Monday, May 31, 2004

Judaism, The making of the Kabbala (c. 1150 - 1250)

It was in these circumstances that, starting around 1150, manifestations of markedly theosophic ideologies appeared in the south of present-day France (in the regions of Provence - Languedoc - Roussillon). Two types can be distinguished at the outset, which are very different as to their manner of appearance, their form, and their content.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Ear Disease, Congenital nerve deafness

Congenital nerve deafness, a defect of the auditory nerve in the cochlea, may be present at birth or acquired during or soon after birth. Usually both inner ears are affected to a similar degree, and as a rule there is a severe impairment of hearing, although in some cases of congenital nerve loss the impairment is moderate. Many cases of congenital nerve deafness have

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Eusebius Of Laodicea

When Alexandria was besieged in 262 by troops of Valerian's successor and son, Gallienus,

Friday, May 28, 2004

San Jos� De Las Lajas

City, north-central La Habana provincia, west-central Cuba. It is known primarily as a commercial and manufacturing centre for the surrounding agricultural and pastoral lands, which feature dairying and sugarcane growing, but thermal springs have made it a health resort as well. A rail junction, it is also accessible by highway from Havana, which lies 20 miles (32 km) to the

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Mahananda River

River in northern India and Bangladesh. It rises in the Darjeeling Hills in extreme northern West Bengal state. The river flows south through a rich agricultural area in Bihar state, enters West Bengal state, flows past Ingraj Bazar, and then continues southeastward into Bangladesh to join the Ganges River after a 225-mile (360-kilometre) course. The Mahananda forms in its upper

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Wang, An

The son of a teacher, Wang earned a bachelor's degree in science from Chiao-t'ung University in Shanghai in 1940. He immigrated to the United States in 1945 and earned a Ph.D. in applied physics and engineering from Harvard University in 1948. Having been

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


Town (township), Newport county, eastern Rhode Island, U.S. It lies along the Sakonnet River and Mount Hope Bay, opposite Portsmouth and Bristol. Originally a part of Plymouth colony and named for Tiverton, Devon, England, it was annexed to Rhode Island in 1746 and was incorporated in 1747. Southwest of Tiverton Four Corners, the Battle of Almy's Pea Field was fought during King Philip's

Monday, May 24, 2004

Schelde River

Also spelled �Scheldt, �French �Escaut, � river, 270 miles (435 km) long, that rises in northern France and flows across Belgium to its North Sea outlet in Dutch territory. Along with the Lower Rhine and the Meuse rivers, it drains one of the world's most densely populated areas. As a waterway, with its numerous branch canals and navigable tributaries, it serves an area including the agriculturally important Flanders

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Benedetti, Vincent, Comte

Benedetti studied law in Paris and in 1840 entered consular service. He served in several embassies in Europe and the Middle East between 1845 and 1864, when he was named ambassador to Prussia with instructions from Napoleon III to prevent

Friday, May 21, 2004


After the Middle Ages the ornate homes of the nobility of all ranks in England, France,

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Elections to Iceland's Althingi (parliament) took place on May 10, 2003. The incumbent coalition of the Independence and Progressive parties received 34 seats in the 63-member legislative body and continued in office. Prime Minister Dav�d Oddsson, leader of the Independence Party, announced that he would step down on Sept. 1, 2004, to be succeeded by the foreign minister and Progressive

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Ho Hsien-ku

Pinyin �He Xiangu, � in Chinese mythology, one of the Pa Hsien, the Eight Immortals of Taoism, and the only female (if Lan Ts'ai-ho is considered to be male). As a teenaged girl she dreamed that mother-of-pearl conferred immortality. She thereupon ate some, became ethereal, and found she could float across the hills at will. She returned home each evening carrying herbs collected during the

Monday, May 17, 2004

Oglethorpe, James Edward

Educated at the University of Oxford, he entered the army in 1712 and joined the Austrian army fighting the Turks in 1717. On his return to England in 1722, he entered Parliament. In 1729 he presided over a committee that brought about prison reforms.

Sunday, May 16, 2004


Byname �George of Podebrady, �Czech� Jir� z Podebrad� king of Bohemia from 1458. As head of the conservative Utraquist faction of Hussite Protestants, he established himself as a power when Bohemia was still under Habsburg rule, and he was thereafter unanimously elected king by the estates. A nationalist and Hussite king of a prosperous state, he incurred the enmity

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Africa, Languages

The knowledge of most of the individual languages of Africa is still very incomplete, but there are known to be in excess of 1,500 distinct languages. Many attempts to classify them have been inadequate because of the great complexity of the languages and because of a confusion relating language, �race,� and economy; for example, there was once a spurious view of pastoralism

Friday, May 14, 2004

Aiken, Joan

In full �Joan Delano Aiken � prolific British author of fantasy, adventure, horror, and suspense tales for both juvenile and adult readers. Perhaps best-known as the inventor of a genre called the �unhistorical romance,� Aiken wrote tales that combine humour and action with traditional mythic and fairy tale elements. Many of these works

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Japanese �Dainichi-kyo, � text of late Tantric Buddhism and a principal scripture of the large Japanese Buddhist sect known as Shingon (�True Word�). The text received a Chinese translation, under the title Ta-jih Ching, about AD 725, and its esoteric teachings were propagated a century later in Japan by Kukai. These teachings, which have been called cosmotheism, centre upon Mahavairocana (in Japanese,

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Greek �A�des (�the Unseen�), �also called �Pluto, or Pluton� (�the Rich�), in Greek religion, son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and brother of the deities Zeus and Poseidon. After Cronus was killed, the kingdom of the underworld fell by lot to Hades. There he ruled with his queen, Persephone, over the infernal powers and over the dead, in what was often called �the House of Hades,� or simply Hades. Though he supervised the trial and punishment

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Observed phenomenon that is interpreted as signifying good or bad fortune. In ancient times omens were numerous and varied and included, for instance, lightning, cloud movements, the flight of birds, and the paths of certain sacred animals. Within each type of sign were minor subdivisions, such as the different kinds of bird in flight or the direction of flight in relation

Monday, May 10, 2004


Also spelled �Kamcatka, � oblast (province), far eastern Russia. Kamchatka oblast includes the entire Kamchatka Peninsula and the southern end of the Koryak Mountains. It includes the Koryak autonomous okrug (district). The administrative centre is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (q.v.). The population, averaging only 2.3 persons per square mile (0.9 per square km), consists chiefly of Russian settlers. The

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Wilson, Harriet E.

Almost nothing is known of Wilson's personal history until

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Paschasius Radbertus, Saint

Abandoned as an infant, Paschasius was raised by the monks of St. Peter's, Soissons. Later, he joined the Benedictine abbey of Corbie, near Amiens, under St. Adalhard

Friday, May 07, 2004

Multinational And Regional Organizations

On June 22 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) admitted Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, and Laos as observers of its meetings. The new status of these countries was a first step toward their full membership in the seven-member (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) regional organization. The invitation to Myanmar, a military

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Morand, Paul

Morand joined the diplomatic service in 1912, serving as attach� in London, Rome, Madrid, and Siam (Thailand). In his early fiction, Ouvert la nuit (1922; Open All Night), Ferm� la nuit (1923; Closed All Night), and Lewis et Ir�ne (1924; Lewis and Irene), he borrowed the cinematic techniques of rapid scene changing and transported the reader

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Interlocutory Decree

Generally, a judicial decision that is not final or that deals with a point other than the principal subject matter of the controversy at hand. An interlocutory decree of divorce in the United States or a decree nisi in England, for example, is a judicial decree pronouncing the divorce of the parties provisionally but not terminating the marriage until the expiration

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


External extension of an upper floor of a building, enclosed up to a height of about three feet (one metre) by a solid or pierced screen, by balusters (see also balustrade), or by railings. In the medieval and Renaissance periods, balconies were supported by corbels made out of successive courses of stonework, or by large wooden or stone brackets. Since the 19th century, supports

Monday, May 03, 2004

Benchley, Robert (charles)

A graduate of Harvard University (1912), Benchley joined the staff of the old Life magazine in 1920 as drama critic. His monologue �The Treasurer's Report,� delivered as a skit in an amateur revue in 1922, was the basis for one of the first all-talking short subjects. He subsequently wrote and acted in motion-picture

Sunday, May 02, 2004


City, seat of Outaouais region, southwestern Quebec province, Canada. It lies on the north bank of the Ottawa River, opposite Ottawa, Ont. Originating in the early 19th century as a lumbering settlement named for Hull, Yorkshire, Eng., the city grew to become the chief business and administrative centre for southwestern Quebec and the industrial centre for metropolitan