Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Parseltongue is the language of serpents (as well as other magical serpent-based creatures, like the Runespoor) and those who can converse with them. An individual who can speak Parseltongue is known as a Parselmouth. It is a very uncommon skill, and is typically hereditary. Nearly all known Parselmouths are descended from Salazar Slytherin with Harry Potter being the notable exception.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Megadeath (or megacorpse) is a term for one million deaths by nuclear explosion. It was coined in 1953 by RAND military strategist Herman Kahn and popularized in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War. In Kahn's view, alternate scenarios in which the United States of America suffers 10 megadeaths instead of 100 should be weighed as "tragic but distinguishable outcomes." Though the term was created in order to discuss the likely consequences of conducting nuclear war, such a large number of deaths could also be associated with other weapons of mass destruction.

Monday, April 28, 2014


A gynoid is anything which resembles or pertains to the female human form. It is also used in American English medical terminology as a shortening of the term Gynecoid (Gynaecoid in British English).

Gynoid has not gained popular usage to refer specifically to female robots as the term android is used almost universally to refer to robotic humanoids regardless of apparent gender. Android is perceived as implying a male-styled robot according to some cultural readings however.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


A Microcassette (often written generically as microcassette) is an audio storage medium introduced by Olympus in 1969. It uses the same width of magnetic tape as the Compact Cassette but in a much smaller container. By using thinner tape and half or a quarter the tape speed, microcassettes can offer comparable recording time to the compact cassette. The original standard microcassette, the MC60, gives 30 minutes recording per side at its standard speed of 2.4 cm/s, and double that duration at 1.2 cm/s; an MC90, giving 45 minutes per side @ 2.4 cm/s, is also available from a few manufacturers.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Glitter bombing

Glitter bombing is an emerging act of protest in the United States in which activists throw glitter on people at public events. Glitter bombers have frequently been motivated by their target's anti-gay beliefs. Glitter bombing is "technically assault and battery" according to Mark R. Vernazza, a legal associate at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, although Vernazza also states that without proof of intent to injure, prosecution is unlikely.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Pentaborane, also called pentaborane(9) to distinguish it from B5H11, is an inorganic compound with the formula B5H9. It is one of the most common boron hydride clusters, although it is a highly reactive compound. Because of its high reactivity toward oxygen, it was once evaluated as rocket or jet fuel. Like many of the smaller boron hydrides, pentaborane is colourless, diamagnetic and volatile.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


An inductor (or reactor or coil) is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy in a magnetic field. Any conductor has inductance although the conductor is typically wound in loops to reinforce the magnetic field.

Due to the time-varying magnetic field inside the coil, a voltage is induced, according to Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction, which by Lenz's law opposes the change in current that created it. Inductors are one of the basic components used in electronics where current and voltage change with time, due to the ability of inductors to delay and reshape alternating currents. Inductors called chokes are used as parts of filters in power supplies or can be used to block AC signals from passing through a circuit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Technogypsie (also Techno-Gypsie or Techno Gypsy) is a term for a modern day nomadic person who balances the arts and sciences in their lifestyle. According to Technogypsie artist Leaf McGowan, one of the Chief Executive Officers (CEO's) of, the term was created by Anthropologist Thomas Baurley in the early 1980s during his ethnographic studies of modern day nomadic peoples, especially those traveling with a "technology" job and "artistic" skill. Many of his case studies were attendees of the International Rainbow Gatherings, Burning Man festivals or sub-cultural events.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

False friend

False friends (French: faux amis) are pairs of words or phrases in two languages or dialects (or letters in two alphabets) that look or sound similar, but differ in meaning.

The term should be distinguished from "false cognates", which are similar words in different languages that appear to have a common historical linguistic origin (whatever their current meaning) but actually do not.

As well as complete false friends, use of loanwords often results in the use of a word in a restricted context, which may then develop new meanings not found in the original language.

Monday, April 21, 2014



the feeling of being alone in the woods.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


A technical pen is a specialized instrument used by an engineer, architect, or drafter to make lines of constant width for architectural, engineering, or technical drawings. It has been also generally called "rapidograph", although that particular name is officially a trademarked line of products made by German company Rotring, and by American manufacturer Chartpak, Inc. when they purchased the rights from Rotring to produce the pens in the USA under the Koh-I-Noor brand.

Most technical pens use ink cartridges which can be refilled or replaced.

Friday, April 18, 2014


A stylus (plural: styli or styluses) is a writing utensil, or a small tool for some other form of marking or shaping, for example in pottery. The word is also used for a computer accessory that is used to assist in navigating with resistive touchscreens. It usually refers to a narrow elongated staff, similar to a modern ballpoint pen. Many styli are heavily curved to be held more easily. Another widely-used writing tool is the stylus used by blind users in conjunction with the slate for punching out the dots in Braille.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


A supervolcano is a volcano capable of producing a volcanic eruption with an ejecta volume greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles). This is thousands of times larger than most historic volcanic eruptions. Supervolcanoes can occur when magma in the Earth rises into the crust from a hotspot but is unable to break through the crust. Pressure builds in a large and growing magma pool until the crust is unable to contain the pressure. They can also form at convergent plate boundaries (for example, Toba) and continental hotspot locations (for example, Yellowstone).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Io is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter and, with a diameter of 3,642 kilometres (2,263 mi), the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System. It was named after the mythological character of Io, a priestess of Hera who became one of the lovers of Zeus.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Allotropy or allotropism is the property of some chemical elements to exist in two or more different forms, known as allotropes of these elements. Allotropes are different structural modifications of an element; the atoms of the element are bonded together in a different manner.

Take carbon for example: 4 common allotropes of carbon are diamond (where the carbon atoms are bonded together in a tetrahedral lattice arrangement), graphite (where the carbon atoms are bonded together in sheets of a hexagonal lattice), graphene (single sheets of graphite), and fullerenes (where the carbon atoms are bonded together in spherical, tubular, or ellipsoidal formations).

The term allotropy is used for elements only, not for compounds. The more general term, used for any crystalline material, is polymorphism. Allotropy refers only to different forms of an element within the same phase (i.e. different solid, liquid or gas forms); the changes of state between solid, liquid and gas in themselves are not considered allotropy.

For some elements, allotropes have different molecular formulae which can persist in different phases – for example, two allotropes of oxygen (dioxygen, O2 and ozone, O3), can both exist in the solid, liquid and gaseous states. Conversely, some elements do not maintain distinct allotropes in different phases – for example phosphorus has numerous solid allotropes, which all revert to the same P4 form when melted to the liquid state.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Extemporaneous Speaking, also known as extemp, is a competitive event popular in United States high schools and colleges, in which students speak persuasively or informatively about current events and politics. In extemp, a speaker chooses a question out of 3 offered, then prepares for 30 minutes with the use of previously prepared articles from magazines, journals, newspapers, and articles from news Web sites, before speaking for 7 minutes on the topic. There are four speaking events: informative, persuasive, domestic, and foreign. However, some areas have only two events, being foreign policy and domestic policy, and some other areas have three, being Linkforeign policy, domestic policy, and economical.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Deadpan is a form of comic delivery in which humor is presented without a change in emotion or body language, usually speaking in a casual, monotone, solemn, blunt, disgusted or matter-of-fact voice and expressing an unflappably calm, archly insincere or artificially grave demeanor. This delivery is also called dry wit when the intent, but not the presentation, is humorous, oblique, sarcastic or apparently unintentional.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


In rhetoric, antimetabole is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed grammatical order (e.g., "I know what I like, and I like what I know"). It is similar to chiasmus although chiasmus does not use repetition of the same words or phrases.

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Friday, April 11, 2014


In rhetoric, antanaclasis (from the Greek: ἀντανάκλασις, antanáklasis, meaning "reflection") is the stylistic trope of repeating a single word, but with a different meaning each time. Antanaclasis is a common type of pun, and like other kinds of pun, it is often found in slogans.
  • "If you aren't fired (up) with enthusiasm, you will be fired, with enthusiasm." —Vince Lombardi
  • "Just because a record has a groove / Don't make it in the groove." — from the song Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Synchysis is an interlocked word order, in the form A-B-A-B; which often display change and difference. This poetry form was a favorite with Latin poets. They are often employed to demonstrate such change within the event in which they are situated; on occasion, there are synchyses within a poem which were not intended but happened to be written in such a way.

A synchysis may be opposed to chiasmus, which is in the form A-B-B-A.

A line of Latin verse in the form adjective A - adjective B - verb - noun A - noun B, with the verb in the center (or a corresponding chiastic line, again with the verb in the center), is known as a golden line. An example of this is aurea purpuream subnectit fibula vestem, "a golden clasp bound her purple cloak" (Virgil, Aeneid 4.139): the line translates word-by-word as "golden purple bound clasp cloak" (endings on the Latin words indicate their syntactical relationship, where in English word order would do the same job).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Telescreens are most prominently featured in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, although notably they have an earlier appearance in the 1936 Charlie Chaplin film Modern Times. They are television and security camera-like devices used by the ruling Party in Oceania to keep its subjects under constant surveillance, thus eliminating the chance of secret conspiracies against Oceania. All members of the Inner Party (upper-class) and Outer Party (middle-class) have telescreens, but the proles (lower-class) are not typically monitored as they are unimportant to the Party. In Smith's conversation with the shop keeper Charrington, it is mentioned that "Telescreens are too expensive" and Proles can't afford them (presumably, for Party Members purchasing them is obligatory, though this is not explicitly stated).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

transpositional pun

A transpositional pun is a complicated pun format with two aspects. It involves transposing the words in a well-known phrase or saying to get a daffynition-like clever redefinition of a well-known word unrelated to the original phrase. The redefinition is thus the first aspect, the transposition the second aspect.

As a result, transpositional puns are considered among the most difficult to create, and commonly the most challenging to comprehend, particularly for non-native speakers of the language in which they're given (most commonly English).

Monday, April 7, 2014


In traditional prescriptive grammar, a solecism is something perceived as a grammatical mistake or absurdity, or even a simply non-standard usage. The word was originally used by the Greeks for what they perceived as mistakes in their language. Ancient Athenians considered the dialect of the inhabitants of their colony Soli in Cilicia to be a corrupted form of their own pure Attic dialect, full of "solecisms" (Greek: σολοικισμοί, soloikismoí; Sing.: σολοικισμός, soloikismós).

Here are some examples of usages often regarded as solecisms in standard English:

  • "This is just between you and I" for "This is just between you and me" (hypercorrection to avoid the common "you and me" form in the predicate of copulative sentences, even though "me" is the standard pronoun for the object of a preposition)
  • "He ain't going nowhere" for "He isn't [or "he's not"] going anywhere" or "he is going nowhere" (dialectical usage; see "ain't") and double negative
  • "Whom shall I say is calling?" for "Who shall I say is calling?" (hypercorrection resulting from the perception that "whom" is a formal version of "who" or that the pronoun is functioning as an object when, in fact, it is a subject [One would say, "Shall I say he is calling?])
  • Irregardless for regardless (nonstandard usage from analogy with constructions like "irreverent," "irrespective," and "irrevocable," where the negative prefix "in-" changes to "ir-" but becomes redundant because of "-less")
  • "The woman, she is here" for "The woman is here" or "She is here" (nonstandard usage with the double subject "she")
  • "She can't hardly sleep" for "She can hardly sleep" (a double negative, as both "can't" and "hardly" have a negative meaning)
  • "The issue is, is his attitude" for "The issue is his attitude" (see double copula)
  • "Substituting A for B" when the intended meaning is "substituting B for A" or "replacing A with B", i.e. "removing A and putting B in its place."
  • "The reason being..." for "The reason is..."

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Paregoric, or camphorated tincture of opium, also known as tinctura opii camphorata, is a medication known for its antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic properties.

Paregoric is sometimes confused with Laudanum, because their chemical names are similar: Camphorated Tincture of Opium (Paregoric) vs. Tincture of Opium (Laudanum). However, Laudanum contains 10 milligrams of morphine per milliliter, 25 times more than Paregoric. Confusion between the two drugs has led to overdose and deaths in several patients. Thus the term "Paregoric" should be used instead of "Camphorated Opium Tincture," since the latter may be confused with Laudanum.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Beard is a slang term describing a person who is used, knowingly or unknowingly, as a date, romantic partner (Boyfriend or Girlfriend), or spouse either to conceal infidelity or to conceal one's sexual orientation. The term can be used in heterosexual and homosexual contexts, but with increasing acceptance of gay culture, references to beards are seen in mainstream television and movies as well as other entertainment.

Friday, April 4, 2014


A luthier is someone who makes or repairs lutes and other string instruments. In the United States, the term is used interchangeably with a term for the specialty of each maker, such as violinmaker, guitar maker, lute maker, etc. The word luthier comes from the French word luth, which means "lute".

The craft of making string instruments, or lutherie, is commonly divided into two main categories: makers of stringed instruments that are plucked or strummed and makers of stringed instruments that are bowed. Since bowed instruments require a bow, the second category includes a subtype known as a bow maker or archetier.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Ferropericlase or Magnesiowüstite is a magnesium/iron oxide ((Mg,Fe)O) that is interpreted to be one of the main constituents of the Earth's lower mantle together with a magnesium /iron silicate with a perovskite structure. Ferropericlase has been found as inclusions in a few natural diamonds. An unusually high iron content in one suite of diamonds has been associated with an origin from the lowermost mantle.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Prognathism (also known as Habsburg Jaw) is a term used to describe the positional relationship of the mandible and/or maxilla to the skeletal base where either of the jaws protrudes beyond a predetermined imaginary line in the coronal plane of the skull. In general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics this is assessed clinically or radiographically (cephalometrics). The word prognathism derives from Greek pro (forward) and gnathos (jaw). One or more types of prognathism may result in the common condition of malocclusion (including overbite), where an individual's top teeth do not align with the lower teeth.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


FOGBANK is a code name given to a material used in nuclear weapons such as the W76, W78 and W80.

FOGBANK's precise nature is classified; in the words of former Oak Ridge general manager Dennis Ruddy, "The material is classified. Its composition is classified. Its use in the weapon is classified, and the process itself is classified." Department of Energy Nuclear Explosive Safety documents simply describe it as a material "used in nuclear weapons and nuclear explosives" along with lithium hydride (LiH) and lithium deuteride (LiD), beryllium (Be), uranium hydride (UH3), and plutonium hydride. Many arms experts believe that FOGBANK is an aerogel material which acts as an interstage material in a nuclear warhead, i.e. a material designed to become a superheated plasma following the detonation of the weapon's fission stage, the plasma then triggering the fusion-stage detonation.