Thursday, January 31, 2013


Jumping or leaping is a form of locomotion or movement in which an organism or non-living (e.g., robotic) mechanical system propels itself through the air along a ballistic trajectory. Jumping can be distinguished from running, galloping, and other gaits where the entire body is temporarily airborne by the relatively long duration of the aerial phase and high angle of initial launch.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


A haboob is a type of intense sandstorm commonly observed in arid regions throughout the world. They have been observed in the Sahara desert (typically Sudan), as well as across the Arabian Peninsula, throughout Kuwait, and in the most arid regions of Iraq. African haboobs result from the northward summer shift of the inter-tropical front into North Africa, bringing moisture from the Gulf of Guinea. Haboob winds in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Kuwait are frequently created by the collapse of a thunderstorm. The arid and semiarid regions of North America – in fact any dryland region – may experience haboobs. In the USA, they are frequently observed in the deserts of Arizona, including Yuma and Phoenix, as well as New Mexico and Texas.

During thunderstorm formation, winds move in a direction opposite to the storm's travel, and they will move from all directions into the thunderstorm. When the storm collapses and begins to release precipitation, wind directions reverse, gusting outward from the storm and generally gusting the strongest in the direction of the storm's travel.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Scunthorpe problem

The Scunthorpe problem occurs when a spam filter or search engine blocks e-mails or search results because their text contains a string of letters that are shared with an obscene word. While computers can easily identify strings of text within a document, broad blocking rules may result in false positives, causing innocent phrases to be blocked.

Monday, January 28, 2013


In Greek mythology, Calliope was the muse of epic poetry, daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and is now best known as Homer's muse, the inspiration for the Odyssey and the Iliad.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman religion. Vesta's presence was symbolized by the sacred fire that burned at her hearth and temples. Her closest Greek equivalent is Hestia.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Boda-boda is a bicycle taxi, originally in East Africa (from English border-border). The bicycle rider can also be called boda-boda. In Uganda it is often abbreviated as simply Boda.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Identity politics

Identity politics are political arguments that focus upon the self interest and perspectives of self-identified social interest groups and ways in which people's politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through race, class, religion, sexual orientation or traditional dominance. Not all members of any given group are necessarily involved in identity politics.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


allegation (plural allegations) An assertion, especially an accusation, not necessarily based on facts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


alligation (plural alligations)

  1. (obsolete) The act of tying together or attaching by some bond.
  2. (obsolete) The state of being attached.

Monday, January 21, 2013


A lepidopterist is a person who specialises in the study of Lepidoptera, members of an order encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies. The term also includes hobbyists who are not formal scholars, and, who catch, collect, study, or simply observe lepidopterans.

Sunday, January 20, 2013



one who studies beetles.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Chiflik, or chiftlik (Ottoman Turkish: Çiftlik), is a Turkish term for a system of land management in the Ottoman Empire. Before the chiflik system the Empire used a non-hereditary form of land management called the Timar System. Starting as the Empire began to collapse, powerful military officers started to claim land from the Sultan's holding allowing them to pass the land onto their sons thus creating the Chiflik system. This form of land management lasted from the sixteenth century to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1919.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Sütterlinschrift (Sütterlin script), or Sütterlin for short, is the last widely used form of the old German blackletter handwriting (Deutsche Kurrentschrift). In Germany, the old German cursive script developed in the 16th century replacing the Gothic handwriting at the same time that bookletters developed into the Fraktur typeface. Some people refer to all old German handwriting scripts as Sütterlin, although variants of the Kurrent script were in use centuries before graphic artist Ludwig Sütterlin (1865–1917) was born. Sütterlin was commissioned to create a modern handwriting script by the Prussian ministry for culture in 1911 and his handwriting scheme gradually replaced the older cursive scripts. The word Sütterlin is nowadays often used to refer to all varieties of Old German handwriting although this specific script was only taught in all German schools from 1935 to 1941.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


pecksniffian (comparative more pecksniffian, superlative most pecksniffian)

  1. Of or pertaining to Pecksniffery; unctuously hypocritical; sanctimonious

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Shin-kicking, also known as purring, is a combat sport that involves two contestants attempting to kick each other on the shin to force their opponent to the ground. It has been described as an English martial art. It originated in England in the early 17th-century, and was one of the most popular events at the Cotswold Olimpick Games until the games ended in the 1850s. It also became a popular pastime among Cornish miners. In the 19th-century the sport was also practised by English immigrants to the United States. It was included in the 1951 revival of the Cotswold Olimpick Games, and remains one of its most popular events, run as the World Shin-kicking Championships. The event now draws crowds of thousands of spectators.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

amicus curiae

An amicus curiae (also spelled amicus curiæ; plural amici curiae) is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it. The information provided may be a legal opinion in the form of a brief (which is called an amicus brief when offered by an amicus curiae), a testimony that has not been solicited by any of the parties, or a learned treatise on a matter that bears on the case. The decision on whether to admit the information lies at the discretion of the court. The phrase amicus curiae is legal Latin and literally means "friend of the court".

Monday, January 14, 2013


In electronics, crosstalk (XT) is any phenomenon by which a signal transmitted on one circuit or channel of a transmission system creates an undesired effect in another circuit or channel. Crosstalk is usually caused by undesired capacitive, inductive, or conductive coupling from one circuit, part of a circuit, or channel, to another.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


A facula (plural: faculae), Latin for "little torch", is literally a "bright spot." It is used in planetary nomenclature for naming certain surface features of planets and moons, and is also a type of surface phenomenon on the Sun.

Solar faculae are bright spots that form in the canyons between solar granules, short-lived convection cells several thousand kilometers across that constantly form and dissipate over timescales of several minutes. Faculae are produced by concentrations of magnetic field lines.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


cosmocrat (plural cosmocrats)

  1. Lord, master or ruler of the world; the prince of this world.
  2. An ultimate higher power; a deity, God or Satan; an all-powerful being.
  3. A prosperous business school graduate benefiting from globalization and living the global lifestyle.

Friday, January 11, 2013



A location frequently used for one's own masturbation, usually adorned with the fixtures for self stimulation such as pornography, and other turn-ons.

Thursday, January 10, 2013



one who studies penguins

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Atlantropa, also referred to as Panropa, was a gigantic engineering and colonization project devised by the German architect Herman Sörgel in the 1920s and promulgated by him until his death in 1952. Its central feature was a hydroelectric dam to be built across the Strait of Gibraltar, which would have provided enormous amounts of hydroelectricity and would have led to the lowering of the surface of the Mediterranean Sea by up to 200 metres, opening up large new lands for settlement, for example in a now almost totally drained Adriatic Sea.

Sörgel saw his scheme, projected to take over a century, as a peaceful European-wide alternative to the Lebensraum concepts which later became one of stated reasons for Nazi conquest of new territories. Atlantropa would provide land and food, employment, electric power, and most of all, a new vision for Europe and neighbouring Africa.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Ostsiedlung, literally "settlement in the east", also called German eastward expansion, was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans from modern day western and central Germany into less-populated regions and countries of eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia to Estonia, and eastwards into Transylvania. In part, Ostsiedlung followed the territorial expansion of the Holy Roman Empire and the Teutonic Order.


In the arts, vanitas is a type of symbolic work of art especially associated with still life painting in Flanders and the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, though also common in other places and periods. The Latin word means "vanity" and loosely translated corresponds to the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. Ecclesiastes 1:2 from the Bible is often quoted in conjunction with this term. The Vulgate (Latin translation of the Bible) renders the verse as Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas. The verse is translated as Vanity of vanities; all is vanity by the King James Version of the Bible. Vanity is used here in its older (especially pre-14th century) sense of "futility". Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless is the rendering by The New International Version of the Bible.

File:Mignon Vanitas (detail).JPG

Monday, January 7, 2013


Lebensraum (German for "habitat" or literally "living space") was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany. In Hitler's book Mein Kampf, he detailed his belief that the German people needed Lebensraum ("living space", i.e. land and raw materials), and that it should be found in the East. It was the stated policy of the Nazis to kill, deport, or enslave the Polish, Russian and other Slavic populations, whom they considered inferior, and to repopulate the land with Germanic peoples. The entire urban population was to be exterminated by starvation, thus creating an agricultural surplus to feed Germany and allowing their replacement by a German upper class.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


A porteur bicycle is a kind of cargo bicycle designed for carrying cargo loads on a platform rack attached to the fork. Porteur bicycles are similar to butcher's bikes, baker's bikes, low gravity bicycles and delibikes, but they include design differences which make them a distinct category. This is the simplest form of dedicated cargo bicycle and is or has been common over most of the world. The first porteurs were used by newspaper couriers of Paris, who would typically carry up to 50 kilograms of newspapers on the front rack. Other cargo, such as wine, was also distributed by such bicycles.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


An ionocraft or ion-propelled aircraft, commonly known as a lifter or hexalifter, is an electrohydrodynamic (EHD) device (utilizing an electrical phenomenon known as the Biefeld–Brown effect) to produce thrust in the air, without requiring any combustion or moving parts. The term "Ionocraft" dates back to the 1960s, an era in which EHD experiments were at their peak. In its basic form, it simply consists of two parallel conductive electrodes, one in the form of a fine wire and another which may be formed of either a wire grid, tubes or foil skirts with a smooth round surface. When such an arrangement is powered up by high voltage in the range of a few kilovolts, it produces thrust. The ionocraft forms part of the EHD thruster family, but is a special case in which the ionisation and accelerating stages are combined into a single stage.

The device is a popular science fair project for students. It is also popular among anti-gravity or so-called "electrogravitics" proponents, especially on the Internet, where it is commonly referred to as a lifter.

The term "lifter" is an accurate description because it is not an anti-gravity device, but produces lift in the same sense as a rocket from the reaction force from driving the ionized air downward. Much like a rocket or a jet engine, the force that an ionocraft generates is oriented consistently along its own axis, regardless of the surrounding gravitational field. Claims of the device working in a vacuum also have been disproved.

Ionocraft require many safety precautions due to the high voltage required for their operation, and also the risk of premature death from heart or lung disease due to the inhalation of their ionised air product, ozone. A large subculture has grown up around this simple EHD thrusting device and its physics are now known to a much better extent.

Friday, January 4, 2013


A terrella (meaning "little earth") is a small magnetised model ball representing the Earth, that is thought to have been invented by the English physician William Gilbert while investigating magnetism, and further developed 300 years later by the Norwegian scientist and explorer Kristian Birkeland, while investigating the aurora.

Terrellas had been used up until the late 20th century to attempt to simulate the Earth's magnetosphere, but have now been replaced by computer simulation.

Thursday, January 3, 2013



A solicitor of donations to charity, who conducts their business on the pavement. Pormanteau of "charity" and "mugger."

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Kefir (alternately kefīrs, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, búlgaros), purportedly from either the Arabic "keyf" (joy/pleasure) or the Turkic "köpür" ((milk) froth, foam), is a fermented milk drink that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep's milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed. Dairy-free alternatives, such as coconut milk kefir and soy milk kefir, are available.

Marco Polo mentions kefir in recounting his travels.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


daven (third-person singular simple present davens, present participle davening, simple past and past participle davened)

  1. (intransitive) to recite the Jewish liturgy; to pray