Bagdad Railway Concession
228; In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Ottoman Empire planned to construct a Baghdad Railway under German control. It became a source of international tension and played some role in the origins of the First World War; 238; Wikipedia entry
441; Located on the Caspian Sea, Baku or Baky (Baki), capital and largest city of Azerbaijan. Since 1873 an oil belt of Baku began to be formed which was known as a Black City. Within a short period of time departments and representations of Swiss, English, French, Belgian, German and American firms were established in Baku, among them were the firms of the Nobels and Rothschilds. By the beginning of the 20th century almost half of the oil reserves in the world had been extracted in Baku; 631; "with skeeters" 639; Wikipedia entry Discussion
Bakunin, Mikhail (1814-1876)
373; well-known Russian revolutionary, and often considered one of the fathers of modern anarchism; Wikipedia entry
432; From the Bible, Numbers Chapter 22, wherein Balaam, a seer and Gentile, is sent by Balak, King of Moab, to confront the Israelites who, after 40 years in the desert, were camped on the plains of Moab. An angel, invisible to Balaam but visible to the ass, blocks the road and the ass won't proceed. Balaam repeatedly whips the ass until, by divine intervention, the ass is given the power of speech and speaks to Balaam, asking him why he treats him so badly. Balaam is taken aback and then sees the angel with sword drawn and falls to the ground, contrite. But the angel, instead of stopping him from his journey, tells Balaam to proceed on his mission. When Balaam reaches the top of a hill and sees the Israelites camped out below, a blessing unexpectedly issues from his lips. Two things here: 1) it's possible for a non-Hebrew to be a prophet and 2) this is one of only two instances in the Bible where animals speak, the other being the serpent in the Garden of Eden. More from the Trivia Library
557; Komitadji, Comitadji or Komitaji (Turkish: Komitacı, "a rebel, member of a secret revolutionary society") is a member of a guerrilla band in Macedonia or the Balkan countries.
Ball in Hand
405; saloon where Dr. Zoot met Meatman; on West Symmes Street, 410;
Basnight, Lewis ("Lew")
36-51; a "spotter" from White City Investigations; "couldn't remember what he 'd done, or hadn't done, or even when", Upstate-Downstate Beast, 37; "a kind of waking swoon" 38; "a condition he had no memory of having sought, which he later came to think of as grace", "a luminosity new to him", "things were exactly what they were", 42; extraordinary ability of noticing things, 42; "a keen sympathy for the invisible" 43; "the side of the day" 44; transfer to Denver, 51; 171; Cryptomite trip, 182; emergence out of explosion, 221; 496; at Chunxton Crescent "Gus Swallowfield, Senior Underwriter" 611; DISCUSSION
38; Lew's wife, who leaves him;
Battle of Puebla
315; The Battle of Puebla took place on May 5, 1862 near the city of Puebla, Mexico, during the French intervention in Mexico. It was a major Mexican victory, and is commemorated every year as Cinco de Mayo; Wikipedia entry
15; a scale to measure wind speed; Wikipedia entry
"Beavers of the Brain"
183; song by the beings inhabiting Lew Basright's steak
1076; Jesse Traverse's school teacher, and possibly his future father-in-law; see the Traverse Family Tree
527; "Eugénie, Fatou, Denis, and Policarpe, styling themselves 'Young Congo'"
70; 144; 243; 259; 302;
144; A steady bright blue light; formerly used as a signal but now a firework.
576; Dally's alter-ego; Beppo is the subject of the poem "Beppo" by Lord Byron; Read the poem
Berlin Conference of 1878
226; The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize conditions in the Balkans. Otto von Bismarck, who led the Congress, undertook to balance the distinct interests of Great Britain, Russia and Austria-Hungary. As a consequence, however, differences between Russia and Austria-Hungary intensified, as did the nationality question in the Balkans; Wikipedia entry
86; Second Corinthians, 32; 223; St. Mark, 250; "Let there be light" 354; Judas Iscariot, 377; 413; Balaam's ass, 432; Sodom and Gomorrah, 441; 441; 452; Jonah and Agadir, 521; Judas Priest, 525; Lot's wife, 550; Lucifer, 575; Infancy Gospel of Thomas, 579; Pentacost story from Acts of the Apostles (Jesus and the dyes), 579-80;
"Salsa Explosiva La Original," 129; "stars blown by the shockwaves of the Creation," 404;
263; Henry McCarty, better known as Billy the Kid, but also known by the aliases Henry Antrim and William Harrison Bonney, was a 19th century American frontier outlaw and gunmen who was a participant in the Lincoln County War. Wikipedia entry
143; the ability (said of certain Roman Catholic saints) to exist simultaneously in two locations; "there are two distinct versions of 'Asia' out there" 249; Estrella, double of Stray Briggs, 393; Chums of Chance and the Marching Academy Harmonica Band, 418-24; "enough to divide a fellow into two" 464; two Agadirs, 521-22; Stupendica, 514; Dally, 524; doubling, 564; multiple identities, 570; sawed-in-half folks, 571-72; Principessa Spongiatosta, 583; Werfner/Renfrew, 683, 685; Orphic and Pythagorean religionns, 686; Lew Basright, 688, 690; Wikipedia entry
Bindlestiffs of the Blue A.C.
18; aeronautical club from Oregon ("A.C." for alternating current?); a bindelstiff is a hobo, especially one who carries a bedroll.
345; "tong warrior's girlfriend"
Biometric Institute of Neuropathy
517; the stokers; 519;
Black, Miss Penelope ("Penny")
18; distaff member of the Bindlestiffs of the Blue A.C.
287; "local name" for Bob Meldrum's wife;
915; the original name of the Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi (1882-1956) whose most famous role was that of Dracula; Wikipedia entry
Blavatsky, Madame (1831-1891)
219; Helena Petrovna Hahn (also Hélène), better known as Helena Blavatsky (Russian: Елена Блаватская) or Madame Blavatsky, born Helena von Hahn, was a founder of the Theosophical Society; "working for the Tsarist secret service" aka Third Section, aka Okhrana, 631; Wikipedia entry
53; Blitz is a manufacturer of musical instruments and accessories
bloodline of my enemy
Blope, Dr. Templeton
131; of the University of the Outer Hebrides
4; Handyman Apprentice aboard the Inconvenience; 107; nonsense speaking, 110-13; the Book, 251; 417; "temporarily lapsing into English" 427; recognizes the Trespassers, Mr. Ace, 417; "extra-temporal excursions" 443; and Pugnax, 550; "prefiguration of the Holy City" 551;
Bly, Nellie (1864-1922)
37; Born May 5, 1864, to Judge Michael Cochran and Mary Jane Kennedy Cochran, part of the large Cochran family of Apollo, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Jane Cochrane revolutionized journalism for women. She is better known by her pen name, "Nellie Bly," which she adapted from the Stephen Foster song, "Nelly Bly." Daring and innovative, she gained world fame when she beat Jules Verne's fictional character Phileas Fogg's record for traveling around the world in 80 days by more than a week, departing on November 14, 1889 and returning to New York on January 25, 1890; Wikipedia entry
83; "evil viceroy" of Russian Tsar
Bodine, O. I. C. (Officer in Charge)
517; American stoker aboard the Stupendica; 519;
Bohr, Niels (Henrik David) (1885-1962)
412; Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics. Bohr is widely considered one of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century. Wikipedia entry
477; sheriff of Wall o' Death;
479; Eugene's wife;
Boilster, Roy Mickey
480; Tace's brother;
485; Eugene's & Tace's daughter
Boll Weevil Lounge
122; Padzhy's ship, at the North Pole; in Venice, 245;
Bolsón de Mapimí
395; Spanish: Mapimi Basin - An enclosed depression in northern Mexico, that comprises parts of the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango. Situated in the arid northern plateau region and averaging 3,000 ft (900 m) in elevation, it is structurally similar to the Basin and Range region of Arizona and New Mexico, in the United States. One very interesting thing about the Mapimi Basin is the "Zone of Silence"...; 922; Wikipedia
Boltzmann, Ludwig (1844–1906)
596; Austrian physicist who made pivotal contributions to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, inventing several of the key notions of the latter field. The son of a taxation official, Boltzmann attended the University of Vienna and in 1866 earned a doctorate under the tutelage of Josef Stefan (1835–1893), whose empirical work on blackbody radiation Boltzmann would later put on a firm thermodynamic grounding. (Consequently, the statement that the total radiation from a blackbody goes as the fourth power of its temperature is today known as the Stefan–Boltzmann law.) After Stefan's death, Boltzmann took over his position as theoretical physics chair, but soon quit Vienna due to personal conflicts with the new chair of history and philosophy of science, Ernst Mach (1838–1916). He moved to Leipzig in 1900, where disputes over his theories led him to attempt suicide, unsuccessfully. Boltzmann returned to Vienna the following year, after Mach retired for health reasons, and in fact gained renown for his philosophy lectures — teaching the very class taught by Mach shortly before. In 1904, he traveled the United States, visiting the World's Fair in St. Louis; however, after his return to Europe, the attacks on his statistical mechanics work continued. Boltzmann committed suicide in Trieste, during a family vacation.
It is unknown whether Boltzmann's eventual suicide resulted from the scientific community's hostility to his work, a history of mental illness and melancholy, or some combination of both. (MacTutor biography)
Today, Boltzmann is renowned for having established a mathematical foundation of statistical physics, the study of large quantities of particles (such as atoms in a gas). To make calculations possible, Boltzmann devised the concept of an "ensemble", a set of many systems prepared in the same way. Thinking in terms of ensembles, one could calculate probabilities by working out what fraction of the ensemble's systems will exist in a given state. Each member of an ensemble satisfies the same macroscopic conditions; for example, they each have the same total energy. However, there are many different ways the atoms in a gas can move and still have the same total energy. Many microstates can be part of a single macrostate. The ensemble approach gave the first real understanding of what entropy means in statistical terms: the entropy of a macrostate is, up to a multiplicative factor, the logarithm of its number of microstates. (The multiplicative factor, known as Boltzmann's constant, sets the size of the degree marks on the temperature scale.)
Boltzmann also studied the way in which the entropy of a system rises with time. His mathematical deduction known as the H-theorem provided the first way to understand the Second Law of Thermodynamics in terms of individual atoms in motion.
Bonnet, Charles (1720-1793)
307; Swiss naturalist and philosophical writer who first described what became known as the Charles Bonnet syndrome (or CBS for short), a term used to describe the situation when people with sight problems start to see things which they know aren't real. Sometimes called visual hallucinations, the things people see can take all kinds of forms from simple patterns of straight lines to detailed -pictures of people or buildings. These can be enjoyable or sometimes upsetting; Wikipedia entry
364; Reef's colt;
Borowicz, Professor Bogoslaw
343; at McVeety's Theater "Floor Shows"
Bosanquet, Bernard James Tindal (1877-1936)
237; "this Middlesex spinner"; an English cricketer, perhaps most renowned as the inventor of the googly (sometimes called the Bosie or, in Australia, the Wrong'un ), born in Bull's Cross, Enfield, Middlesex; Wikipedia entry
554; the artist
Boulanger, General Georges Ernest Jean-Marie (April 29, 1837 – September 30, 1891)
543; anniversary of his suicide and the Chums of Chance; Boulanger was a French general and reactionary politician. Very popular with the military, He rose through the ranks to general, and began his own political movement, an ecclectic one that capitalized on the frustrations of French conservatism, advocating the three principles of Revanche (Revenge on Germany), Révision (Revision of the Constitution), Restauration (the return to monarchy). The common reference to it has become Boulangisme, a term used by its partisans and adversaries alike. A failed coup began his downfall. He was charged with conspiracy and treason and a warrant for his death was issued. He committed suicide by a bullet to the head on the grave of his mistress. Wikipedia entry
60; photographer; Hypop Apparatus, 425; Scarsdale Vibe trial in Cleveland, 455; Hercules, 455;
33; A boutonniere, also buttonhole, is a flower or floral decoration pushed or pinned through the button hole of a lapel of a suit.
603; gutta-percha ball (a golf ball), a brambled spheroid
369; "and his Merry Coons" - houseband at Maman Tant Gras Hall in New Orleans;
457; the tourbillion
Briggs, Estrella (Stray)
200; and Reef Traverse, 358-367; in Nochecita; Aunt Adelina; at a "small ranch outside Fickle Creek" 462; 920-921;
361; Stray's sister; husband Holt, 367;
British craving for the dark and shiny
678; Perhaps an Orwellian reference?
587; The random motion of small particles, such as dust specks or pollen grains, suspended in a fluid. Because the atoms in the fluid are constantly jostling with thermal energy — heat being nothing but the kinetic energy of atoms in random movement — the larger objects floating in the fluid are bombarded this way and that, like a beach ball being attacked on all sides by peashooters. First observed by the British botanist Robert Brown (1773–1858) in 1827, this jittery behavior provided the first direct evidence that atoms existed. The young Albert Einstein (1879–1955) worked out the theory behind Brownian motion, producing in 1905 an equation which gave the size of atoms in terms of quantities one could observe about Brownian motion. In 1908, the French physicist Jean-Baptiste Perrin (1870–1942) succeeded in measuring these variables, discovering that atoms are roughly one ten-billionth of a meter in diameter.
277; Kodak camera introduced in 1900 for one dollar
578; the poet
529; Brugere's powder uses picric acid which, when ignited, burns quietly with a smoky flame and is very difficult to detonate by percussion; its salts, however, are more readily detonated. Part of the picric family, Brugere's powder is a mixture of 54 parts of ammonium picrate and 45 parts of saltpetre; Designolle's powder, composed of potassium picrate, saltpetre and charcoal is also a member of this family of explosives. More on picric acid
101; Scarsdale Vibe's bodyguard
303; "buck-and-wing" is a solo tap dance emphasizing sharp taps
See Cody, Buffalo Bill
228; medium at Stead séance; her "prophetic account of the Serbian outrage" 719;
a sheriff Reef argues with; Laureen, his wife;
142; "grandfather of Odin and the first gods"
313; Jimmy Drop's hangout in Telluride
490; where Yashmeen bathed nude;