Friday, May 31, 2013

forlorn hope

A forlorn hope is a band of soldiers or other combatants chosen to take the leading part in a military operation, such as an assault on a defended position, where the risk of casualties is high. The term comes from the Dutch verloren hoop, literally "lost heap", and adapted as "lost troop". In present-day Dutch the only meaning is lost hope. The old Dutch word hoop (in its sense of heap in English) is not cognate with English hope: this is an example of false folk etymology.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


"Redshirt" is a term for a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced. The term originated with fans of Star Trek (1966–1969), from the red shirts worn by Starfleet security officers who frequently die during episodes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains, it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists of three areas: rock-craft, snow-craft and skiing, depending on whether the route chosen is over rock, snow or ice. All require experience, athletic ability, and technical knowledge to maintain safety. The UIAA or Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme is the world governing body in mountaineering and climbing, addressing issues like access, medical, mountain protection, safety, youth and ice climbing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Eurotrash is a derogatory term used in North America for Europeans, especially those perceived to be arrogant, affluent, and expatriates in the United States.

Monday, May 27, 2013


A cardioid (from the Greek καρδία "heart") is a plane curve traced by a point on the perimeter of a circle that is rolling around a fixed circle of the same radius. It is therefore a type of limaçon and can also be defined as an epicycloid having a single cusp. It is also a type of sinusoidal spiral, and an inverse curve of the parabola with the focus as the center of inversion.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Eurodance (also known as Dance and Hands Up in Europe) is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in the late 1980s or early 1990s primarily in Europe. It combines many elements from House, Techno, Hi-NRG and especially Italo-Disco. Starting in the early 1990s and continuing to the present day, Eurodance production continues to evolve with a more modernized style that incorporates elements from Trance and Techno music.

Eurodance music is heavily influenced by the utilization of rich melodic vocals, either exclusively by itself or inclusively with rapped verses. This, combined with cutting-edge synthesizer, strong bass rhythm and melodic hooks establishes the core foundation of Eurodance music.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Eurocommunism was a trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties to develop a theory and practice of social transformation that was more relevant in a Western European democracy and less aligned to the influence or control of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Degaussing is the process of decreasing or eliminating an unwanted magnetic field. It is named after Carl Friedrich Gauss, an early researcher in the field of magnetism. Due to magnetic hysteresis it is generally not possible to reduce a magnetic field completely to zero, so degaussing typically induces a very small "known" field referred to as bias.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


A Petoscope is an optoelectronic device for detecting small, distant objects such as flying aircraft. The design, as described in 1936 , consisted of an instrument with two parallel light paths. In each path was a collimating objective lens, a screen marked with many small, alternating opaque and transparent squares in a chequerboard pattern, and a second concentrating lens focused on a photocell. The two screens were inverted with respect to each other. This caused a small object in the instrument's field of view to produce differing signals in the two photocells, while a large object affected both light paths equally. The difference between the two signals was amplified and used to raise an alarm. At the beginning of World War II, the device was adapted for use in proximity fuses for bombs.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


A thyratron is a type of gas filled tube used as a high energy electrical switch and controlled rectifier. Triode, tetrode and pentode variations of the thyratron have been manufactured in the past, though most are of the triode design. Because of the gas fill, thyratrons can handle much greater currents than similar hard vacuum valves/tubes since the positive ions carry considerable current. Gases used include mercury vapor, xenon, neon, and (in special high-voltage applications or applications requiring very short switching times) hydrogen. Unlike a vacuum tube, a thyratron cannot be used to amplify signals linearly.

A solid-state device with similar operating characteristics is the silicon controlled rectifier (SCR).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


A breadboard (protoboard) is a construction base for a one-of-a-kind electronic circuit, a prototype. In modern times the term is commonly used to refer to a particular type of breadboard, the solderless breadboard (plugboard).

Because the solderless breadboard does not require soldering, it is reusable, and thus can be used for temporary prototypes and experimenting with circuit design more easily. Other, often historic, breadboard types don't have this property. This is also in contrast to stripboard (veroboard) and similar prototyping printed circuit boards, which are used to build more permanent soldered prototypes or one-offs, and cannot easily be reused. A variety of electronic systems may be prototyped by using breadboards, from small analog and digital circuits to complete central processing units (CPUs).

Monday, May 20, 2013


Wunderwaffe (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊndɐˌvafə]) is German for "wonder weapon" and was a term assigned during World War II by the German propaganda ministry to a few revolutionary "superweapons". Most of these weapons however remained more or less feasible prototypes, or reached the combat theatre too late, and in too insignificant numbers (if at all) to have a military effect. A derisive abbreviation of the term emerged: Wuwa, pronounced "voo-vah".

The V-weapons, which were developed earlier, and saw considerable deployment especially against Great Britain, trace back to the same pool of highly inventive armament concepts. Therefore, they are also included here.

Although the Wunderwaffen failed to meet their strategic objective of turning the tides of World War II in Nazi Germany's favor at a time when the war was already strategically lost, they represented designs and prototypes that were extremely advanced for their time.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


The term "Bigature" is Weta Workshop's nickname for a very large miniature model. They are used in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, with the largest of them measuring some 9 metres high. Extensive computer graphics techniques and computer controlled cameras were used to seamlessly mesh the Bigature photography with live actors and scenes. Weta also used Bigatures in Peter Jackson's King Kong.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (Latin: Agnus scythicus or Planta Tartarica Barometz) is a legendary zoophyte of central Asia, believed to grow sheep as its fruit. The sheep were connected to the plant by an umbilical cord and grazed the land around the plant. When all the plants were gone, both the plant and sheep died.

Although it owed its currency in medieval thought as a way of explaining the existence of cotton, underlying the myth is a real plant, Cibotium barometz, a fern of the genus Cibotium. It was known under various other names including the Scythian Lamb, and the Barometz. The 'lamb' is produced by removing the leaves from a short length of the fern's woolly rhizome. When the rhizome is inverted, it fancifully resembles a woolly lamb with the legs being formed by the severed petiole bases. The Tradescant Museum of Garden History has one under glass.

Friday, May 17, 2013


The word plenipotentiary (from the Latin, plenus + potens, full + power) has two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a person who has "full powers." In particular, the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent his government as a prerogative (e.g., ambassador). As an adjective, plenipotentiary refers to that which confers "full powers."

Thursday, May 16, 2013



  1. the total distance, in kilometres, travelled
  2. the number of kilometres travelled by a vehicle on a certain volume of fuel
  3. an allowance for travel expenses at a specified rate per kilometre

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Physeteroidea is a superfamily including just three living species of whale; the Sperm Whale, in the genus Physeter, and the Pygmy Sperm Whale and Dwarf Sperm Whale, in the genus Kogia. In the past these genera have sometimes been united in a single family, Physeteridae, with the two Kogia species in a subfamily (Kogiinae), however recent practice is to allocate the genus Kogia to its own family, Kogiidae, leaving Physeteridae as a monotypic (single extant species) family, although additional fossil representatives of both families are known (see "Evolution").

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group (herd), maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those. While the layperson uses the term "herding", most individuals involved in the process term it mustering, "working stock" or droving.

Some animals instinctively gather together as a herd. A group of animals fleeing a predator will demonstrate herd behavior for protection; while some predators, such as wolves and dogs have instinctive herding abilities derived from primitive hunting instincts. Instincts in herding dogs and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Dogs exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding and stock dog trials.[1] Sperm whales have also been observed teaming up to herd prey in a coordinated feeding behavior.

Monday, May 13, 2013


In set theory, a branch of mathematics, determinacy is the study of under what circumstances one or the other player of a game must have a winning strategy, and the consequences of the existence of such strategies.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Shechita (Hebrew:שְׁחִיטָה; also transliterated shechitah, shehitah, shehita) is the ritual slaughter of mammals and birds according to Jewish dietary laws. The act is performed by severing the trachea, oesophagus, carotid arteries and jugular veins using an extremely sharp blade ("chalef"), and allowing the blood to drain out.

The animal must be killed with respect and compassion by a shochet (ritual slaughterer), a religious Jew who is duly licensed and trained. The animal can be in a number of positions; when the animal is lying on its back, this is referred to as shechita munachat; in a standing position it is known as shechita me'umedet.

If the hindquarters of kosher mammals are to be eaten by Jews, they must be 'porged' - stripped of veins, chelev (caul fat and suet) and sinews in accordance with a strict procedure.[Because of the expense of porging and the skill required to properly separate out the forbidden parts, a large portion of the meat of kosher mammals slaughtered through shechita in the United States winds up on the non-kosher market.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideological stream that emerged as the mainstream tendency among the Communist parties in the 1920s as it was adopted as the ideological foundation of the Communist International during the era of Joseph Stalin's leadership of the USSR.

However, in various contexts, different (and sometimes opposing) political groups have used the term "Marxism–Leninism" to describe the ideology that they claimed to be upholding.

Friday, May 10, 2013


The unknot arises in the mathematical theory of knots. Intuitively, the unknot is a closed loop of rope without a knot in it. A knot theorist would describe the unknot as an image of any embedding that can be deformed, i.e. ambient-isotoped, to the standard unknot, i.e. the embedding of the circle as a geometrically round circle. The unknot is also called the trivial knot. An unknot is the identity element with respect to the knot sum operation.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Defensins are small cysteine-rich cationic proteins found in both vertebrates and invertebrates. They have also been reported in plants. They are active against bacteria, fungi and many enveloped and nonenveloped viruses. They consist of 18-45 amino acids including six (in vertebrates) to eight conserved cysteine residues. Cells of the immune system contain these peptides to assist in killing phagocytized bacteria, for example in neutrophil granulocytes and almost all epithelial cells. Most defensins function by binding to the microbial cell membrane, and, once embedded, forming pore-like membrane defects that allow efflux of essential ions and nutrients.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


A superorganism is an organism consisting of many organisms. This is usually meant to be a social unit of eusocial animals, where division of labour is highly specialised and where individuals are not able to survive by themselves for extended periods of time. Ants are the best-known example of such a superorganism, while the naked mole rat is a famous example of the eusocial mammal. The technical definition of a superorganism is "a collection of agents which can act in concert to produce phenomena governed by the collective," phenomena being any activity "the hive wants" such as ants collecting food or bees choosing a new nest site.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Moni was, after Imra, the second-most important god in the pre-Islamic pantheon of the Hindukush Kafir people. With his breath, Imra created Moni and Gish. Moni was believed to be a divine prophet, whom Imra selected to fulfill his behests. Nearly every Kafir village had a temple devoted to Moni.

Monday, May 6, 2013



One versed in the Saxon language.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


110 (one hundred [and] ten) is the natural number following 109 and preceding 111.

It is also known as "eleventy", a term made famous by linguist and author J. R. R. Tolkien (Bilbo Baggins celebrates his eleventy-first birthday at the beginning of The Lord of the Rings) and derived from the Old English hund endleofantig. When the word eleventy is used, it may indicate the exact number (110), or more commonly an indefinite large number such as gazillion.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Capsicum is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years by the people of the tropical Americas, and are now cultivated worldwide. Some of the members of Capsicum are used as spices, vegetables, and medicines. The fruit of Capsicum plants have a variety of names depending on place and type. They are commonly called chili pepper, red or green pepper, or sweet pepper in Britain, and typically just capsicum in Australia, New Zealand, and India. The large mild form is called bell pepper in the U.S. and Canada. They are called paprika in some other countries (although paprika can also refer to the powdered spice made from various capsicum fruit). The generic name is derived from the Greek word κάπτω (kapto), meaning "to bite" or "to swallow." The name "pepper" came into use because of their similar flavour to the condiment black pepper, Piper nigrum, although there is no botanical relationship with this plant, or with Sichuan pepper.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Broscience is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Hiragana (平仮名, ひらがな or ヒラガナ) is a Japanese syllabary, one basic component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana, kanji, and the Latin alphabet (rōmaji). Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems, in which each character represents one mora. Each kana is either a vowel such as "a" (); a consonant followed by a vowel such as "ka" (); or "n" (), a nasal sonorant which, depending on the context, sounds either like English m, n, or ng ([ŋ]), or like the nasal vowels of French.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Eurobarometer is a series of surveys regularly performed on behalf of the European Commission since 1973. It produces reports of public opinion of certain issues relating to the European Union across the member states. The Eurobarometer results are published by the Public Opinion Analysis Sector of the European Commission Directorate-General Communication.