Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Scotland, Daily life and social customs

Although bagpipes have ancient origins elsewhere and are found throughout the world, they are one of the most recognized symbols of Scottish culture. By the 16th century, various clans had established hereditary pipers, and later the instrument was used in wartime to inflame the passions of soldiers in battle. The form of the kilt, Scotland's national costume, has evolved

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Ukrainian  Kyyiv,  Russian  Kiyev,  also spelled  Kyiv   oblast (province), north-central Ukraine. In the mid-1990s the oblast was separated administratively from the city of Kiev, which serves as the oblast capital though it is a self-governing city not under oblast jurisdiction. The oblast lies astride the Dnieper River, with the greater part on the western bank. Most of the oblast thus lies on the low, flat plain of the Dnieper

Friday, April 01, 2005

Ha'apai Group

Also spelled  Haabai Group,   central island cluster of Tonga, in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles (3,000 km) northeast of Sydney. Comprising 36 coral and volcanic islands, the group has a total land area of 43 square miles (110 square km), dispersed over about 5,000 square miles (13,000 square km). The administrative headquarters and principal port in the group is Pangai, which is situated on the west coast of Lifuka, a crescent-shaped

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Beverage produced by steeping in freshly boiled water the young leaves and leaf buds of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Two principal varieties are used, the small-leaved China plant (C. sinensis sinensis) and the large-leaved Assam plant (C. sinensis assamica). Hybrids of these two varieties are also grown. The leaves may be fermented or left unfermented.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Azerbaijan, Russian suzerainty

After a series of wars between the Russian Empire and Iran, the treaties of Gulistan (1813) and Turkmenchai (1828) established a new border between the empires. Russia acquired Baku, Shirvan, Ganja, Nakhichevan (Naxçivan), and Yerevan. Henceforth the Azerbaijani Turks of Caucasia were separated from the majority of their linguistic and religious compatriots, who remained in Iran.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Irminger Current

Branch of the warm North Atlantic Current, flowing generally westward along the south coast of Iceland. It divides into two currents west of Iceland. One proceeds northward and then eastward around Iceland, and the other flows westward and then southwestward, merging with the East Greenland and, eventually, the West Greenland currents. The Irminger Current is a

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Swaminathan, M(onkombu) S(ambisivan)

Swaminathan, the son of a surgeon, was educated in India and at the University of Cambridge (Ph.D., 1952) as a geneticist.