Tuesday, April 05, 2005


In law, the interruption of a legal proceeding upon the pleading by a defendant of a matter that prevents the plaintiff from going forward with the suit at that time or in that form. Pleas in abatement raise such matters as objections to the place, mode, or time of the plaintiff's claim. At one time, abatement of proceedings in equity differed from abatement in law in that

Saturday, April 02, 2005


An imaginary creature regarded as an embodiment of absolute absurdity. François Rabelais in Gargantua uses the phrase à la venue des cocquecigrues to mean “never.” Charles Kingsley in The Water Babies has the fairy Bedonebyasyoudid report that there are seven things he is forbidden to tell until “the coming of the Cocqcigrues.” The word is of French origin.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mies Van Der Rohe, Ludwig

Ludwig Mies (he added his mother's surname, van der Rohe, when he had established himself as an architect) was the son of a master mason who owned a small stonecutter's shop. Mies helped his father on various construction sites but never received any formal architectural training. At age 15 he was apprenticed to several Aachen architects for whom he sketched outlines of

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Any of the cellulose-eating social insects that constitute the order Isoptera. Although they are referred to popularly as white ants, they are not closely related to ants, which are grouped with bees and wasps in a higher order of insects, the Hymenoptera. The social system of termites shows remarkable parallels with those of the Hymenoptera,

Monday, March 28, 2005


The syndrome usually occurs in youth or early adult life and is presumably due to dysfunction of the diencephalic reticular system. The narcoleptic can fall asleep anywhere, anytime—while in conversation, at work, while eating,

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tallchief, Marjorie

Born in a town on an Osage Indian reservation in Oklahoma, Marjorie and her sister Maria were of Osage and Scotch-Irish descent. Both sisters began dancing as children and later studied with Bronislava Nijinska and David Lichine,

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Beyer, Absalon Pederssøn

Born on a farm, Beyer was adopted by a bishop after the death of his parents and educated at the universities of Copenhagen and Wittenberg, where he studied under the famous Protestant Reformation scholar Philipp Melanchthon. Beyer was a lecturer at the Bergen Cathedral

Keeler, James (edward)

Interested in astronomy from an early age, Keeler became assistant to the noted astronomer Samuel P. Langley at the Allegheny Observatory, Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1881. From 1886 to 1891 he was on the staff of the Lick