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  • bird flu (disease)

    Bird flu, a viral respiratory disease mainly of poultry and certain other bird species, including migratory waterbirds, some imported pet birds, and ostriches, that can be transmitted directly to humans. The first known cases in humans were reported in 1997, when an outbreak of avian influenza A

  • Bird Flu—The Next Human Pandemic?

    In 2005 an Epidemic of a viral respiratory disease called bird flu (avian influenza) continued to devastate poultry farms in many countries. The epidemic, which began in 2003, had by the end of the year infected poultry in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia,

  • Bird in Space (sculpture by Brancusi)

    Constantin Brancusi: Maturity: …of polished-bronze sculptures, all entitled Bird in Space. The elliptical, slender lines of these figures put the very essence of rapid flight into concrete form.

  • Bird Island (island, Seychelles)

    Seychelles: Plant and animal life: Bird Island is the breeding ground for millions of terns, turtle doves, shearwaters, frigate birds, and other seabirds that flock there each year.

  • Bird Island (islet, Caribbean Sea)

    Bird Island, coral-covered sandbank only 15 feet (4.5 metres) high at low tide, located in the Caribbean Sea about 350 miles (560 km) north of Venezuela and 70 miles (110 km) west of Dominica. (The island is not a part of the group of Venezuelan islands of similar name, Islas de Aves, comprising

  • bird louse (insect)

    Bird louse, (suborder Amblycera and Ischnocera), any of two groups of chewing lice (order Phthiraptera) that live on birds and feed on feathers, skin, and sometimes blood. Probably all bird species have these chewing lice. Although they are not harmful, if they become too numerous, their

  • bird malaria (bird disease)

    Avian malaria, infectious disease of birds that is known particularly for its devastation of native bird populations on the Hawaiian Islands. It is similar to human malaria in that it is caused by single-celled protozoans of the genus Plasmodium and is transmitted through the bite of infected

  • Bird of Paradise Island (island, Trinidad and Tobago)

    Trinidad and Tobago: Little Tobago lies about a mile off Tobago’s northeastern coast. Also called Bird of Paradise Island, Little Tobago was once noted as the only wild habitat of the greater bird of paradise outside of New Guinea; however, the bird is no longer found there.

  • bird of prey (bird)

    Bird of prey, any bird that pursues other animals for food. Birds of prey are classified in two orders: Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Diurnal birds of prey—hawks, eagles, vultures, and falcons (Falconiformes)—are also called raptors, derived from the Latin raptare, “to seize and carry off.” (In

  • Bird on a Wire (film by Badham [1990])

    Goldie Hawn: Hawn’s later movies included Bird on a Wire (1990), with Mel Gibson; Housesitter (1992), with Steve Martin; Robert Zemeckis’s dark comedy Death Becomes Her (1992), with Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis; and The First Wives Club (1996), with

  • bird park

    Aviary, a structure for the keeping of captive birds, usually spacious enough for the aviculturist to enter. Aviaries range from small enclosures a metre or so on a side to large flight cages 30 m (100 feet) or more long and as much as 15 m high. Enclosures for birds that fly only little or weakly

  • bird rug (carpet)

    Bird rug, floor covering woven in western Turkey, carrying on an ivory ground a repeating pattern in which leaflike figures, erroneously described as birds, cluster around stylized flowers. The rugs first appear in Western paintings in the 16th century and were probably not woven after the 18th

  • bird song (animal communication)

    Birdsong, certain vocalizations of birds, characteristic of males during the breeding season, for the attraction of a mate and for territorial defense. Songs tend to be more complex and longer than birdcalls, used for communication within a species. Songs are the vocalizations of birds most

  • bird stone (American Indian art)

    Bird stone, abstract stone carving, one of the most striking artifacts left by the prehistoric North American Indians who inhabited the area east of the Mississippi River in the United States and parts of eastern Canada. The stones resemble birds and rarely exceed 6 inches (15 cm) in length. The

  • bird’s beak (architecture)

    molding: Compound or composite: (3) A bird’s beak, or thumb, molding is essentially similar to the cyma reversa, except that the upper convexity is separated from the lower concavity by a sharp edge. (4) A keel molding is a projection, which resembles the keel of a ship, consisting of a pointed…

  • Bird’s Bright Ring, The (poetry by Alexander)

    Meena Alexander: Her poetry collections included The Bird’s Bright Ring (1976), I Root My Name (1977), Without Place (1978), Stone Roots (1980), House of a Thousand Doors (1988), and The Storm: A Poem in Five Parts (1989). She also wrote a one-act play, In the Middle Earth (1977); a

  • Bird’s Nest (stadium, Beijing, China)

    Chinese architecture: Into the 21st century: …track and field stadium, the National Stadium popularly dubbed the “Bird’s Nest,” was designed by the Swiss firm of Herzog & de Meuron in consultation with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (who later distanced himself from the project); the National Aquatics Centre, called the “Water Cube,” was designed by an Australian-Chinese…

  • bird’s nest fungus

    Basidiomycota: The common name bird’s nest fungus includes species of the genera Crucibulum, Cyathus, and Nidularia of the family Nidulariaceae (order Agaricales), which contains about 60 species. The hollow fruiting body resembles a nest containing eggs (peridioles). The peridioles carry the spores when they disperse at maturity.

  • bird’s-foot trefoil (plant)

    Bird’s-foot trefoil, (Lotus corniculatus), perennial herbaceous plant of the pea family (Fabaceae). Bird’s-foot trefoil is native to Europe and Asia and has been introduced to other regions. Often used as forage for cattle, it is occasionally a troublesome weed. A double-flowered form has been

  • bird’s-foot violet (plant)

    Viola: papilionacea) and the bird’s-foot violet (V. pedata). The common blue violet grows up to 20 cm (8 inches) tall and has heart-shaped leaves with finely toothed margins. The flowers range in colour from light to deep violet, or they may be white. The bird’s-foot violet, a perennial named…

  • bird’s-nest orchid (plant)

    Bird’s-nest orchid, (Neottia nidus-avis), nonphotosynthetic orchid (family Orchidaceae) native to Europe and North Africa. The bird’s-nest orchid lacks chlorophyll and obtains its food from decaying organic material with the help of mycorrhizae. The short underground stem and the mass of roots that

  • bird’s-nest soup (food)

    swiftlet: …saliva, is the basis of bird’s-nest soup; and, with the oilbird (q.v.), certain swiftlets are the only birds known to use echolocation to find their way around dark caverns, as do bats. The swiftlet’s “sonar” consists of clicking sounds at frequencies of 1,500 to 5,500 hertz—audible to the human ear.…

  • Bird, Andrew (American musician)

    Andrew Bird, American pop songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known for his virtuosic skill on the violin, which he often sampled and looped onstage, and for his meticulously crafted songs that combine wistful melodies with hyperliterate lyrics. Bird was immersed in music from early childhood. He

  • Bird, Brad (American animator)

    The Incredibles: …was directed and written by Brad Bird, whose previous credits included the television show The Simpsons and the film The Iron Giant (1999). Craig T. Nelson provided the voice of Bob Parr, also known as the superhumanly strong Mr. Incredible, and Holly Hunter played his wife, Helen, who used her…

  • Bird, Cyril Kenneth (British cartoonist)

    Kenneth Bird, British cartoonist who, particularly in Punch, created warmhearted social comedies, using little stick figures to convey his point. Originally a civil engineer, Bird was with the Royal Engineers during World War I. He decided on a drawing career after a shell fractured his spine at

  • Bird, Florence Bayard (Canadian broadcaster)

    Florence Bayard Bird, American-born Canadian broadcaster, journalist, politician, and author who, as chairman of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, helped launch Canada’s contemporary feminist movement; she also served in the Senate (1978-83) and wrote under the name Anne Francis (b. Jan.

  • Bird, Forrest (American inventor)

    Forrest Morton Bird, American inventor (born June 9, 1921, Stoughton, Mass.—died Aug. 2, 2015, Sagle, Idaho), created the first reliable and portable mass-manufactured mechanical respirator for use in medical settings. The Bird Universal Medical Respirator, or Bird Mark 7, introduced in 1958,

  • Bird, Francis (English sculptor)

    Western sculpture: England: …English sculpture as represented by Francis Bird, Edward Stanton, and even the internationally renowned woodcarver Grinling Gibbons remained unexceptional. It was not until John Michael Rysbrack from Antwerp settled in England in c. 1720, followed by the Frenchman Louis-Fran?ois Roubillac in c. 1732, that two sculptors of European stature were…

  • Bird, Kenneth (British cartoonist)

    Kenneth Bird, British cartoonist who, particularly in Punch, created warmhearted social comedies, using little stick figures to convey his point. Originally a civil engineer, Bird was with the Royal Engineers during World War I. He decided on a drawing career after a shell fractured his spine at

  • Bird, Larry (American basketball player and coach)

    Larry Bird, American basketball player who led the Boston Celtics to three National Basketball Association (NBA) championships (1981, 1984, and 1986) and is considered one of the greatest pure shooters of all time. Bird was raised in French Lick, Indiana, and attended Indiana State University,

  • Bird, Larry Joe (American basketball player and coach)

    Larry Bird, American basketball player who led the Boston Celtics to three National Basketball Association (NBA) championships (1981, 1984, and 1986) and is considered one of the greatest pure shooters of all time. Bird was raised in French Lick, Indiana, and attended Indiana State University,

  • Bird, Lester (prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda)

    Baldwin Spencer: …(ALP), and then his son Lester Bird (1994–2004).

  • Bird, Robert Montgomery (American author)

    Robert Montgomery Bird, novelist and dramatist whose work epitomizes the nascent American literature of the first half of the 19th century. Although immensely popular in his day—one of his tragedies, The Gladiator, achieved more than 1,000 performances in Bird’s lifetime—his writings are

  • Bird, Roland T. (American paleontologist)

    dinosaur: Herding behaviour: Trackways were first noted by Roland T. Bird in the early 1940s along the Paluxy riverbed in central Texas, U.S., where numerous washbasin-size depressions proved to be a series of giant sauropod footsteps preserved in limestone of the Early Cretaceous Period (145 million to 100.5 million years ago). Because the…

  • Bird, Rose Elizabeth (American jurist)

    Rose Elizabeth Bird, chief justice of the California Supreme Court from 1977 to 1987. Bird was both the first woman to serve on that court and the first to serve as chief justice. Bird spent her early life in Arizona before moving in 1950 with her mother and two siblings to New York City, where she

  • Bird, Vere (prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda)

    Vere Cornwall Bird, Antiguan politician who overcame childhood poverty and a lack of formal education to lead his country to independence from Great Britain; he first attained prominence as a labour leader, serving as president of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union from 1943 to 1967; he later

  • Bird, Vere Cornwall (prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda)

    Vere Cornwall Bird, Antiguan politician who overcame childhood poverty and a lack of formal education to lead his country to independence from Great Britain; he first attained prominence as a labour leader, serving as president of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union from 1943 to 1967; he later

  • bird-mimic dinosaur (dinosaur)

    dinosaur: Tetanurae: Ornithomimids were medium-size to large theropods. Almost all of them were toothless, and apparently their jaws were covered by a horny beak; they also had very long legs and arms. A well-known example is Struthiomimus. Most were ostrich-sized and were adapted for fast running, with…

  • bird-of-paradise (bird)

    Bird-of-paradise, (family Paradisaeidae), any of approximately 45 species of small to medium-sized forest birds (order Passeriformes). They are rivalled only by a few pheasants and hummingbirds in colour and in the bizarre shape of the males’ plumage. Courting males perform for hours on a chosen

  • bird-of-paradise flower (plant)

    Bird-of-paradise flower, ornamental plant of the family Strelitziaceae. There are five species of the genus Strelitzia, all native to southern Africa. They grow from rhizomes (underground stems) to a height of 1 to 1.5 metres (about 3 to 5 feet) and have stiff, erect, leathery, concave, and oblong

  • bird-watching (hobby)

    Bird-watching, the observation of live birds in their natural habitat, a popular pastime and scientific sport that developed almost entirely in the 20th century. In the 19th century almost all students of birds used guns and could identify an unfamiliar species only when its corpse was in their

  • Bird-Ways (work by Miller)

    Harriet Mann Miller: In 1885 Miller published Bird-Ways, the first of a series of books on birds for adults and children that became widely popular. In the course of the series her reliance on firsthand field observation and her ability to convey a sense of nature’s wonder both grew apace. Miller’s other…

  • Birdcage, The (film by Nichols [1996])

    Mike Nichols: Middle years: Silkwood, Working Girl, and The Birdcage: Much better was The Birdcage (1996), a remake of the French hit La Cage aux folles (1978). It starred Robin Williams as Armand Goldman, the owner of a drag club, and Nathan Lane as Albert Goldman, a performer and Armand’s partner. Things become complicated when Armand’s son gets…

  • birdie (badminton)

    badminton: …with lightweight rackets and a shuttlecock. Historically, the shuttlecock (also known as a “bird” or “birdie”) was a small cork hemisphere with 16 goose feathers attached and weighing about 0.17 ounce (5 grams). These types of shuttles may still be used in modern play, but shuttles made from synthetic materials…

  • birding (hobby)

    Bird-watching, the observation of live birds in their natural habitat, a popular pastime and scientific sport that developed almost entirely in the 20th century. In the 19th century almost all students of birds used guns and could identify an unfamiliar species only when its corpse was in their

  • Birdland (nightclub, New York City, New York, United States)

    Charlie Parker: A Broadway nightclub, Birdland, was named after him, and he performed there on opening night in late 1949; Birdland became the most famous of 1950s jazz clubs.

  • BirdLife International (conservation group)

    BirdLife International, worldwide alliance of nongovernmental organizations that promotes the conservation of birds and their habitats. The group was established in London in 1922 by ornithologist and conservationist T. Gilbert Pearson under the name International Committee for Bird Protection. The

  • Birdman of Alcatraz (film by Frankenheimer [1962])

    Birdman of Alcatraz, American dramatic film, released in 1962, that made a household name of convicted murderer Robert Stroud, the so-called “Birdman of Alcatraz.” The film is a sentimentalized look at Stroud (played by Burt Lancaster), who became a self-taught ornithologist during his 54 years in

  • Birdman of Alcatraz (American criminal and ornithologist)

    Robert Stroud, American criminal, a convicted murderer who became a self-taught ornithologist during his 54 years in prison, 42 of them in solitary confinement, and made notable contributions to the study of birds. At the age of 13 Stroud ran away from home, and by the age of 18 he was in Juneau,

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (film by González I?árritu [2014])

    Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), American satiric film, released in 2014, that won four Academy Awards, including that for best picture. A complex and quirky movie, it was hailed as a masterpiece by many critics, though some viewers found it pretentious and puzzling. Birdman or (The

  • Birds (play by Aristophanes)

    Birds, drama by Aristophanes, produced in 414 bce. Some critics regard Birds as a pure fantasy, but others see it as a political satire on the imperialistic dreams that had led the Athenians to undertake their ill-fated expedition of 415 bce to conquer Syracuse in Sicily. The character

  • Birds Eye Frosted Foods (American company)

    Clarence Birdseye: …1934 Birdseye was president of Birds Eye Frosted Foods and from 1935 to 1938, of Birdseye Electric Company.

  • Birds Fall Down, The (novel by West)

    Rebecca West: …The Fountain Overflows (1957), and The Birds Fall Down (1966). In 1937 West visited Yugoslavia and later wrote Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, 2 vol. (1942), an examination of Balkan politics, culture, and history. In 1946 she reported on the trial for treason of William Joyce (“Lord Haw-Haw”) for The…

  • Birds of America (novel by McCarthy)

    Mary McCarthy: …other books include the novel Birds of America (1971); The Mask of State (1974), on the Watergate affair; Cannibals and Missionaries (1979), a novel; and How I Grew (1987), a second volume of autobiography. An unfinished autobiography, Intellectual Memoirs, New York, 1936–38, was published posthumously in 1992. Between Friends: The…

  • Birds of America, The (work by Audubon)

    bird-watching: …and John James Audubon’s illustrated Birds of America (1827–38) and culminating in such essential aids in the field as H.F. Witherby’s five-volume Handbook of British Birds (1938–41) and Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds (1947), which gives the field marks of all North American birds found east of…

  • Birds of Australia, The (work by Gould)

    John Gould: …in Gould’s most famous work, The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. (1840–48; supplements 1851–69), and in Mammals of Australia, 3 vol. (1845–63). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1843.

  • Birds of Europe (work by Gould)

    John Gould: The five-volume Birds of Europe (1832–37) and Monograph of the Ramphastidae (Toucans) (1834) were so successful that the Goulds were able to spend two years (1838–40) in Australia, where they made a large collection of birds and mammals. The collection resulted in Gould’s most famous work, The…

  • Birds of Heaven, The (work by Matthiessen)

    Peter Matthiessen: …the protection of wildlife in The Birds of Heaven (2001), which details a journey across multiple continents in search of cranes, and Tigers in the Snow (2002), which chronicles the plight of the Siberian tiger. The Peter Matthiessen Reader: Nonfiction 1959–1991 was published in 2000.

  • Birds of Prey (comic book)

    Black Canary: …a starring role in the Birds of Prey comic. In Birds of Prey Dinah Laurel Lance moved to Gotham City to join Oracle and Huntress in a mixture of crime busting and female empowerment. A television adaptation of Birds of Prey (2002) lasted only a single season and proved to…

  • Birds, Beasts and Flowers (work by Lawrence)

    D.H. Lawrence: Poetry and nonfiction: …his most original contribution is Birds, Beasts and Flowers (1923), in which he creates an unprecedented poetry of nature, based on his experiences of the Mediterranean scene and the American Southwest. In his Last Poems (1932) he contemplates death.

  • Birds, The (film by Hitchcock [1963])

    The Birds, American thriller film, released in 1963, that was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and centres on a small northern California coastal town that is inexplicably attacked and rendered helpless by massive flocks of aggressive birds. A chance encounter in a San Francisco bird shop between

  • Birds, The (novel by Vesaas)

    The Birds, novel by Tarjei Vesaas, published in 1957. Not to be confused with Daphne du Maurier’s short story and screenplay for Hitchcock’s shlock avian-horror movie, this is a far more restrained and poignant affair from one of Scandinavia’s pre-eminent, 20th-century writers. And this—along with

  • Birdseye, Clarence (American businessman and inventor)

    Clarence Birdseye, American businessman and inventor best known for developing a process for freezing foods in small packages suitable for retailing. After working as a government naturalist, Birdseye went to Labrador as a fur trader in 1912 and again in 1916. There the people often froze food in

  • Birdsong (novel by Faulks)

    Birdsong, novel by Sebastian Faulks, published in 1993. Birdsong is "a story of love and war." A mixture of fact and fiction, the book was born of the fear that the First World War was passing out of collective consciousness. At one level, it upholds the promise: "We Shall Remember Them," and

  • birdsong (animal communication)

    Birdsong, certain vocalizations of birds, characteristic of males during the breeding season, for the attraction of a mate and for territorial defense. Songs tend to be more complex and longer than birdcalls, used for communication within a species. Songs are the vocalizations of birds most

  • Birdsong, Cindy (American singer)

    the Supremes: ), and Cindy Birdsong (b. Dec. 15, 1939, Camden, N.J.).

  • birdstone (American Indian art)

    Bird stone, abstract stone carving, one of the most striking artifacts left by the prehistoric North American Indians who inhabited the area east of the Mississippi River in the United States and parts of eastern Canada. The stones resemble birds and rarely exceed 6 inches (15 cm) in length. The

  • Birdstone (racehorse)

    Smarty Jones: …signs of tiring, however, and Birdstone (at 36–1 odds) began to creep up on him in the middle of the track with 14 mile to go. There was no stopping the challenger, who inched closer and closer and then finally swept by at the last second to win by a…

  • Birdsville Track (trail, Australia)

    Simpson Desert: …of the desert is the Birdsville Track, which was used until the early 20th century by camel caravans led by Afghan traders.

  • birdwatching (hobby)

    Bird-watching, the observation of live birds in their natural habitat, a popular pastime and scientific sport that developed almost entirely in the 20th century. In the 19th century almost all students of birds used guns and could identify an unfamiliar species only when its corpse was in their

  • Birdy (novel by Wharton)

    William Wharton: …for his innovative first novel, Birdy (1979; filmed 1984), a critical and popular success.

  • birefringence (optics)

    Double refraction, an optical property in which a single ray of unpolarized light entering an anisotropic medium is split into two rays, each traveling in a different direction. One ray (called the extraordinary ray) is bent, or refracted, at an angle as it travels through the medium; the other ray

  • bireme (ship)

    naval ship: Biremes and triremes: The bireme (a ship with two banks of oars), probably adopted from the Phoenicians, followed and became the leading warship of the 8th century bc. Greek biremes were probably about 80 feet (24 metres) long with a maximum beam around 10 feet…

  • Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (king of Nepal)

    Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, king of Nepal from 1972 to 2001, 10th in the line of monarchs in the Shah Dev family. Son of the crown prince (later, from 1955, king) Mahendra, Birendra was educated at St. Joseph’s College (Darjeeling, India), Eton College (England), Tokyo University (1967), and

  • biretta (ecclesiastical headwear)

    Biretta, stiff square hat with three or four rounded ridges, worn by Roman Catholic, some Anglican, and some European Lutheran clergy for both liturgical and nonliturgical functions. A tassel is often attached. The colour designates the wearer’s rank: red for cardinals, purple for bishops, and

  • Bīrganj (Nepal)

    Bīrganj, town, southern Nepal, in the Terai, a low, fertile plain, near the Indian border. Southwest of Kāthmāndu, it is an important marketing centre (rice, wheat, barley, corn [maize], jute) and a terminus for the narrow-gauge railway running north to Amlekhganj and connecting with a ropeway

  • Birger Jarl (ruler of Sweden)

    Birger Jarl, the virtual ruler of Sweden from 1248 until his death. Before 1238 Birger married Ingeborg (d. 1254), the sister of King Erik Eriksson (1222–50), and was created jarl (earl) of Sweden in 1248. When Erik died, leaving no son, Birger obtained the election as king of his own son Valdemar,

  • Birger Magnusson (king of Sweden)

    Birger Magnusson, king of Sweden (1290–1318), son of Magnus I. He was nominally king under a regency during 1290–1302. He was crowned in 1302 and subsequently engaged in civil war with his brothers (1306–10). Later (1317–18), he had them imprisoned and killed but was himself driven into exile in

  • Birgid language

    Nubian languages: …Nubian) and in Darfur (where Birked [Birgid] and Midob [Midobi] are spoken). These languages are now considered to be a part of the Nilo-Saharan language family.

  • Birgit Nilsson Prize (classical music award)

    Plácido Domingo: …he was awarded the first Birgit Nilsson Prize for outstanding achievement in classical music. (The prize was to be awarded every second or third year in the amount of $1 million.) In 2013 Domingo was named the recipient of the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for music. In addition…

  • Birgit of Sweden, Saint (Swedish saint)

    St. Bridget of Sweden, ; canonized October 8, 1391; feast day July 23, formerly October 8), patron saint of Sweden, founder of the Bridgittines (Order of the Most Holy Savior), and a mystic whose revelations were influential during the Middle Ages. In 1999 Pope John Paul II named her one of the

  • Birgit of Sweden, Saint (Swedish saint)

    St. Bridget of Sweden, ; canonized October 8, 1391; feast day July 23, formerly October 8), patron saint of Sweden, founder of the Bridgittines (Order of the Most Holy Savior), and a mystic whose revelations were influential during the Middle Ages. In 1999 Pope John Paul II named her one of the

  • Birgitta av Sverige, Sankta (Swedish saint)

    St. Bridget of Sweden, ; canonized October 8, 1391; feast day July 23, formerly October 8), patron saint of Sweden, founder of the Bridgittines (Order of the Most Holy Savior), and a mystic whose revelations were influential during the Middle Ages. In 1999 Pope John Paul II named her one of the

  • Birgu (Malta)

    Vittoriosa, town, eastern Malta, one of the Three Cities (the others being Cospicua and Senglea). It is situated on a small peninsula, just south of Valletta across Grand Harbour. Originally known as Il Borgo, and then Birgu, it was one of the most important towns in medieval Malta. In 1530, when

  • Birgus latro (crustacean)

    Coconut crab, (Birgus latro), large nocturnal land crab of the southwest Pacific and Indian oceans. It is closely related to the hermit crab and king crab. All are decapod crustaceans (order Decapoda, class Crustacea). Adult coconut crabs are about 1 metre (40 inches) from leg tip to leg tip and

  • Birhor (people)

    totemism: Birhor: The Birhor, a people that were traditionally residents of the jungle of Chotanagpur Plateau in the northeast Deccan (India), are organized into patrilineal, exogamous totem groups. According to one imperfect list of 37 clans, 12 are based on animals, 10 on plants, 8 on…

  • biriba (plant)

    Rollinia: pulchrinervis), both called biriba by some authorities, are cultivated for their fruit. Most species of Rollinia are spined or segmented, green-skinned, small trees, with soft fruits about 7.6 cm (3 inches) across. The flowers have three spurlike outside petals and three minute inner petals.

  • Biringuccio, Vannoccio (Italian metallurgist)

    Vannoccio Biringuccio, Italian metallurgist and armament maker, chiefly known as the author of De la pirotechnia (1540; “Concerning Pyrotechnics”), the first clear, comprehensive work on metallurgy. As a youth Biringuccio enjoyed the patronage of Pandolfo Petrucci (1450–1511), the dictator of

  • biritch (card game)

    Biritch, card game similar to bridge whist and a forerunner of auction and contract bridge. Apparently developed in the eastern Mediterranean region, where it was known as khedive, it became popular in Greece and Egypt and, under the name of biritch, on the French Riviera in the last quarter of t

  • Bīrjand (Iran)

    Bīrjand, capital of South Khorasan province, eastern Iran, built on low hills in a barren valley 4,774 feet (1,455 metres) above sea level. The town, divided by the Khūsf River (usually dry), was formerly the seat of semi-independent rulers and a caravan centre; it has in part maintained its

  • Birka (historical settlement, Sweden)

    Birka, medieval city in southeastern Sweden, on the Lake M?laren island of Bj?rk?. It was Sweden’s first major urban centre and served as a thriving international trade centre between western and eastern Europe. Founded in the 9th century and thus one of the earliest urban settlements in

  • Birkarlar (Scandinavian traders)

    Birkarlar, group of Swedish and Finnish traders and trappers who, for approximately 300 years, explored, colonized, and governed the forest area extending from the eastern coast of the Gulf of Bothnia to the northern Norwegian hinterland. In 1277 the Swedish kings gave the Birkarlar the right to e

  • Birkat Qārūn (lake, Egypt)

    Lake Moeris, ancient lake that once occupied a large area of the al-Fayyūm depression in Egypt and is now represented by the much smaller Lake Qārūn. Researches on the desert margin of the depression indicate that in early Paleolithic times the lake’s waters stood about 120 feet (37 m) above sea

  • Birkbeck College (college, London, United Kingdom)

    George Birkbeck: …was the first president of Birkbeck College.

  • Birkbeck, George (British physician and educator)

    George Birkbeck, British physician who pioneered classes for workingmen and was the first president of Birkbeck College. In 1799 Birkbeck was appointed professor of natural philosophy at Anderson’s Institution in Glasgow. There he started a course of lectures on science, to which artisans were

  • Birked language

    Nubian languages: …Nubian) and in Darfur (where Birked [Birgid] and Midob [Midobi] are spoken). These languages are now considered to be a part of the Nilo-Saharan language family.

  • Birkenau (concentration camp, Poland)

    Auschwitz, Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camp and extermination camp. Located near the industrial town of O?wi?cim in southern Poland (in a portion of the country that was annexed by Germany at the beginning of World War II), Auschwitz was actually three camps in one: a prison camp, an

  • Birkenhead (England, United Kingdom)

    Birkenhead, seaport and urban area (from 2011 built-up area) in the metropolitan borough of Wirral, metropolitan county of Merseyside, historic county of Cheshire, northwestern England. It is situated on the Wirral peninsula facing Liverpool at the mouth of the River Mersey. The community was a

  • Birkenhead, Frederick Edwin Smith, 1st Earl of (British statesman)

    Frederick Edwin Smith, 1st earl of Birkenhead, British statesman, lawyer, and noted orator; as lord chancellor (1919–22), he sponsored major legal reforms and helped negotiate the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. A graduate (1895) of Wadham College, Oxford, Smith taught law at Oxford until 1899, when he

  • Birkenhead, Frederick Edwin Smith, 1st Earl of, Viscount Furneaux of Charlton, Viscount Birkenhead of Birkenhead, Baron Birkenhead of Birkenhead (British statesman)

    Frederick Edwin Smith, 1st earl of Birkenhead, British statesman, lawyer, and noted orator; as lord chancellor (1919–22), he sponsored major legal reforms and helped negotiate the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. A graduate (1895) of Wadham College, Oxford, Smith taught law at Oxford until 1899, when he

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