Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Opiliones (formerly Phalangida) are an order of arachnids commonly known as harvestmen. As of 2006, over 6,400 species of harvestmen have been discovered worldwide, although the real number of extant species may exceed 10,000. The order Opiliones can be divided into four suborders: Cyphophthalmi, Eupnoi, Dyspnoi and Laniatores. Well-preserved fossils have been found in the 400-million year old Rhynie cherts of Scotland, which look surprisingly modern, indicating that the basic structure of the harvestmen has not changed much since then. Phylogenetic position is disputed: their closest relatives may be the mites (Acari) or the Novogenuata (the Scorpiones, Pseudoscorpiones and Solifugae).

Friday, September 28, 2012


Eyeshine is a visible effect of the tapetum lucidum. When a light is shone into the eye of an animal having a tapetum lucidum, the pupil appears to glow. Eyeshine can be seen in many animals, in nature and in flash photographs. In low light, a hand-held flashlight is sufficient to produce eyeshine that is highly visible to humans (despite our inferior night vision); this technique, spotlighting, is used by naturalists and hunters to search for animals at night. Eyeshine occurs in a wide variety of colors including white, blue, green, yellow, pink and red. However, because eyeshine is a form of iridescence, the color varies slightly with the angle at which it is seen and the color of the source light.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


The clade Strepsirrhini (New Latin, from Greek strepsis, "a turning" and the stem of rhis, "nose") is one of the two suborders of primates. Madagascar's only primates (apart from humans) are strepsirrhines, and others can be found in southeast Asia and Africa. The scientist given credit for the name, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, named it for the retention of the rhinarium, a trait characterized as a wet nose, generally present in mammals. In his catalog of features attributed to the Strepsirrhini, he lists "Les narines terminales et sinueuses" (translated "sinuous, twisted or curly nostrils"). Strepsirrhines are often characterized by their wet nose, but the etymology of their group name refers to the sinuous openings of the rhinarium's nostrils.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

tapetum lucidum

The tapetum lucidum (Latin: "bright tapestry", plural tapeta lucida) is a layer of tissue in the eye of many vertebrate animals. It lies immediately behind or sometimes within the retina. It reflects visible light back through the retina, increasing the light available to the photoreceptors. This improves vision in low-light conditions, but can cause the perceived image to be blurry from the interference of the reflected light. The tapetum lucidum contributes to the superior night vision of some animals. Many of these animals are nocturnal, especially carnivores that hunt their prey at night, while others are deep sea animals. Although strepsirrhine primates have a tapetum lucidum, humans and other haplorhine primates do not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Buzkashi or Kok-boru or Oglak Tartis is a traditional Central Asian team sport played on horseback in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, northern Pakistan and Kazakhstan. The steppes' people were skilled riders who could grab a goat or calf from the ground while riding a horse at full gallop. The goal of a player is to grab the carcass of a headless goat or calf and then get it clear of the other players and pitch it across a goal line or into a target circle or vat.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Sialoendoscopy is a minimally invasive technique that allows for salivary gland surgery for the safe and effective treatment of sialadenitis and other conditions of the salivary glands. During sialoendoscopy a small camera is placed into the salivary glands through the salivary ducts that empty into the mouth. Sialoendoscopy is an efficient yet simple mode of treatment for major salivary gland obstructions, strictures and sialoliths (salivary stones). Depending on the obstruction, sialoendoscopy can be conducted under local anesthesia in an outpatient office or in the operating room under general anesthesia.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim, are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany. Thus, Ashkenazim or Ashkenazi Jews are literally "German Jews."

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Rugelach is a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin.

Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling. Some sources state that the rugelach and the French croissant share a common Viennese ancestor, crescent-shaped pastries commemorating the lifting of the Turkish siege in 1793 (this could be a reference to the Battle of Vienna in 1683). This appears to be an urban legend however, as both the rugelach and its supposed ancestor (the Kipfel or Kipferl) pre-date the Early Modern era, and the croissant in its modern form did not originate earlier than the 19th century (see viennoiserie).

An alternative form is constructed much like a strudel or nut roll, but unlike those, the rolled dough and filling is cut into slices before baking.

Friday, September 21, 2012


In topology, a clopen set (a portmanteau of closed-open set) in a topological space is a set which is both open and closed. That this is possible for a set is not as counter-intuitive as it might seem if the terms open and closed were taken by their colloquial meaning as antonyms; mathematically, they are not antonyms. A set is defined to be closed if its complement is open, which leaves the possibility of an open set whose complement is itself also open, making the first set both open and closed, and therefore clopen.



  1. quickly and critically discerning
  2. shrewd or crafty

Thursday, September 20, 2012


A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, "having learned much") is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable. Most ancient scientists were polymaths by today's standards.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Autodidacticism is self-education or self-directed learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is "learning on your own" or "by yourself", and an autodidact is a person who teaches him or herself something. The word "Autodidacticism" finds its origin in "Didacticism", an artistic philosophy of education.

Self-teaching and self-directed learning are contemplative, absorptive processes. Some autodidacts spend a great deal of time in libraries or on educational websites. A person may become an autodidact at nearly any point in his or her life. While some may have been educated in a conventional manner in a particular field, they may choose to educate themselves in other, often unrelated areas.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pigovian tax

A Pigovian tax (also spelled Pigouvian tax) is a tax levied on a market activity that generates negative externalities. The tax is intended to correct the market outcome. In the presence of negative externalities, the social cost of a market activity is not covered by the private cost of the activity. In such a case, the market outcome is not efficient and may lead to over-consumption of the product. A Pigovian tax equal to the negative externality is thought to correct the market outcome back to efficiency.

In the presence of positive externalities, i.e., public benefits from a market activity, the market tends to under-supply the product. Similar logic suggests the creation of Pigovian subsidies to increase the market activity.

Pigovian taxes are named after economist Arthur Pigou who also developed the concept of economic externalities. William Baumol was instrumental in framing Pigou's work in modern economics.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Common chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a bushy perennial herbaceous plant with blue, lavender, or occasionally white flowers. Various varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock. It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized.

Friday, September 14, 2012


A jobsworth is a person who uses their job description in a deliberately uncooperative way, or who seemingly delights in acting in an obstructive or unhelpful manner.

"Jobsworth" is a British colloquial word deriving from the phrase "I can't do that, it's more than my job's worth", meaning that taking the initiative by performing an action, and perhaps in the process breaking a rule, is beyond what the person feels their job description allows. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "A person in authority (esp. a minor official) who insists on adhering to rules and regulations or bureaucratic procedures even at the expense of common sense." Jonathon Green similarly defines "jobsworth" as "a minor factotum whose only status comes from enforcing otherwise petty regulations".

Thursday, September 13, 2012


A fascinator is a headpiece, a style of millinery. The word originally referred to a fine, lacy head covering akin to a shawl and made from wool or lace. The term had fallen almost into disuse by the 1970s.

In the early 21st century, the term has made a comeback, but the meaning has slightly changed; it is now used to describe a delicate, slightly-to-very frivolous head decoration worn almost exclusively by women. A fascinator may be worn instead of a hat to occasions where hats were traditionally worn—such as weddings—or as an evening accessory, when it may be called a cocktail hat. It is generally worn with fairly formal attire.

A substantial fascinator is a fascinator of some size or bulk. They have been mentioned in the press, due to Queen Elizabeth pronouncing new standards of dress required for entry to Royal Ascot.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012



pleasurable pride in anothers' achievement

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The pater familias, also written as paterfamilias (plural patres familias) was the head of a Roman family. The term is Latin for "father of the family" or the "owner of the family estate". The form is irregular and archaic in Latin, preserving the old genitive ending in -as (see Latin declension). The pater familias was always a Roman citizen.

Monday, September 10, 2012


A Turkish bath (Turkish: Hamam) is the Turkish variant of a steam bath, sauna or Russian Bath, distinguished by a focus on water, as opposed to ambient steam.

In Western Europe, the Turkish bath as a method of cleansing the body and relaxation was particularly popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna, but is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Octroi (O. Fr. octroyer, to grant, authorize; Lat. auctor) is a local tax collected on various articles brought into a district for consumption.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


A tajine or tagine (Berber: tajin) is a North African dish, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as Tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Hamstringing is a method of crippling a person so he or she cannot walk properly, by cutting the two large tendons at the back of the knees.


Anise is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. It is known for its flavor, which resembles liquorice, fennel and tarragon.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur and apéritif from France, typically containing 40–45% alcohol by volume, although alcohol-free varieties exist.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Phylactery may refer to:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


In modern fantasy fiction, a lich (sometimes spelled liche, cognate to German Leiche "corpse") is a type of undead creature. Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his intellect to his animated corpse and thereby achieve a form of immortality. Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous, their bodies desiccated or even completely skeletal. Liches are often depicted as holding power over hordes of lesser undead creatures, using them as their soldiers and servants, and thus are a threat both individually and as leaders of belligerent forces.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Wonderful Teacher" in the Punjabi language. "Wah" translates to "wonder" and "Guru", is a term denoting "teacher".

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Metalepsis (from Greek Μετάληψις) is a figure of speech in which one thing is referred to by something else which is only remotely associated with it. Often the association works through a different figure of speech, or through a chain of cause and effect. Often metalepsis refers to the combination of several figures of speech into an altogether new one. Those base figures of speech can be literary references, resulting in a sophisticated form of allusion.

A synonym for metalepsis is transumption, derived from the Latin transsumptio invented by Quintilian as an equivalent for the Greek.

"I've got to go catch the worm tomorrow."

  • "The early bird catches the worm" is a common maxim in English, advocating getting an early start on the day to achieve success. The subject, by referring to this maxim, is compared to the bird; tomorrow, the speaker will awaken early in order to achieve success.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Psittacism is speech or writing that appears mechanical or repetitive in the manner of a parrot. More generally it is a pejorative description of the use of words which appear to have been used without regard to their meaning.