Thursday, July 30, 2009


Upcycling is a component of sustainability in which waste materials are used to provide new products. It is generally a reinvestment in the environment. "Upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value." This process allows for the reduction of waste and virgin material use.

The term upcycling was coined by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, authors of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


A hakapik is a club, of Norwegian design, used for killing seals. The hakapik is a multipurpose hunting tool—a heavy wooden club, with a hammer head (used to crush a seal's skull), and a hook (used to drag away the carcass) on the end. In Norway, and possibly elsewhere, the hakapik is used only to kill seal cubs, while a rifle is used to kill mature individuals. The hakapik is also used to ensure that shot seals are actually dead.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Pericarditis is an inflammation (-itis) of the pericardium (the fibrous sac surrounding the heart).

Monday, July 27, 2009


Tokenism refers to a policy or practice of limited inclusion of members of a minority group, usually creating a false appearance of inclusive practices, intentional or not. Typical examples in real life and fiction include purposely including a member of a minority race (such as a black character in a mainly white cast, or vice versa) into a group. Classically, token characters have some reduced capacity compared to the other characters and may have bland or inoffensive personalities so as to not be accused of stereotyping negative traits. Alternatively, their differences may be overemphasized or made "exotic" and glamorous.

Tokenism can also be used in newspapers and other media. Newspapers will often only criticise a minority group by using a pundit from that minority group. An asian columnist arguing that immigration is too high, or a black pundit arguing that affirmative action is wrong could be considered a token minority.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Thermidor was the eleventh month in the French Republican Calendar. The month was named after the French word thermal which comes from the Greek word "Thermos" which means heat.

Thermidor was the second month of the summer quarter (mois d'été). It started July 19 or July 20. It ended August 17 or August 18. It follows the Messidor and precedes the Fructidor. During Year 2, it was sometimes called Fervidor.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


goniff - (Yiddish) a thief or dishonest person or scoundrel (often used as a general term of abuse)

Friday, July 24, 2009


Chemiluminescence is the emission of light with limited emission of heat (luminescence), as the result of a chemical reaction.

A standard example of chemiluminescence in the laboratory setting is found in the luminol test, where evidence of blood is taken when the sample glows upon contact with iron. When chemiluminescence takes place in living organisms, the phenomenon is called bioluminescence. A lightstick emits a form of light by chemiluminescence.

Chemiluminescence takes place in numerous living organisms, the American firefly being a widely studied case of bioluminescence.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


In aviation, the word autorotation is applied to operation of fixed-wing aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft. The word has significantly different meanings in each of these two applications.

In the operation of fixed-wing aircraft, autorotation is the name given to the manner in which an aircraft in a stall, or approaching the stall, displays a tendency to roll spontaneously to the right or left. A fixed-wing aircraft in a spin rolls continuously to the right or left, displaying the characteristic known as autorotation.[1][2]

In the operation of helicopters and autogyros, autorotation is the name given to the generation of lift by the main rotor even though no power is being provided to the rotor by an engine. Autogyros have an un-powered main rotor so they rely continuously on autorotation as their source of lift. Following an engine failure, a helicopter may be able to slow its descent before landing and land in a controlled manner, using autorotation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The Japanese word kanban is a common everyday term meaning "signboard" or "billboard" and utterly lacks the specialized meaning that this loanword has acquired in English.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A superscalar CPU architecture implements a form of parallelism called instruction-level parallelism within a single processor. It thereby allows faster CPU throughput than would otherwise be possible at the same clock rate. A superscalar processor executes more than one instruction during a clock cycle by simultaneously dispatching multiple instructions to redundant functional units on the processor. Each functional unit is not a separate CPU core but an execution resource within a single CPU such as an arithmetic logic unit, a bit shifter, or a multiplier.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Photolithography (also called optical lithography) is a process used in microfabrication to selectively remove parts of a thin film (or the bulk of a substrate). It uses light to transfer a geometric pattern from a photomask to a light-sensitive chemical (photoresist, or simply "resist") on the substrate. A series of chemical treatments then engraves the exposure pattern into the material underneath the photoresist. In a complex integrated circuit (for example, modern CMOS), a wafer will go through the photolithographic cycle up to 50 times.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


dialectician: One versed in dialectics.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Yoni is a Sanskrit word that means “womb, vulva, vagina, place of birth, source, origin.” The word also has a wider meaning in both profane and spiritual contexts, including "spring, fountain, place of rest, repository, receptacle, seat, abode, home, lair, nest, stable".It is also etymologically derived from the root yuj—like yoga and yogini—meaning, “to join, unite, fasten, or harness.”

Friday, July 17, 2009


Lethologica is a psychological disorder that inhibits an individual's ability to articulate his or her thoughts by temporarily forgetting key words, phrases or names in conversation.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Honorificabilitudinitatibus is the ablative plural of the medieval Latin word honorificabilitudinitas, which can be translated as "the state of being able to achieve honours". It is mentioned by the character Costard in Act V, Scene I of William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. As it appears only once in Shakespeare's works, it is a hapax legomenon in the Shakespeare canon. It is also the longest word in the English language featuring alternating consonants and vowels.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Noodling is a southern US practice of fishing for catfish using only bare hands. Many other names, such as catfisting, grabbling, graveling, hogging, dogging, gurgling, tickling and stumping, are used in different regions for the same activity. Noodling is currently legal in eleven states.

The term "noodling", although today used primarily towards the capture of flathead catfish, can and has been applied to all hand fishing methods, regardless of the method or species of fish sought. Noodling as a term has also been applied to various unconventional methods of fishing, such as any which do not use bait, rod & reel, speargun, etc., but this usage is much less common.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Neoteny, also called juvenilization, is the retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles (a kind of pedomorphosis), and is a subject studied in the field of developmental biology. In neoteny, the physiological (or somatic) development of an animal or organism is slowed or delayed (alternatively, seen as a dilation of biological time). Ultimately this process results in the retention, in the adults of a species, of juvenile physical characteristics well into maturity.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Phlegmatized is a term applied to an explosive that has had an agent added to stabilize or desensitize it. Sometimes this is desirable, to enable handling or to reduce the rate of combustion. Typical phlegmatizing agents include wax, paper, water, and paraffin. These agents are nearly always flammable themselves, or at least boil off easily. Normally, only explosives which may be cast are phlegmatized. Dynamite is a phlegmatized form of nitroglycerine.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


In mechanical horology, a remontoire, (from the French remonter, meaning 'to wind') is a small secondary source of power, a weight or spring, which runs the timekeeping mechanism and is itself periodically rewound by the timepiece's main power source, such as a mainspring. In precision clocks and watches it is often used to place the source of power closer to the escapement thereby increasing the accuracy by evening out variations in drive force caused by unevenness of the friction in the geartrain. In spring-driven precision clocks a gravity remontoire is often used to replace the uneven force delivered by the mainspring running down by the more constant force of gravity acting on a weight. In turret clocks it serves to separate the large forces needed to drive the hands from the modest forces needed to drive the escapement which keeps the pendulum swinging. A remontoir should not be confused with a maintaining power spring, which is used only to keep the timepiece going while it is being wound.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The gnomon is the part of a sundial that casts the shadow. Gnomon (γνώμων) is an ancient Greek word meaning "indicator", "one who discerns," or "that which reveals."

Friday, July 10, 2009


In mechanical watches and clocks, an escapement is a device which converts continuous rotational motion into an oscillating or back and forth motion. The term is also used in fisheries science to refer to that portion of the spawning stock surviving fishing pressures over a spawning cycle.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


A chronon is a proposed quantum of time, that is, a discrete and indivisible "unit" of time as part of a theory that proposes that time is not continuous. While time is a continuous quantity in standard quantum mechanics, many physicists have suggested that a discrete model of time might work, especially when considering the combination of quantum mechanics with general relativity to produce a theory of quantum gravity.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


In physics and astronomy, redshift occurs when electromagnetic radiation—usually visible light—emitted or reflected by an object is shifted towards the (less energetic) red end of the electromagnetic spectrum due to the Doppler effect. More generally, redshift is defined as an increase in the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation received by a detector compared with the wavelength emitted by the source. This increase in wavelength corresponds to a drop in the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation. Conversely, a decrease in wavelength is called blue shift.

Any increase in wavelength is called "redshift", even if it occurs in electromagnetic radiation of non-optical wavelengths, such as gamma rays, x-rays and ultraviolet. This nomenclature might be confusing since, at wavelengths longer than red (e.g., infrared, microwaves, and radio waves), redshifts shift the radiation away from the red wavelengths.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009



A slang word for the financial meltdown caused by the subprime mortgage crisis.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Anosognosia is a condition in which a person who suffers disability seems unaware of or denies the existence of his or her disability. This may include unawareness of quite dramatic impairments, such as blindness or paralysis. It was first named by neurologist Joseph Babinski in 1914, although relatively little has been discovered about the cause of the condition since its initial identification. The word comes from the Greek words "nosos" disease and "gnosis" knowledge.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Windward is the direction from which the wind is blowing at the time in question. The side of a ship which is towards the windward is the weather side. If the vessel is heeling under the pressure of the wind, this will be the "higher side"

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The reef, rectangular, wedge-tail, or Picasso triggerfish, also known by its Hawaiian name, humu­humu­nuku­nuku­āpuaʻa (also spelled Humuhumunukunukuapua'a or just humuhumu for short; meaning "triggerfish with a snout like a pig"), is one of several species of triggerfish. Classified as Rhinecanthus rectangulus, it is endemic to the salt water coasts of various central and south Pacific Ocean islands. It is often asserted that the Hawaiian name is one of the longest words in the Hawaiian Language and that "the name is longer than the fish."

Friday, July 3, 2009


cyanocobalamin, a vitamer of B12.

A vitamer of a particular vitamin is any of the chemical compounds which exhibit vitamin activity. Very commonly "vitamins" are not single compounds, but rather each vitamin, which is defined by its biological activity, not its structure, is actually represented by a number of substances, all of which show vitamin activity.[1] These substances are called vitamers.

Typically, the vitamin activity of multiple vitamers is due to the body's (limited) ability to convert one vitamer to another, or many vitamers to the same enzymatic cofactor(s), which is active in the body as the important form of the vitamin.

As part of the definition of vitamin the body cannot completely synthesize an optimal amount of vitamin activity from simple foodstuffs, without some minimal amount of a vitamer molecule as a basis.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


suboptimal: less than optimal

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


estivation: The act of passing through the summer