Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rosicrucian

Rosicrucian
  1. a 'Brother' of the 'Order of the Rose Cross'; a member of the Rosicrucian Order.
  2. a member of certain modern groups or organizations formed for the study of Rosicrucianism and allied subjects

Monday, March 30, 2009

Soutpiel

soutpiel: A South African with English/British heritage. So named for having one foot in South Africa, one foot in Britain and his penis dangling in the Atlantic.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

baetyl

baetyl: a meteorite or similar-looking rough stone thought to be of divine origin and worshipped as sacred.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Transduction

transduction: The transfer of genetic material from one bacterial cell to another by a bacteriophage or plasmid

Friday, March 27, 2009

tastemaker

tastemaker - someone who popularizes a new fashion

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chapiter

Chapiter: The 'capital' or uppermost part of a column, upon which the roof and its decorations are supported.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Palpation

Palpation is used as part of a physical examination in which an object is felt (usually with the hands of a healthcare practitioner) to determine its size, shape, firmness, or location. Palpation should not be confused with palpitation, which is an awareness of the beating of the heart.

Toff

In British English slang, a toff is a mildly derogatory term for someone with an aristocratic background, particularly someone who exudes an air of superiority. For instance, The Toff, a character from the series of adventure novels by John Creasey is an upper-class crime sleuth, who uses a common caricature of a toff - a line drawing with a top hat, monocle, bow-tie and cigarette with a holder - as his calling card.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Appurtenances

Appurtenances is a term for what belongs to and goes with something else, with the appurtenance being less significant than what it belongs to. The word ultimately derives from Latin appertinere, "to appertain".

In a legal context, an appurtenance could for instance refer to a back-yard that goes with the adjoining house. The idea being expressed is that the back-yard "belongs" to the house, which is the more significant of the two. In 1919, the Supreme Court of Minnesota adopted the following definition of an appurtenance: "That which belongs to something else. Something annexed to another thing more worthy." -- Cohen v Whitcomb, (1919 142 Minn 20).

In Gestalt theory, appurtenance (or "belongingness") is the relation between two things seen which exert influence on each other. For example, fields of color exert influence on each other. "A field part x is determined in its appearance by its 'appurtenance' to other field parts. The more x belongs to the field part y, the more will its whiteness be determined by the gradient xy, and the less it belongs to the part z, the less will its whiteness depend on the gradient xz."[1]

In lexicology, an appurtenance is a modifier that is appended or prepended to another word to coin a new word that expresses "belongingness". In the English language, appurtenances are most commonly found in toponyms and demonyms, for example, 'Israeli', 'Bengali' etc have an -i suffix of appurtena.

Monday, March 23, 2009

otolith

An otolith, (lithos, a stone), also called statoconium or otoconium is a structure in the the inner ear, specifically in the vestibular labyrinth. The saccule and utricle, in turn, together make the otolith organs. They are sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration. Because of their orientation in the head, the utricle is sensitive to a change in horizontal movement, and the saccule gives information about vertical acceleration (such as when in an elevator).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

statocyst

The statocyst is a balance organ present in some aquatic invertebrates (Cnidarians, Ctenophores, Bilaterians). It consists of a sac-like structure containing a mineralised mass (statolith) and numerous innervated sensory hairs (setae). The statolith possesses inertia, causing the mass to move when accelerated. Deflection of setae by the statolith in response to gravity activates neurons, providing feedback to the animal on change in orientation and allowing balance to be maintained. Because many echinoderms of this group have no “brain,” they are limited in their actions and responses to stimuli. The statocyst is therefore useful for telling the animal whether it is upside down or not. An upside-down echinoderm is in danger since its belly is not protected by its spiny skin.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lutein

Lutein (from Latin luteus meaning "yellow") is one of over 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids. Found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, lutein is employed by organisms as an antioxidant and for blue light absorption. Lutein is present in the plant as fatty-acid ester, with one or two fatty acids bound to the two hydroxyl-groups. Saponification of lutein esters yields lutein in approximately a 1:2 molar ratio. Lutein is also found in egg yolks, animal fats and the corpus luteum.[2] Lutein is a lipophilic molecule and is generally insoluble in water. The presence of the long chromophore of conjugated double bonds (polyene chain) provides the distinctive light-absorbing properties. The polyene chain is susceptible to oxidative degradation by light or heat and is chemically unstable in acids.

Friday, March 20, 2009

haemostat

haemostat: A clamp used in surgery to close the severed end of a blood vessel to stop bleeding.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

despond

despond: To give up the will, courage, or spirit; to become dejected, lose heart.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

henotheism

henotheism: Belief in or worship of one deity without denying the existence of other deities.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Naileress

Naileress: A woman who makes nails.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Scholia

Scholia (singular, scholion; from Greek Greek: σχόλιον "comment", "lecture"), are grammatical, critical, or explanatory comments, either original or extracted from pre-existing commentaries, which are inserted on the margin of the manuscript of an ancient author, as glosses. One who writes scholia is a scholiast.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Otherkin

Otherkin are a subculture of people, primarily Internet-based, who identify in some way as other than human. Otherkin often believe themselves to be mythological or legendary creatures, explaining their beliefs through reincarnation, having a nonhuman soul, ancestry, or symbolic metaphor.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spongin

Spongin is a type of collagen protein that forms the fibrous skeleton of most organisms among the Phylum Porifera, the sponges.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Velocipede

Velocipede: Early two-wheeled conveyance upon which one rode astride a wooden frame propelled by means of pushing the feet against the ground. A precursor of the bicycle.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

exculpate

exculpate: To clear of or free from guilt; exonerate.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sinecure

A sinecure (from Latin sine, without, and cura, care) means an office which requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service. Sinecures have historically provided a potent tool for governments or monarchs to distribute patronage, while recipients are able to store up titles and easy salaries.

A sinecure is not necessarily a figurehead, which generally requires active participation in government, albeit with a lack of power. A sinecure, by contrast, has no real day-to-day responsibilities, but may have de jure power.

Monday, March 9, 2009

firth

A firth is a large fjord, estuary, inlet or strait

Sunday, March 8, 2009

bight

In geography, bight has two meanings.

A bight can be simply a bend or curve in any geographical feature—usually a bend or curve in the line between land and water.

Alternatively, the term can refer to a large (and often only slightly receding) bay. It is distinguished from a sound by being shallower. Traditionally explorers defined a bight as a bay that could be sailed out of on a single tack in a square-rigged sailing vessel, regardless of the direction of the wind (typically meaning the apex of the bight is less than 25 degrees from the edges).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

interpunct

An interpunct ( · ) is a small dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script, being perhaps the first consistent visual representation of word boundaries in written language. The dot is vertically centered, e.g. "DONA·EIS·REQVIEM", and is therefore also called a middle dot or centered dot.

Friday, March 6, 2009

mantle

The mantle (also known by the Latin word pallium, adjective pallial) is a significant part of the anatomy of molluscs: it is the dorsal body wall which covers the visceral mass.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chromaticity

Chromaticity is an objective specification of the quality of a color regardless of its luminance, that is, as determined by its colorfulness (or saturation, chroma, intensity, or excitation purity) and hue.[1][2]

In color science, the white point of an illuminant or of a display is a neutral reference characterized by a chromaticity; for example, the white point of an sRGB display is an x,y chromaticity of [0.3127,0.3290]. All other chromaticities may be defined in relation to this reference using polar coordinates. The hue is the angular component, and the purity is the radial component, normalized by the maximum radius for that hue.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

reader

In the academic hierarchy in the United Kingdom and some universities in Australia and New Zealand, reader is the rank between senior lecturer (or principal lecturer in the New Universities) and professor. The title of Reader is given in recognition of research and scholarship.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Co-occurrence

Co-occurrence can either mean concurrence / coincidence or, in a more specific sense, the above-chance frequent occurrence of two terms from a text corpus alongside each other in a certain order. Co-occurrence in this linguistic sense can be interpreted as an indicator of semantic proximity or an idiomatic expression. In contrast to collocation, co-occurrence assumes interdependency of the two terms.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yoctokatal

Yoctokatal: An SI unit of catalytic activity equal to 10−24 katals.