Sunday, January 31, 2010

workhouse


A workhouse was a place where people who were unable to support themselves could go to live and work. The Oxford Dictionary's earliest reference to a workhouse dates to 1652 in Exeter.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Qualimetry

Qualimetry is a scientific theory of the quantitative determination of quality developed in the former USSR by G.G.Azgal'dov and currently used in development of Russian standards.

Friday, January 29, 2010

bandwagoning

In realist theories of international relations, bandwagoning refers to the act of weaker states joining a stronger power or coalition within balance of power politics. The term is opposed to balancing, and unlike balancing, is a relatively new term. Bandwagoning was coined by Quincy Wright in A Study of War (1942) and popularized by Kenneth Waltz in Theory of International Politics (1979).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Variation

Variation or Classical Variation (sometimes referred to as a Pas seul, meaning to Dance Alone) in ballet is a solo dance. As with an Aria in opera, which allows the singer to demonstrate his or her interpretive skills, the variation in ballet has the same function. Typically, variations in ballet have traditional choreography, with every dancer dancing the same steps.,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

thrust

In theater, a thrust stage (also known as a platform stage or open stage) is one that extends into the audience on three sides and is connected to the backstage area by its up stage end. A thrust has the benefit of greater intimacy between performers and the audience than a proscenium, while retaining the utility of a backstage area. Entrances onto a thrust are most readily made from backstage, although some theatres provide for performers to enter through the audience using vomitory entrances. An arena, exposed on all sides to the audience, is without a backstage and relies entirely on entrances in the auditorium or from under the stage.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Proscenium


A Proscenium theatre is a theatre space whose primary feature is a large archway (the proscenium arch) at or near the front of the stage, through which the audience views the play. The audience directly faces the stage, which is typically raised several feet above front row audience level. The main stage is the space behind the proscenium arch, often marked by a curtain which can be lowered or drawn closed. The space in front of the curtain is called the "apron". The areas obscured by the proscenium arch and any curtains serving the same purpose (often called legs or tormentors) are called the wings. Any space not viewable to the audiences is collectively referred to as offstage. Proscenium stages range in size from small enclosures to several stories tall.

Monday, January 25, 2010

diacritic


A diacritic (/daɪəˈkrɪtɪk/) (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign) is an ancillary glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Greek διακριτικός (diakritikós, "distinguishing"). Diacritic is both an adjective and a noun, whereas diacritical is only an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the grave and acute, but not the cedilla, are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conodonts

Conodonts are extinct chordates resembling eels, classified in the class Conodonta. For many years, they were known only from tooth-like microfossils now called conodont elements, found in isolation. The animal is also called conodontophora (conodont bearers) to avoid ambiguity.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stratigraphy

Stratigraphy, a branch of geology, studies rock layers and layering (stratification). It is primarily used in the study of sedimentary and layered volcanic rocks. Stratigraphy includes two related subfields: lithologic or lithostratigraphy and biologic stratigraphy or biostratigraphy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mungiki

Mungiki is a politico-religious group and a banned criminal organization in Kenya. The name means "A united people" or "multitude" in the Kikuyu language. The religion, which apparently originated in the late 1980s, is secretive and bears some similarity to mystery religions. Specifics of their origin and doctrines are unclear. What is clear is that they favor a return to indigenous African traditions and practices such as forced female genital cutting. They reject Westernisation and all things that they believe to be trappings of colonialism, including Christianity.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Puijila


Puijila darwini is an extinct species of pinniped from about 21 to 24 million years ago. Approximately a meter (three feet) in length, the animal possessed only minimal physical adaptations for swimming. Unlike modern pinnipeds, it did not have flippers and its overall form was otter-like, albeit more specialized; its skull and teeth are the features that most clearly indicate that it is a seal. It is considered to be the most primitive member of the seal family yet found. The genus name is an Inuktitut word for a young seal; the species name honours the English naturalist Charles Darwin. The one known specimen is a nearly complete fossilised skeleton. It is being housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Metallizing

Metallizing is the general name for the technique of coating metal on the surface of non-metallic objects. Because a non-metallic object tends to be a poor electrical conductor, the object's surface must be made conductive before plating can be performed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Widdershins

Widdershins (sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. The Oxford English Dictionary's entry cites the earliest uses of the word from 1513, where it was found in the phrase widdersyns start my hair, i.e my hair stood on end.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ṣalāt

Ṣalāt (Arabic: صلاة‎; pl. ṣalawāt) is the name given to the formal prayer of Islam. The prayer is one of the obligatory rites of the religion, to be performed five times a day by an obedient Muslim. Its supreme importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam and one of the ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Shi'a Islam.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

ekranoplan


An ekranoplan (Russian: экранопла́н, French: ecran screen + plan plane ) is a vehicle resembling an aircraft but which operates solely on the principle of ground effect (in Russian эффект экрана effekt ekrana - from which the name derived). Ground effect vehicles fly above any flat surface, with the height above ground dependent upon the size of the vehicle. Ekranoplan design was conceived by revolutionary Soviet engineer Rostislav Alexeev.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

yaw


The yaw angle is the angle between a vehicle's heading and a reference heading (normally true or magnetic North). One of the Tait-Bryan angles. In aeronautics, robotics and marine control, it is typically assigned the shorthand notation ψ.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Horologium

Horologium (pronounced /ˌhɒroʊˈlɒdʒiəm/ or /ˌhɒrəˈloʊdʒiəm/; genitive Horologii /ˌhɒrəˈlɒdʒiaɪ/) is a small and faint constellation in the southern sky (declination around −60 degrees). Its name is Latin for clock. It was created in the eighteenth century by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, who originally named it Horologium Oscillitorium after the pendulum clock to honour its inventor, Christiaan Huygens. The name has since been shortened to be less cumbersome.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

prevenient

prevenient

Coming before; preceding.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Protoconservativism

Protoconservativism: a term to describe pre-neoconservatism.

aurochs


aurochs:
  1. An extinct European mammal, Bos primigenius, the ancestor of domestic cattle.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gemology


Gemology or gemmology is the science, art and profession of identifying and evaluating gemstones. It is considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy. Some jewelers are academically trained gemologists and are qualified to identify and evaluate gems.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

bantustan

A bantustan, black African homeland or simply homeland, was territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South-West Africa (now Namibia), as part of the policy of apartheid. Ten bantustans were established in South Africa, and ten in neighbouring South-West Africa (then under South African administration), for the purpose of concentrating their members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating "autonomous" nation states for South Africa's different black ethnic groups.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin (INN) (pronounced /aɪsoʊtrɨˈtɪnoʊɨn/ or /ˌaɪsoʊtrɨˈtɪnoʊɨn/) is a medication used for the treatment of moderate to severe acne. It was first developed to be used as a chemotherapy medication for the treatment of brain cancer, pancreatic cancer and more. It is still used in the treatment of these cancers to this day because of its ability to kill cells off that divide too quickly. The effects of the medication are non-selective and highly widespread.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Embryogenesis

Embryogenesis (compound of the Greek: εμβρυο-γένεσις "embryo-genesis") is the process by which the embryo is formed and develops. It starts with the fertilization of the ovum, egg, which, after fertilization, is then called a zygote. The zygote undergoes rapid mitotic divisions, the formation of two exact genetic replicates of the original cell, with no significant growth (a process known as cleavage) and cellular differentiation, leading to development of an embryo.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

sunburn

A sunburn is a burn to living tissue such as skin produced by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly from the sun's rays. Usual mild symptoms in humans and animals are red or reddish skin that is hot to the touch, general fatigue, and mild dizziness. An excess of UV-radiation can be life-threatening in extreme cases. Exposure of the skin to lesser amounts of UV radiation will often produce a suntan.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Evapotranspiration


Evapotranspiration is a term used to describe the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the earth's land surface to atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and waterbodies. Transpiration accounts for the movement of water within a plant and the subsequent loss of water as vapor through stomata in its leaves. Evapotranspiration is an important part of the water cycle. An element (such as a tree) that contributes to evapotranspiration can be called an evapotranspirator.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Almshouse


Almshouses are charitable housing provided to enable people (typically elderly people who can no longer work to earn enough to pay rent) to live in a particular community. They are often targeted at the poor of a locality, at those from certain forms of previous employment, or their widows, and are generally maintained by a charity or the trustees of a bequest.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oakum


Oakum is a preparation of tarred fibre used in shipbuilding, for caulking or packing the joints of timbers in wooden vessels and the deck planking of iron and steel ships, as well as cast iron plumbing applications. Oakum was at one time made from old tarry ropes and cordage of vessels, and its picking and preparation has been a common penal occupation in prisons and workhouses. In modern times it is made from virgin hemp fibers. White oakum is made from untarred materials. The fibrous material used in oakum is most commonly a hemp or jute fiber impregnated with tar or a tarlike substance. This "tar" is not the tar used on streets and roofs, which is really asphalt, but rather pine tar, also called Stockholm tar, an amber-colored pitch made from the sap of certain pine trees.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Plethora

Plethora: An excessive amount or number; an abundance.

e.g. There were a plethora of icicles hanging from my nose when I made it in to work today.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

cryoprotectant

A cryoprotectant is a substance that is used to protect biological tissue from freezing damage (damage due to ice formation). Arctic and Antarctic insects, fish, amphibians and reptiles create cryoprotectants in their bodies to minimize freezing damage during cold winter periods. Insects most often use sugars as cryoprotectants. Arctic frogs use glucose, but Arctic salamanders create glycerol in their livers for use as cryoprotectant.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Vitrification


Vitrification is a process of converting a material into a glass-like amorphous solid that is free from any crystalline structure, either by the quick removal or addition of heat, or by mixing with an additive. Solidification of a vitreous solid occurs at the glass transition temperature (which is lower than melting temperature, Tm, due to supercooling).