stream

stream

[streem]
stream, general term applied to all bodies of water flowing in channels regardless of their size. See river; flood.

Narrative technique in nondramatic fiction intended to render the flow of myriad impressions—visual, auditory, tactile, associative, and subliminal—that impinge on an individual consciousness. To represent the mind at work, a writer may incorporate snatches of thought and grammatical constructions that do not seem coherent because they are based on the free association of ideas and images. The term was first used by William James in The Principles of Psychology (1890). In the 20th century, writers attempting to capture the total flow of their characters' consciousness commonly used the techniques of interior monologue, which represents a sequence of thought and feeling. Novels in which stream of consciousness plays an important role include James Joyce's Ulysses (1922), William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury (1929), and Virginia Woolf's The Waves (1931).

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Any of several long, narrow, high-speed air currents that flow eastward in a generally horizontal zone in the stratosphere or upper troposphere. Jet streams are characterized by wind motions that generate strong vertical shearing action, considered largely responsible for the clear-air turbulence experienced by aircraft. They also have an effect on weather patterns. Jet streams circle the Earth in meandering paths, shifting position as well as speed with the seasons. In the winter they are nearer the Equator and their speeds are higher than in the summer. There are often two, sometimes three, jet-stream systems in each hemisphere.

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Warm ocean current, part of a general clockwise-rotating system of currents in the North Atlantic. A major contribution of the Gulf Stream is its warming effect on the climates of adjacent land areas. In winter, the air over the ocean west of Norway is more than 40°F (22°C) warmer than the average for that latitude, one of the greatest temperature anomalies in the world. Winters in southwestern England are extraordinarily mild for this northern latitude because of the Gulf Stream. Regions of the Gulf Stream, such as the Grand Banks, have been among the most productive commercial fishing grounds in the world.

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