Sunday, February 27, 2005

Mauritania, Climate

The climate owes its aridity to the northeastern trade winds, which blow constantly in the north and throughout most of the year in the rest of the country; the drying effect produced by these winds is increased by the harmattan, or east wind. With the exception of the few winter rains that occur as a result of climatic disturbances originating in the mid-latitude regions,

Augustine, Saint, Scholarly literature

The best one-volume study of Augustine's thought is Eugene TeSelle, Augustine the Theologian (1970). John Burnaby, Amor Dei: A Study of the Religion of St. Augustine (1938; reissued with corrections and a new foreword, 1991), is sympathetic and illuminating but dated. For Augustine in his cultural context, there is still nothing better than Henri Irénée Marrou, Saint Augustin et la fin de la culture antique, 4th ed., 2 vol. in 1 (1958; reissued in 1 vol., 1983). Other useful studies are Brian Stock, Augustine the Reader: Meditation, Self-Knowledge, and the Ethics of Interpretation (1996); and Sabine MacCormack, The Shadows of Poetry: Vergil in the Mind of Augustine (1998). Augustine's political views are addressed in Herbert A. Deane, The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine (1963); and R.A. Markus, Saeculum: History and Society in the Theology of St. Augustine, rev. ed. (1988). Augustine's views on sexuality have come under scrutiny in recent years; the most comprehensive study is Kim Power, Veiled Desire: Augustine on Women (1996); but Peter Brown, The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (1988), is also important.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


The Visigoths were settled agriculturists in Dacia (now in Romania) when they were attacked by the Huns in 376 and driven southward

Friday, February 25, 2005

Pieman River

River, northwestern Tasmania, Australia. It is formed near Tullah by the confluence of the Macintosh and Murchison rivers. The 61-mile- (98-kilometre-) long main stream is fed by the Huskisson and Stanley rivers and then flows generally west to its estuary, which also receives the Donaldson, Whyte, and Savage rivers at Hardwicke Bay on the Indian Ocean. The river was named for

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tara Brooch

Fine example of a Celtic ring brooch, found on the seashore at Bettystown, south of Drogheda, and now preserved in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. The Tara brooch, probably dating from the 8th century, is of white bronze and consists of a large circle with about half of the centre empty and the other half filled in with sunken panels ornamented in extremely delicate

Jacobs, Jane

After graduating from high school, she became a reporter on the Scranton Tribune, moving to New York City about a year later. While working as a free-lance writer, she met and married an architect, Robert Hyde Jacobs. Already keenly interested

Monday, February 21, 2005

Antarctica, IGY and the Antarctic Treaty

The importance of coordinating polar science efforts was recognized in 1879 by the International Polar Commission meeting in Hamburg, Ger., and thus the 11 participating nations organized the First International Polar Year of 1882–83. Most work was planned for the better-known Arctic, and, of the four geomagnetic and meteorologic stations scheduled for Antarctic regions, only

Gatineau River

French  Rivière Gatineau,   river in Outaouais region, southwestern Quebec province, Canada. The river rises in a chain of lakes north of Baskatong Reservoir and flows generally southward for 240 miles (390 km) to join the Ottawa River at Hull. It was named for Nicolas Gatineau, a fur trader who is reputed to have drowned there about 1683. Having served for centuries as a major artery for the lumber trade, the

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Central Asia, History Of, The Uzbeks

The early history of the Uzbek people (whose rulers were descendants of a younger brother of Batu, khan of the Golden Horde) is wrapped in obscurity, but by the mid-15th century they had migrated from their original homeland, east of the Ural Mountains, southeast toward the lower Syr Darya, whence, under their leader, Abu'l-Khayr Khan, they began to threaten the Timurids across

Friday, February 18, 2005


Recreation, sport, and mode of transportation that involves moving over snow by the use of a pair of long, flat runners, called skis, attached to shoes or boots.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mahathir Bin Mohamad

The son of a schoolmaster, Mahathir was educated at Sultan Abdul Hamid College and the University of Malaya in Singapore, where he studied medicine. After graduating in 1953, he worked as a government

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Haldane, Richard Burdon, 1st Viscount Haldane Of Cloan

Educated at the universities of Göttingen and Edinburgh, Haldane was called to the English bar in 1879 and became a queen's counsel in 1890. He sat in the House of Commons from 1885 until his elevation

Monday, February 14, 2005


Town, Nagaland state, northeastern India, at the foot of the Wokha Hills, 50 miles (80 km) north of Kohima town. It is a trade and agricultural centre for the surrounding Naga Hills, in which grains (mainly rice) and fruits are grown on previously forested slopes. There are some cottage industries (weaving, pottery making, woodworking). Wokha is linked by highway to Mokokchung and

Sunday, February 13, 2005


In chemical warfare, sneeze gas developed by the United States and used during World War I. Adamsite is an arsenical diphenylaminechlorarsine and an odourless crystalline organic compound employed in vaporous form as a lung irritant. It appears as a yellow smoke that irritates eyes, lungs, and mucous membranes and causes sneezing, vomiting, and acute discomfort

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Peck, Gregory

A pharmacist's son, Peck attended military school and San Diego State College before enrolling as a premed student at the University of California at Berkeley. There he developed a taste for

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


In Chinese poetry, song form characterized by lines of unequal length, with prescribed rhyme schemes and tonal patterns, each bearing the name of a musical air. The varying line lengths are comparable to the natural rhythm of speech and therefore easily understood when sung. First sung by ordinary folk, they were popularized by professional women singers and poets

Deville, édouard Gaston (daniel)

Deville served in the French navy, conducting hydrographic surveys in the South Sea islands, Peru, and elsewhere until 1874. He then went to Canada, where he

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Arthur H. Lachenbruch, Mechanics of Thermal Contraction Cracks and Ice-Wedge Polygons in Permafrost (1962), is a classic paper on the quantitative interpretation of the formation of ice-wedge polygons in permafrost. Troy L. Péwé, Richard E. Church, and Marvin J. Andresen, Origin and Paleoclimatic Significance of Large-Scale Patterned Ground in the Donnelly Dome Area, Alaska (1969), discusses the origin of ice-wedge casts and relict permafrost in central Alaska and offers paleoclimatic interpretations. R. Dale Guthrie, Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe (1990), discusses fossil carcasses of Ice Age mammals preserved in permafrost. Troy L. Péwé, Geologic Hazards of the Fairbanks Area, Alaska (1982), a highly illustrated work, contains an up-to-date presentation of the greatest geologic hazard to life in polar areas: problems posed by seasonally and perennially frozen ground. G.H. Johnston (ed.), Permafrost: Engineering Design and Construction (1981), is a comprehensive book on construction problems in permafrost areas, with examples mainly from northern Canada. Troy L. Péwé, “Permafrost,” in George A. Kiersch et al. (eds.), The Heritage of Engineering Geology: The First Hundred Years (1991), pp. 277–298, provides an up-to-date, well-illustrated treatment of the origin, distribution, and ice content of permafrost and of engineering problems in permafrost regions.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Pitt, William, The Younger

British prime minister (1783–1801, 1804–06) during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. He had considerable influence in strengthening the office of the prime minister.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

France, History Of, Louis's religious policy

Louis was also on his guard against religious dissent. Like most of his contemporaries, he believed that toleration had no virtue and that unity in the state was extremely difficult to maintain where two or more churches were tolerated. Consequently, especially after 1678, Louis intensified the persecution of Protestants; churches were destroyed, certain professions

Saturday, February 05, 2005


(genus Mercurialis), group of eight annual and perennial weedy flowering-plant species of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae), native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa but naturalized in North America. Herb mercury (M. annua) grows as a weed in cultivated areas and shaded woods. Dog's mercury (M. perennis; see photograph), which is malodorous and poisonous

Friday, February 04, 2005

Aerospace Industry, Prototype testing and certification

In the prototype construction phase, emphasis shifts to testing. A customary procedure is to build several test airplanes solely to verify the design. The structural integrity of the aircraft is determined in static and dynamic tests. Ground testing requires an array of facilities, including ovens for applying high temperatures to materials, acoustic chambers

France, History Of, Tax reform

In 1749–51 Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville, then comptroller general of finances, proposed a partial reform of the tax system, his particular concern being to restrict the financial power of the church. In 1764 and 1765 another comptroller general, François de L'Averdy, attempted a reform of municipal representation and administration. All royal officials understood the

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Bunner, Henry Cuyler

Educated in New York City, Bunner served on the staff of the Arcadian, at 22 becoming assistant editor and later editor of Puck until his death. He developed Puck from a new, struggling comic weekly into a powerful social and political

Bérenger, Alphonse-marie

Appointed judge in Grenoble in 1808, Bérenger had a successful career in the magistracy during Napoleon's First Empire and served as a representative for Drôme département during Napoleon's