Saturday, November 19, 2005


In Roman religion, god of fire, particularly in its destructive aspects as volcanoes or conflagrations. Poetically, he is given all the attributes of the Greek Hephaestus (q.v.). His worship was very ancient, and at Rome he had his own priest (flamen). His chief festival, the Volcanalia, was held on August 23 and was marked by a rite of unknown significance: the heads of Roman families

Monday, October 17, 2005

Forbush Effect

In astronomy, an occasional decrease in the intensity of cosmic rays as observed on Earth, attributed to magnetic effects produced by solar flares, which are disturbances on the Sun. The effect was discovered in 1937 by the American physicist Scott E. Forbush. Its cause became clearer in 1960, when, while the unmanned U.S. space probe Pioneer 5 was in flight some 5,000,000 km (3,000,000 miles) from Earth,

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sunga Dynasty

Most of the traditional accounts of Pusyamitra's

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Tibetan lama who founded a new Tibetan Buddhist sect known as the Dge-lugs-pa (q.v.), literally “Model of Virtue” but more commonly referred to as the Yellow Hat sect to distinguish it from the older Red Hat sect. Hoping to restore monastic discipline, Tsong-kha-pa enforced celibacy, required the wearing of yellow robes, and insisted on adherence to a rigorous routine. The

Friday, July 08, 2005

Diving Petrel

Any of five species of small seabirds of the sub-Antarctic regions that constitute the family Pelecanoididae (order Procellariiformes). Although their nearest relatives are the storm petrels, shearwaters, and albatrosses, diving petrels differ from these long-winged forms and instead resemble the smaller auks of the Northern Hemisphere, a classic example of

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ammonium Nitrate

(NH4NO3), a salt of ammonia and nitric acid, used widely in fertilizers and explosives. The commercial grade contains about 33.5 percent nitrogen, all of which is in forms utilizable by plants; it is the most common nitrogenous component of artificial fertilizers. Ammonium nitrate also is employed to modify the detonation rate of other explosives, such as nitroglycerin

Friday, July 01, 2005


Originally Chan-chiang was a minor fishing port in the area dominated by the city of Hai-k'ang (Lei-chou), some 22 miles (35 km) to the southwest, and at one time harboured a notorious