, born in Ogden, Utah, USA. He taught marksmanship in the army during World War 1, then graduated from Harvard in 1920. He held an instructorship at Northwestern University and published three novels before joining the Harvard faculty in 1929. His critical study, Mark Twain's America, appeared in 1932. He then left Harvard to become editor of The Saturday Review of Lit…

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Bernard (Ferdinand) Lyot - Observations and Achievements on Pic du Midi, Inventions, Awards and honors

Astronomer, born in Paris, France. He studied engineering at the Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité, and worked at the Paris Observatory at Meudon from 1920. In 1930 he invented the coronagraph, a device which allows the Sun's corona to be observed without a total solar eclipse. He achieved this by creating an artificial eclipse inside a telescope. He also pioneered the study of the polarization of …

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Bernard (Joseph Francis) Lonergan - Education, Works, Philosophy, Honours

Jesuit theologian and philosopher, born in Buckingham, Quebec, SE Canada. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1922, and was appointed professor of systematic theology at the Gregorian University, Rome (1954–65). The findings of his massive and seminal studies are summarized in Philosophy of God, and Theology (1973) and Understanding and Being (1980). His other interests in theology and the history…

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Bernard (Mannes) Baruch - Beginnings, Presidential advisor: WW1, Presidential Advisor: WW2, Park bench statesman, Bibliography

Financier, public official, and philanthropist, born in Camden, South Carolina, USA. Starting on Wall Street at $3 a week, he became a multimillionaire by his mid-thirties through his stock investments. He chose to devote himself to public affairs, and became a friend of Woodrow Wilson, who appointed him chairman of the War Industries Board (1917) and a member of the president's war council. He pa…

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Bernard (Ralph) Maybeck

Architect, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and established his own office in Berkeley, California (1902). He designed mostly Bay Area suburban houses and community projects, though his best-known works include the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco (1913–15). His uniquely inventive designs drew on various traditions and showed unusual diversit…

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Bernard Bailyn - History books, Major themes and new ideas

Historian, born in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. He studied at Harvard University (PhD) and began teaching there in 1953. His Ideological Origins of the American Revolution received Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes (1968), and Voyagers to the West received a Pulitzer Prize (1986). An authority on the American Revolutionary period, he was president of the American Historical Association (1981) and became…

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Bernard Blier - Selected films

French actor, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Following his first film Trois, six, neuf (1937, director Raymond Rouleau), he was in constant demand by film directors both in France and Italy because of his versatility and enjoyment of picturesque roles. He appeared in films made by his son, Bertrand Blier, such as Calmos (1976) and Buffet froid (1979). His last two films in a career of 60 films w…

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Bernard Braden - Discography

Radio and television presenter, born in Canada. Educated in Vancouver, he became an engineer, announcer, and radio actor in local radio (1937–43), and also for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (1940–9). In England from 1949, he acted in various plays, including A Street Car Named Desire. Joining the BBC, he presented radio shows such as Breakfast with Braden, often co-presenting with his wi…

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Bernard Buffet

Painter, born in Paris, France. He made his name in the early 1950s with murky still-lifes, and interiors with skinny, miserable figures painted in a sharp linear style and a neutral, almost monochromatic palette which seemed to catch the mood (‘existential alienation’) of post-war Paris. He exhibited regularly in Paris and occasionally in London. In 1973 a Buffet Museum was established in Japan…

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Bernard de Jussieu

Botanist, born in Lyon, SC France. He created the botanical garden at Trianon for Louis XV, and adopted a system which has become the basis of modern natural botanical classification. His brother Antoine (1686–1758) was a physician and professor at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris. His nephew, Antoine Laurent (1748–1836), was also professor at the Jardin, and elaborated his uncle's system in Genera…

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Bernard de Mandeville - Life, Fable of the Bees, Ideas, Influence

Physician and satirist, born in Dort, The Netherlands. He trained as a doctor at Leyden in 1691, and settled in London in medical practice. He is known as the author of a short work in doggerel verse originally entitled The Grumbling Hive (1705), and reissued as The Fable of the Bees (1714), designed to illustrate the essential evil in human nature. The book was condemned by the grand jury of Midd…

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Bernard de Montfaucon - Partial bibliography

Scholar and monk, born in Soulage, C France, the founder of the science of palaeography. A Benedictine monk at Saint-Maur, he went to Paris to edit the Latin works of the Greek Fathers of the Church, and published Palaeographia Graeca (1708, Greek Palaeography), the first work to be based on a study of manuscript handwriting. He also published editions of Athanasius and St John Chrysostom. …

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Bernard Gilpin

Clergyman, born in Kentmere Hall, Cumbria, NW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, Louvain, and Paris, and became archdeacon of Durham in 1556. A strong supporter of royal supremacy in the English Church, he defended himself against accusations of heresy, and on Elizabeth I's succession in 1558 was appointed rector of Houghton le Spring. He turned down many offers of promotion, preferring to ministe…

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Bernard Haitink

Conductor, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and was an orchestral violinist before becoming second conductor of The Netherlands Radio Union (1955). He was principal conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra (1961–88) and of the London Philharmonic (1967–79), and was appointed musical director at Glyndebourne (1978–88), and Covent Garden (198…

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Bernard Herrmann - Collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, Other works, Compositional style and philosophy, Legacy and recording

Composer and conductor, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the Juilliard School and joined CBS Radio as a composer and conductor. His score for Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane (1941) was the first of many successes, including several for Hitchcock, such as North by Northwest (1959) and Psycho (1960). He was awarded an Oscar for All That Money Can Buy (1941), and received Oscar nominations f…

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Bernard Hinault - Reference

Cyclist, born in Yffignac, W France. In 1985 he joined Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil as a five-times winner of the Tour de France. He was French pursuit champion in 1974, and turned professional in 1977. In 1982 he won the Tours of Italy and France, and overcame knee surgery in 1983 to win his fifth Tour de France. He retired at 32, and became technical adviser to the Tour de France. Ber…

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Bernard Malamud - Quotes, Bibliography

Writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. His Russian-Jewish parents ran a small grocery store, and he used such biographical material in much of his writing. He studied at the College of the City of New York (1936 BA) and Columbia University (1942 MA), then worked for the Census Bureau in Washington, DC (1940), and taught English at New York City evening schools (1940–9). He moved up to coll…

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Bernard Palissy

Potter, born in Agen, SW France. He began as a glass-painter, then settled in Saintes (1539), where he devised new techniques for glazing earthenware. His products, bearing in high-relief plants and animals coloured to represent nature, soon made him famous, and although imprisoned as a Huguenot in 1562, he was speedily released and taken into royal favour. In c.1565 he established his workshop at…

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Bernard Pivot - Biography, Spelling championships, Bernard Pivot and James Lipton

Television broadcaster and presenter, born in Lyon, SC France. Originally a journalist, he became famous for his long-running programme Apostrophes (from 1991). He has also produced and hosted Bouillon de Culture on France Deux, a showcase for all aspects of contemporary culture. His books include Beaujolaises (1978) and Le Métier de Lire (1990). Bernard Pivot (born 5 May 1935) is a journa…

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Bernard Vonnegut - Professional career, Personal life

Physicist, born in Indianapolis, Iowa, USA. He studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spent his career with the A D Little Co, and from 1967 became professor of atmospheric science at New York State University. In 1947 he improved a method for artificially inducing rainfall by using silver iodide as a cloud-seeding agent. Dr. Bernard Vonnegut (August 29, 1914 – April 25, 1997) …

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Bernardino Ochino - Biography

Protestant reformer, born in Siena, C Italy. He changed from the Franciscans to the Capuchins (1534), becoming vicar-general of the order after four years. Summoned to Rome to answer for evangelical tendencies (1542), he fled to Calvin in Geneva. In 1545 he became preacher to the Italians in Augsburg. Invited to England, he was pastor to the Italian exiles and a prebend in Canterbury. At Mary I's …

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Bernardino Ramazzini - Resources

Physician and pioneer of occupational health, born in Capri, SW Italy. He studied at Parma University, practised medicine near Rome, then settled in Modena, where he became professor of medicine (1682–1700). He moved to Padua in 1700. His major work De morbis artificum diatriba (1700, trans Diseases of Workers), was the first systematic treatise on occupational diseases, and includes many shrewd …

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Bernardo Bellotto - Biography

Painter, born in Venice, NE Italy, the nephew of Antonio Canaletto. He attained high excellence as a painter, and also as an engraver on copper. He is known for his detailed views of many European cities, renowned for their accuracy and realism. His paintings of Warsaw were used after World War 2 in the restoration of the historic areas of the city. Bernardo Bellotto (January 30, 1720 — O…

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Bernardo Bertolucci - Biography, Evaluation, Academy Award, Filmography

Film director, born in Parma, N Italy. He became an assistant to Pier Paolo Pasolini on Accatone (1961). His collection of poetry, In cerca del mistero (1962, In Search of Mystery), won the Premio Viareggio Prize, and he made his directorial debut the same year with La commare seca (The Grim Reaper). The success of Il conformista (1970, The Conformist) and Ultimo tango a Parigi (1972, Last Tango i…

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Bernardo O'Higgins - Early life, Role in the Chilean Independence and Government, Later life, External Links

Revolutionary, and first president of the Republic of Chile (1817–23), born in Chillán, C Chile. He was the illegitimate son of Ambrosio O'Higgins (c.1720–1801), the Irish-born viceroy of Chile (1789) and of Peru (1795). He played a great part in the Chilean revolt of 1810–17, and became president, but was deposed after a revolution and retired to Peru. Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme (Augu…

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Bernardo Rossellino

Architect and sculptor, born in Florence, NC Italy, the brother and teacher of Antonio Rossellino. As an architect he worked under Leon Battista Alberti, executing his designs for the Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence. His most complete architectural work is the palace and cathedral of Pienza. His sculptural masterpiece is the tomb of Chancellor Leonardo Bruni (1450) in S Croce, Florence, wh…

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Bernarr MacFadden

Publisher, born in Mill Spring, Missouri, USA. In 1899 he founded Physical Culture magazine to promote his ideas on self-help, fitness, and healthy living. He built a publishing empire that included the first confessions magazines and the New York Evening Graphic, a sex- and scandal-filled tabloid of the 1920s. He claimed that his regimen would enable him to reach the age of 150. …

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Bernd Heinrich - Education and Early Career, Research, Ultra-Marathon Career, Selected Publications

Zoologist and ecologist, born in Bad Polzin, Germany. He went to the USA (1950) when his parents moved to Maine. After doing research as a zoology fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (1970–1), he was an entomologist at the University of California, Berkeley (1971–80) before becoming a professor of zoology at the University of Vermont (Burlington) (1980). His early research made m…

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Bernese Alps - List of peaks, List of passes

Mountain range in Switzerland, a N division of the Central Alps, extending from L Geneva to the Grimsel Pass; highest peak, the Finsteraarhorn (4274 m/14 022 ft); also includes the Aletschhorn and Jungfrau; numerous tourist resorts, including Interlaken and Grindelwald. The chief peaks of the Bernese Alps are: The chief passes of the Bernese Alps are: …

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Bernhard (Lauritz Frederik) Bang

Veterinary surgeon, born in Sorø, E Denmark. He studied medicine but later became interested in the healing of animals, and in 1880 was appointed professor of veterinary surgery at Copenhagen, where he investigated bacillary diseases, mainly of cattle. He is known particularly for his work on bovine brucellosis, known as Bang's disease. Bernhard Lauritz Frederik Bang (June 7, 1848 Sorø - …

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Bernice (Ruth) Rubens - Films, Works, Obituaries

Novelist and director of documentary films, born in Cardiff, S Wales, UK. She studied at the University of Wales, later becoming a Fellow of University College, Cardiff. She was a film-maker of distinction before she chose a full-time writing career, beginning with Set on Edge (1960). Later novels include The Elected Member (1970, Booker Prize), Brothers (1987), Yesterday in the Back Lane (1995), …

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Bernice Bowles Fitz-Gibbon

Advertising executive, born in Waunakee, Wisconsin, USA. She developed a speciality in retail advertising at Macy's (1923–35), John Wanamaker (1936–40), and Gimbels, New York City (1940–54), where as publicity director she was one of the highest-paid women in advertising. She wrote such famous slogans as ‘Nobody, but nobody, undersells Gimbels’. She later headed her own advertising consultanc…

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Bernie Sanders - Early life, In the House of Representatives, Senate campaign, Personal life and trivia

US representative and mayor, born in New York City, New York, USA. After working as a freelance writer, carpenter, and youth counsellor, he became the first Socialist mayor of Burlington, VT (1982–90). An unsuccessful candidate for governor (1972, 1976, 1986) and for the US Senate (1971, 1974), he was elected to the US House of Representatives as an Independent in 1991. Bernard "Bernie" Sa…

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Bernoulli's principle - Examples used to demonstrate the effect, Bernoulli equations

In physics, the principle that as the speed of a moving fluid increases, its pressure decreases; stated by Daniel Bernoulli in 1738. For example, when water flows down a pipe of varying cross-section, the water velocity is greatest at the narrowest point; the force required to accelerate the water to this greatest velocity is provided by the higher pressure in the slower-moving portion upstream. B…

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Bernt Balchen - Major merits

Aviator and Arctic explorer, born in Tveit Topdal, S Norway. In 1924 he was commissioned in the Royal Norwegian Naval Air Force, and flew rescue missions over the Arctic. He was chief pilot to Byrd's first Antarctic expedition (1928–30) and to Ellsworth's Antarctic expedition (1932–5). He became a US citizen in 1931, and in 1935 returned to Norway as manager of DNL (Norwegian Air Lines). He retu…

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bersaglieri - Unified Italy, World War I, World War II, Bersaglieri today

In Italy, the members of a special mechanized infantry detachment of great mobility. It was established by Alessandro Lamarmora in 1836 as a corps of marksmen. They were first deployed during the Battle of Goito in April 1848. The Bersaglieri are a corps of the Italian Army created by General Alessandro Lamarmora in 1836 to serve in the Piedmontese Army, later to become the Royal Italian ar…

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berserker - Etymology, Literary references, Historicity, Theories on the causes of the berserkergang, Parallels in other cultures

In Norse mythology, a warrior in a ‘bear-shirt’ who fought in such a frenzy that he was impervious to wounds. The name is the origin of the phrase ‘to go berserk’. In Norse mythology, Berserkers (or Berserks) were warriors who fought naked, in an uncontrollable rage or trance of fury, the berserkergang. The Úlfhéðnar (singular Úlfhéðinn) mentioned in the Vatnsdœla sag…

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Bert Hardy - Books

Photojournalist, born in London, UK. He started as a messenger in a photographic agency. Self-taught, he was one of the first to use a Leica 35 mm camera (1938). He was on the staff of Picture Post until 1957, except for service as an army photographer from (1942–6), during which he recorded the horrors of the concentration camps. His records of London under the Blitz rank among the finest of th…

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Bert Lahr - External Links

Actor, born in New York City, USA. A comedian with a lovably ugly face, he gagged his way through impossible situations that he created for his characters. After touring in vaudeville with his wife, Mercides Delpino (1916–27), he appeared on Broadway in Hold Everything (1928). A musical comedy star (1928–64), he also appeared in films (1931–67), notably The Wizard of Oz (1939), where he played …

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Bert Sutcliffe

Cricketer, born in Auckland, New Zealand. One of New Zealand's greatest batsmen, he played 42 Tests and made 2727 runs, scoring five centuries. He took part in four New Zealand record partnerships, and showed great courage in repeatedly coming back to top-class cricket after sustaining serious injury. Bert Sutcliffe MBE (born 17 November 1923 in Auckland, died 20 April 2001 in Auckland) was…

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Bert Williams - Quotes about Bert Williams, Further reading

Stage actor, singer, and songwriter, born in Nassau, Bahamas (formerly in British West Indies). Part African in descent, he was raised in Los Angeles and went on the road with the Mastadon Minstrels in 1891; he was so light-skinned that he had to use blackface to maintain his role as an African. In 1893 he formed a partnership with another African-American song-and-dance man, George Walker. Their …

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Bertel Thorvaldsen - Biography, Works

Neoclassical sculptor, born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied at Copenhagen and Rome, working in both places. His best-known pieces include ‘Christ and the Twelve Apostles’, the reliefs ‘Night and Morning’, the ‘Dying Lion’ at Lucerne, and the Cambridge statue of Byron. All the works in his possession he bequeathed, with the bulk of his fortune, to his country. (Albert) Bertel Thorva…

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Berthe (Marie Pauline) Morisot - Life

Painter and printmaker, born in Bourges, C France, the granddaughter of Fragonard. The leading female exponent of Impressionism, she painted chiefly women and children. Her early work shows the influence of Corot, who was her friend and mentor, but her later style owes more to Renoir. She herself exercised an influence on Manet, whose brother Eugène she married. Berthe Morisot (January 14,…

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Berthold Auerbach - Literature on Auerbach

Novelist, born in Nordstetten, SW Germany. He studied at the universities of Tübingen, Munich, and Heidelberg, and developed a special interest in Spinoza, on whose life he based a novel (1837), and whose works he translated (1841). In his Schwarzwälder Dorfgeschichten (1843, Black Forest Village Stories), on which his fame chiefly rests, he gives charming pictures of Black Forest life. B…

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Berthold Goldschmidt

Composer, born in Hamburg, N Germany. He had a promising career in Germany, and became artistic adviser at the Berlin City Opera. In 1932 his first opera was premiered at Mannheim: Der gewaltige Hahnrei (The Magnificent Cuckold). He fled Nazi Germany to London in 1935 and composed his second string quartet in 1936, expressing the sorrow of his race. An expert on the music of Gustav Mahler, in 1960…

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Berthold Lubetkin - Biography, Tecton members, Associated with Lubetkin, Further reading

Architect, born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He studied in Moscow, then in Paris, where he was influenced by Le Corbusier. In 1931 he moved to London and set up his own firm, Tecton. His major works include the Penguin Pool at London Zoo (1933), and Highpoint in Hampstead (1935), a block of high-rise flats which was praised by Le Corbusier as creating a new quality of high-rise housing. His Finsbury Healt…

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Bertie Ahern - Early and private life, Early political career, Cabinet career, Leader of Fianna Fáil, Taoiseach 1997–2002

Irish politician and prime minister (1997– ), born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied at Rathmines College of Commerce and University College Dublin, became a hospital accountant and union organizer, and joined the Dáil in 1977. After a series of junior posts, he became minister of state at the departments of Taoiseach and Defence (1982), minister for labour (1987–91) and finance (1991–4), and lea…

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Bertil (Gotthard) Ohlin - The Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem, Significant Publications, Bibliography

Economist and politician, born in Klippan, S Sweden. He studied in Sweden and at Harvard, and became professor at Copenhagen (1925–30) and Stockholm (1930–65). He was a member of the Swedish parliament (1938–70), and leader of the Liberal Party (1944–67). As an economist he is best known for the Heckscher–Ohlin theorem, which states that countries will export goods that are produced with thei…

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Bertrand Blier

Film-maker and writer, born in Boulogne-Billancourt, NC France, son of the actor, Bernard Blier. He directed Les Valseuses (1974) based on his own novel. A provocative director, his outstanding successes were Préparez vos mouchoirs (1978, Oscar), Buffet Froid (1979), and Beau Père (1981) based on his novel of the same name. Later films include Tenue de soiree (1986), Trop belle pour toi (1989) w…

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Bertrand du Guesclin - Biography

French knight and military leader during the Hundred Years' War, born in La Motte-Broons, NW France. He entered royal service on the eve of Charles V's accession, and on becoming Constable of France (1370) assumed command of the French armies, reconquering Brittany and most of SW France. He died while besieging Châteauneuf-de-Randon in the Auvergne. Bertrand du Guesclin (c. His…

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Bertus Aafjes

Poet and novelist, born in Venlo, SE Netherlands. He became well known with his poem ‘Een voetreis naar Rome’ (1946, On foot to Rome), an elaborate romantic description of his journey there. Later in his career, when his traditional poetry was rejected by the Movement of Fifty (Vijftigers), he turned to writing children's books, detective stories, and travel books. In addition, he received much …

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Berwick-upon-Tweed - History, Local language

55°46N 2°00W, pop (2000e) 13 500. Town in Berwick-upon-Tweed district, Northumberland, NE England, UK; on the North Sea at the mouth of the R Tweed, on the Scottish–English border; disputed by England and Scotland, changed ownership 14 times, but part of England since 1482; railway; foodstuffs, salmon fishing, engineering; 16th-c ramparts; Church of the Holy Trinity (1652); 16 km/10 mi SW i…

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beryl - Varieties, Deposits, Applications, References and external links

A beryllium, aluminium silicate mineral (Be3Al2Si6O18), occurring in granite pegmatites as greenish hexagonal prisms. Gemstone varieties are aquamarine and emerald. It is the commercial ore of beryllium. Varieties of beryl have been considered gemstones since prehistoric times. Green beryl is called emerald, red beryl is bixbite or red emerald or scarlet emerald, blue beryl is aquamarine, p…

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Beryl Reid - Filmography

Comedienne and actress, born in Hereford, Herefordshire, WC England, UK. She made her first stage appearance at a concert party in 1936. The radio series Educating Archie (1952–6) established her in the comic character of schoolgirl Monica, and her other creations include the Midlands teddy-girl Marlene. The Killing of Sister George (1965) brought her recognition as a serious actress, and she won…

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beryllium

Be, element 4, melting point 1278°C. An element chemically similar to aluminium, but showing an oxidation state of 2 in most of its compounds. The metal forms an unreactive coat of BeO in air, making it inert to further oxidation. Its low density (1·85 g/cm3) makes it a valuable component of alloys, but the poisonous nature of its compounds limits its use. It is mainly found in nature in the mi…

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Bes - Mythology, Iconography, Worship

In Egyptian mythology, a dwarf god, bandy-legged and horrific in appearance, but congenial in temperament. He was the protector in child-birth, and guardian of the family. Bes (also spelt as Bisu) was an Egyptian deity worshipped in the later periods of dynastic history as a protector of households. Bes, like many other Egyptian Gods, went through many metamorphoses in his histo…

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Beslan - History

43°12N 44°34E, pop (2002e) 33 600. Third largest town in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russia, and the administrative centre of Pravoberezhny District; on R Terek, 15 km/10 mi N of Vladikavkaz; founded 1847 as Tulatovo (after local lord Beslan Tulatovo), renamed Iriston (1941), then Beslan (1950); strategic railway junction with branch to Vladikavkaz; corn processing plant (1940s), d…

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Bess Truman - Early life, Marriage and family, First Lady of the United States, Later life

US first lady (1945–53), born in Independence, Missouri, USA. The daughter of a farmer, she and Harry Truman were childhood sweethearts, and married in 1919. Although a private person, she exerted considerable influence over Truman's public career. The Trumans had one child, Margaret Truman who, after a brief career as a singer, retired to marry and later became a writer. Following the presidency…

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