Science & Philosophy: Positive Number to Propaganda - World War Ii

Science Encyclopedia

Positive Number

Positive numbers are commonly defined as numbers greater than zero, the numbers to the right of zero on the number line. Zero is not a positive number. The opposite, or additive inverse, of a positive number is a negative number. Negative numbers are always preceded by a negative sign (-), while positive numbers are only preceded by a positive sign (+) when it is required to avoid confusion. Thus …

3 minute read

Positivism - The Nineteenth Century: Comte To Mach, Logical Positivism And The Vienna Circle, Logical Empiricist Themes—and Their Reception

The history of positivism falls into two nearly independent stages: nineteenth-century French and twentieth-century Germanic, which became the logical positivism or logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle that, in turn, enjoyed an American phase. In the postmodern world, "positivist" is often a term of abuse, but historical research now contests the received characterization. In a br…

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Positron Emission Tomography (PET) - Description, Risks

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a scanning technique used in conjunction with small amounts of radiolabeled compounds to visualize brain anatomy and function. PET was the first scanning method to provide information on brain function as well as anatomy. This information includes data on blood flow, oxygen consumption, glucose metabolism, and concentrations of various molecules in brain tissu…

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Postcolonial Studies - Colonial Encounters, Nationalism, Resistance, Decolonization, Postindependence And Neocolonialism, Historical And Regional Contexts

Postcolonial studies designates a broad, multidisciplinary field of study that includes practitioners from literary, cultural, and media studies, history, geography, art history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and political economy. Postcolonial studies is the analysis of the phenomenon of imperialism and its aftermath: slavery, colonialism, nationalism, independence, and migration. Its ecle…

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Postcolonial Theory and Literature - Edward W. Said, First Wave: Colonial Discourse, Mahasweta Devi, W. E. B. Du Bois

Postcolonial theory, often said to begin with the work of Edward W. Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Homi K. Bhabha, looks at literature and society from two broad angles: how the writer, artist, cultural worker, and his or her context reflects a colonial past, and how they survive and carve out a new way of creating and understanding the world. One of the earliest critical works to present t…

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Postmodernism - Conceptual Postmodernism And Postmodernist Theory, Cultural And Political Postmodernism, Postmodernism In Literature And Art, Bibliography

Few terms in the contemporary critical lexicon have been as vociferously debated and as persistently unstable in meaning and use as postmodernism and its various avatars, such as postmodernity. In spite of this instability, postmodernity may be defined as a broad category designating the culture that historically extends from the late 1960s to the early twenty-first century, and that is economical…

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Postulate

A postulate is an assumption, that is, a proposition or statement, that is assumed to be true without any proof. Postulates are the fundamental propositions used to prove other statements known as theorems. Once a theorem has been proven it is may be used in the proof of other theorems. In this way, an entire branch of mathematics can be built up from a few postulates. Postulate is synonymous with…

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Potassium Aluminum Sulfate

There have been many industrial applications of potassium aluminum sulfate. It is an important part of many products created by the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries because of its astringency property. It is also used in the manufacture of paper, dyes, glue, and explosives. Additionally, it helps in the water purification process, is used to speed up the hardening of concrete and plas…

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Potassium Nitrate

Potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter or niter, is a chemical compound consisting of potassium, nitrogen, and oxygen. While it has many applications, including use as a fertilizer, its most important usage historically has been as a component of gunpowder. Over time its use as an explosive has been made nearly obsolete by dynamite and TNT, but it is still used today in artilleryshell primers,…

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Potato

The potato is a starchy, red or brown skinned, underground stem called a tuber. Tubers are storage areas for nutrient reserves of plants, such as starch or sugars. A widely cultivated species, the potato plant has the scientific name Solanum tuberosum and is a member of the nightshade family of plants, Solanaceae. Potato plants are widely grown for their familiar edible tubers that are a mainstay …

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Pottery Analysis - Pottery Analysis, Technological Analyses, Typological Analysis And Other Dating Techniques

Man first began making pots at the end of the Stone Age (Neolithic Period), about 12,000 years ago in the Old World, and about 5,000 years ago in the New World. Basketry, including clay-lined baskets, probably served adequately for food storage for awhile. It may have been the accidental burning of a clay-lined basket that led to the discovery that clay, which is malleable when wet, becomes hard a…

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Practices - Practice Theory, Practice And Discourse: Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu And Anthony Giddens, Practice As Resistance: Michel De Certeau

Practices are actions or activities that are repeatable, regular, and recognizable in a given cultural context. In everyday language, practice is often contrasted with theory, ideas, or mental processes: what is done as opposed to what is thought, the pragmatic as opposed to the ideational. Practices may be discursive (practices that communicate meanings through language), visual (practices that c…

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Pragmatism - Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, John Dewey, Other Key Figures In The History Of Pragmatism

Pragmatism is the collective name for a family of theories emphasizing the practical consequences of holding a belief as a means to evaluating the truth of that belief. This focus on the practical was born of attempts to evade or escape many of the traditional metaphysical and epistemological puzzles and problems of traditional Western philosophy. Rather than continuing to deploy philosophical tal…

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Prairie - Natural History Of The Prairie, The Post-settlement Prairie

A prairie is a natural vegetation type in which perennial herbaceous plants predominate, particularly species of grasses. The word "prairie" comes from the French prérie (later, prairie), meaning meadow. The term was first applied to the swath of mid-continental North American grassland in the 1600s by French Jesuit missionaries and explorers, because the landscape resembled, …

2 minute read

Prairie Chicken

Prairie chickens are two North American species of birds in the grouse family (Phasianidae) in the order Galliformes, the game birds. Both the greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) and the lesser prairie chicken (T. pallidicinctus) are brownish birds with a black band on the end of the tail. Male birds have colorful air sacs that are inflated during courtship and a ruff of long feathers tha…

3 minute read

Prairie Falcon

Falcons are very swift birds of prey that hunt during the day. Falcons are in the family Falconidae, of which there are 39 species, all in the genus Falco. The prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) is a medium-sized, light-brown falcon that breeds in wide-open, semiarid and prairie habitats in the western United States, southwestern Canada, and northern Mexico. Prairie falcons generally breed in the vi…

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Praying Mantis - Reproduction, Preying - Defense, Interaction with the environment

The praying mantis (plural praying mantids) is a carnivorous insects of the order Mantoidea (or Mantodea) named for its typical stance of an upright body with the two front legs held out in a pose of prayer. The long, thick, spiny, legs and the markedly triangular head with two large compound eyes make the mantis one of the most readily identifiable of all insects. The long neck of the praying man…

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Pre-Colombian Civilization - Bibliography

Knowledge about pre-Columbian civilizations comes from two main sources: archaeological remains and the accounts written by European men. The latter include a first group of explorers who described the alien worlds they encountered (and destroyed), and a second group of priests, scholars, and administrators who interviewed the survivors who remembered the past, and later their descendants, who ret…

7 minute read

Precession of the Equinoxes

The precession of the equinoxes (sometimes simply called precession), is a movement of the celestial equator, the projection of the earth's equator into space, with respect to the fixed stars and the ecliptic, the path of the Sun's motion in space as viewed from the earth. These two great circles in space are inclined to one another by an angle of approximately 23.5°, called t…

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Precious Metals - History, Gold, Occurrence, Placer Gold, Gold Veins, Production And Uses, Silver - Future outlook

Gold, silver, and platinum have historically been valued for their beauty and rarity. They are the precious metals. Platinum usually costs slightly more than gold, and both metals are about 80 times more costly than silver. Precious metal weights are given in Troy ounces (named for Troyes, France, known for its fairs during the Middle Ages) a unit approximately 10% larger than 1 oz (28.35 g). The …

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Predator

A predator is an organism that hunts and eats its prey. All predators are heterotrophs, meaning they must consume the tissues of other organisms to fuel their own growth and reproduction. The most common use of the term is to describe the many types of carnivorous animals that catch, kill, and eat other animals. There is a great diversity of such predatory animals, ranging in size from small arthr…

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Rise of Prehistory - Science Of Prehistory, Evolutionary Contributions, New World Discoveries, Archaeology And Related Fields, Bibliography

A major arena for the pursuit of prehistory ante literam was the study of cultural history (Kulturgeschichte), especially in the work of authors like Herder, Gustav Klemm, Friedrich Hellwald, and Gustav Kolb. It was in the later nineteenth century, however, that such efforts produced the modern discipline of "prehistory," a neologism self-consciously coined by Daniel Wilson in 1851. …

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Prejudice - Prejudice: Social Problem, Or Problem Concept, The Structure Of Intergroup Attitudes, The Varieties Of Prejudice

The concept of prejudice emerged during the early twentieth century and soon became the most prominent social scientific and lay concept to describe antipathy for others based on their social group or category membership. Social scientists have typically defined prejudice as a negative intergroup attitude. Many, however, have added the rider that this negative intergroup attitude is bad or unjusti…

less than 1 minute read

Prenatal Surgery - History Of Fetal Surgery, Closed-womb Surgery, Open Surgery, Ethical Issues, Future Developments - Fetal reduction

Prenatal surgery, also called fetal surgery, is medical treatment of the fetus before birth, while it is still in the womb. Most fetal therapies are "closed" procedures, performed without opening the womb. The rarest type of fetal surgery is known as "open surgery," in which the mother's abdomen and uterus are cut open to reveal the tiny fetus. When doctors began…

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Pressure - The Kinetic Molecular Theory Of Gases And Pressure, Atmospheric Pressure And Common Measuring Units For Pressure

Pressure is the amount of force applied to a given area. Acrobats and cheerleaders sometimes stand on each other's shoulders to form a human tower. Even with perfect balance, there is a limit to how high such a tower can be built. Ultimately, the ability of the bottom person to bear the pressure, caused by the weight of all the people stacked above, is the limiting factor. Pressure, then, i…

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Prey

Prey refers to any living entities that are hunted and consumed by predators. Usually the term is used in reference to animals that are stalked, killed, and consumed by other animals, as when a deer is killed by a mountain lion. However, plants may also be considered to be the prey of herbivorous animals, and hosts may be considered the prey of their parasites. Often, predators are important sourc…

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Primates

Primates are an order of mammals. Most primates are characterized by well-developed binocular vision, a flattened, forward-oriented face, prehensile digits, opposable thumbs (sometimes the first and second digits on the feet are also opposable), five functional digits on the feet, nails on the tips of the digits (instead of claws), a clavicle (or collarbone), a shoulder joint allowing free movemen…

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Primroses

Primroses are perennial, herbaceous plants in the genus Primula, family Primulaceae. There are about 500 species of primroses. Most of these occur in arctic, boreal, and cool-temperate climates, including mountain-tops in tropical latitudes. The greatest species numbers occur Bloom of the shooting star, a member of the primrose family. Photograph by Robert J. Huffman. Field Mark Publications. R…

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Prions

The term prion (derived from "proteinaceous infectious particle") refers to an infectious agent consisting of a tiny protein that lacks genes, but can proliferate inside the host, causing slowly developing neurodegenerative diseases in animals and humans. Prions are thought to cause several diseases that attack the brain, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep,…

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Prism

In Euclidean geometry, a prism is a three dimensional figure, or solid, having five or more faces, each of which is a polygon. Polygons, in turn, consist of any number of straight line segments, arranged to form a flat, closed, two-dimensional figure. Thus, triangles, rectangles, pentagons, hexagons, and so on are all polygons. In addition, a prism has at least two congruent (same size and shape) …

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Privacy - A Sense Of Privacy, Privacy And Popular Fiction, Public And Private Realms, Rights Of Privacy In National And International Law

The volume of studies on privacy has increased tremendously since the 1970s, especially in the United States, and their geographical spread has become wider. These studies address new topics, including celebrity privacy for political and other public figures and privacy rights in international human rights law. Developments in advanced technology, such as electronic storage and DNA testing, have a…

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Privatization - World Trends In Privatization, The Role Of The State, The Case For Privatization, Critics Of Privatization

The American economist Steve Hanke defines privatization as "the transfer of assets and service functions from public to private hands. It includes, therefore, activities that range from selling state-owned enterprises to contracting out public services with private contractors" (p. 4). At one extreme, privatization might entail the wholesale transfer to the private sector of both ow…

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Probability - The Formal Theory Of Probability, Interpretations Of Probability, Some Recent Developments, Some Applications Of Probability

"Probability is the very guide of life," Bishop Butler wrote in 1736. Probability judgments of the efficacy and side effects of a pharmaceutical drug determine whether it is approved for release to the public. The outcome of a civil trial hinges on the jurors' opinions about the probabilistic weight of evidence. Geologists calculate the probability that an earthquake of a cert…

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Proboscis Monkey

The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) of Borneo belongs to the primate family Cercopithecidae. It is grouped with the langurs, leaf monkeys, and colobus monkeys in the subfamily Colobinae. The feature that gives this odd-looking monkey its common name is the large, tongue-shaped nose of the adult male. This nose can be as much as 4 in (10 cm) long. It sometimes hangs down over the mouth, but ext…

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Idea of Progress - The First Prophet Of Progress, Inevitable Progress, The Idea Of Progress In The Anglo-american World

The idea of progress—the idea that human society can be made ever better by conscious effort, or that society is becoming ever better by spontaneous laws of history—is relatively new. The idea was virtually unknown in classical antiquity. In each of the three greatest books of that period, what we think of as progress is explicitly denied. In Plato's Republic, even the best po…

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Projective Geometry - Desargues' Theorem, Coordinate Projective Geometry, Cross Ratio

Projective geometry is the study of geometric properties which are not changed by a projective transformation. A projective transformation is one that occurs when: points on one line are projected onto another line; points in a plane are projected onto another plane; or points in space are projected onto a plane, etc. Projections can be parallel or central. For example, the Sun shining behind a pe…

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Prokaryote

Prokaryotes are single-celled organisms such as bacteria that have no distinct nucleus. In addition to the lack of a nucleus, prokaryotes lack many of the other small organelles found in the larger eukaryotic cells. A typical prokaryote is bound by a plasma membrane and a cell wall. Within this double boundary, the fluid material inside the cell (the cytoplasm) is studded with small, rounded bodie…

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Pronghorn

The pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) is a species of ruminant that is the sole living representative of its family, the Antilocapridae. This family was much more diverse during the Pliocene and early to mid-Pleistocene periods. The Antilocapridae is an exclusively North American family, and pronghorns are not closely related to the true antelopes, which are members of the Bovidae, a …

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Proof

A proof is a logical argument demonstrating that a specific statement, proposition, or mathematical formula is true. It consists of a set of assumptions, or premises, which are combined according to logical rules, to establish a valid conclusion. This validation can be achieved by direct proof that verifies the conclusion is true, or by indirect proof that establishes that it cannot be false. Each…

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Propaganda - World War Ii, Defining Propaganda, Bibliography

Since the twentieth century, propaganda has largely had pejorative associations. The term continues to imply something sinister; synonyms for propaganda frequently include lies, falsehood, deceit, and brainwashing. In recent years unfavorable references have been made to "spin doctors" and the manner in which "propaganda" has devalued democratic politics. The psychologi…

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