Monday, June 30, 2014


The Banjara are a class of usually described as nomadic people from the Indian state of Rajasthan, North-West Gujarat, and Western Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Sindh province of pre-independence Pakistan. They claim to belong to the clan of Agnivanshi Rajputs, and are also known as Banjari, Pindari, Bangala, Banjori, Banjuri, Brinjari, Lamani, Lamadi, Lambani, Labhani, Lambara, Lavani, Lemadi, Lumadale, Labhani Muka, Goola, Gurmarti, Gormati, Kora, Sugali, Sukali, Tanda, Vanjari, Vanzara, and Wanji. Together with the Domba, they are sometimes called the "gypsies of India".

They are divided in two tribes, Maturia, and Labana.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Premastication or pre-chewing is the act of chewing food for the purpose of physically breaking it down in order to feed another that is incapable of masticating the food by themselves. This is often done by the mother or relatives of a baby to produce baby food capable of being consumed by the child through the weaning process. The chewed food in the form of a bolus is transferred from the mouth of one individual to another, either directly mouth-to-mouth, via utensils, hands, or further cooked or processed prior to feeding. Many modern societies have strong aversions toward premastication, which has been compared to the aversion towards breastfeeding in the same societies during previous generations.

Premastication and mouth-to-mouth feeding in humans is postulated to have evolved from the regurgitation of food from parent to offspring or male to female (courtship feeding) and has been been observed in numerous mammals and animals of other species.

In many human cultures, the act of premastication and direct mouth-to-mouth feeding is linked with the showing of affection, known as kiss feeding. This form of feeding is believed to have evolved into the modern human acts of kissing and french kissing.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


A sphygmomanometer or blood pressure meter (also referred to as a sphygmometer) is a device used to measure blood pressure, composed of an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow, and Linka mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure. It is always used in conjunction with a means to determine at what pressure blood flow is just starting, and at what pressure it is unimpeded. Manual sphygmomanometers are used in conjunction with a stethoscope.

The word comes from the Greek sphygmós (pulse), plus the scientific term manometer (pressure meter). The device was invented by Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch in 1881 Scipione Riva-Rocci introduced a more easily used version in 1896. In 1901, Harvey Cushing modernized the device and popularized it within the medical community.

A sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring unit (the mercury manometer, or aneroid gauge), and inflation bulb and valve, for manual instruments.

Friday, June 27, 2014


The avunculate (sometimes called avunculism or avuncularism) is a feature of some societies whereby men have a special role in relation to their sisters' children.

The term "avunculate" comes from the Latin word avunculus, which is a kinship term used to describe the brother of the mother, in opposition to the brother of the father, the patruus. In the societies where maternal filiation is strongly represented, the role of a father could be taken over by a maternal uncle, who would become a "social father" of his sister's children.

The 1989 Oxford English Dictionary defines 'avunculate' as follows:

"Avunculate. The special relationship existing in some societies between a maternal uncle and his sister's son; maternal uncles regarded as a collective body. 1920 R. H. LOWIE Prim. Soc. v. 81 Ethnologists describe under the heading of avunculate the customs regulating in an altogether special way the relations of a nephew to his maternal uncle. Ibid. vii. 171 The Omaha are patrilineal now, but their having the avunculate proves that they once traced descent through the mother, for on no other hypothesis can such a usage be explained. .. "

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Good hair

Good hair is a colloquial phrase used within the African American community to generally describe African American hair (or the hair texture belonging to those of other ethnicities who fit the same description) that most closely resembles the hair of non-blacks (straight or curly), especially those images of hair popularly presented in hegemonic society.

Its usage has such a potent history within the African American community that Chris Rock created a documentary entitled Good Hair, which made a wider audience more aware of the importance of the term within the black community. Its circulation within the U.S. Black community has an unspecified origin, predating Rock's documentary. Depending on the context, good hair can connote and evoke both communal laughter and pain. Therefore, the phrase requires a more nuanced explanation for its complicated usages.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Quipus (or khipus), sometimes called talking knots, were recording devices historically used in the region of Andean South America. A quipu usually consisted of colored, spun, and plied thread or strings from llama or alpaca hair. It could also be made of cotton cords. The cords contained numeric and other values encoded by knots in a base ten positional system. Quipus might have just a few or up to 2,000 cords.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Cuipo (pronounced “kwee-po”) is a very distinctive tree that is easy to spot and is located primarily in the Central American tropical rainforests in mountainous areas. Its height ranges from 45 to 60 meters. It has leaves only at the top and is bare 11 months out of the year. It has rings on its bark that extend to the top to make is easily recognizable. Its bark is reddish or gray in color. Its roots are lightreddish-brown or yellowish-brown. The endangered national bird of Panama, the great Harpy Eagle usually builds its nest at the top of the Cuipo tree.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wicked problem

"Wicked problem" is a phrase originally used in social planning to describe a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems.

C. West Churchman introduced the concept of wicked problems in a "Guest Editorial" of Management Science (Vol. 14, No. 4, December 1967) by referring to "a recent seminar" by Professor Horst Rittel, and discussing the moral responsibility of Operations Research "to inform the manager in what respect our 'solutions' have failed to tame his wicked problems". Horst Rittel and Melvin M. Webber formally described the concept of wicked problems in a 1973 treatise, contrasting "wicked" problems with relatively "tame," soluble problems in mathematics, chess, or puzzle solving.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


obdurate (comparative more obdurate, superlative most obdurate)

Stubbornly persistent, generally in wrongdoing; refusing to reform or repent.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Bacn (pronounced like bacon), is email that has been subscribed to and is therefore not unsolicited, but is often not read by the recipient for a long period of time, if at all. Bacn has been described as "email you want but not right now."

Bacn differs from spam in that the recipient has signed up to receive it. Bacn is also not necessarily sent in bulk. Some examples of common bacn messages are news alerts, periodic messages from e-merchants from whom one has made previous purchases, messages from social networking sites, and wiki watch lists.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Payload fairing

Payload fairing is one of the main components of a launch vehicle. The fairing protects the payload during the ascent against the impact of the atmosphere (aerodynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating). More recently, an additional function is to maintain the cleanroom environment for precision instruments.

Outside the atmosphere the fairing is jettisoned, exposing the payload. At this moment mechanical shocks and a spike in acceleration might be observed.

Thursday, June 19, 2014



  • reading or having read everything
  • characterized by encyclopedic reading

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Stripboard is a widely-used type of electronics prototyping board characterized by a 0.1 inch (2.54 mm) regular (rectangular) grid of holes, with wide parallel strips of copper cladding running in one direction all the way across one side of the board. It is usually known by the name Veroboard, which is a trademark, in the UK, of British company Vero Technologies Ltd, & Pixel Print LTD Canada. In using the board, breaks are made in the tracks, usually around holes, to divide the strips into multiple electrical nodes. With care, it is possible to break between holes to allow for components that have two pin rows only one position apart such as twin row headers for IDCs.

Monday, June 16, 2014


"Kumbaya" or "Kumbayah" (Gullah, "Come By Here" — "Kum ba yah") — is an African-American spiritual song from the 1930s. It enjoyed newfound popularity during the folk revival of the 1960s and became a standard campfire song in Scouting and nature-oriented organizations.

The song was originally associated with human and spiritual unity, closeness and compassion, and it still is, but more recently it is also cited or alluded to in satirical or cynical ways which suggest false moralizing, hypocrisy, or naively optimistic views of the world and human nature.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


A pantograph (from Greek roots παντ- 'all, every' and γραφ- 'to write', from their original use for copying writing) is a mechanical linkage connected in a manner based on parallelograms so that the movement of one pen, in tracing an image, produces identical movements in a second pen. If a line drawing is traced by the first point, an identical, enlarged, or miniaturized copy will be drawn by a pen fixed to the other.

Because of their effectiveness at translating motion in a controlled fashion, pantographs have come to be used as a type of motion guide for objects large and small. A common example of the use of a pantograph assembly as mechanical guide frame is the extension arm of an adjustable wall-mounted mirror.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe. Stylistically, Mannerism encompasses a variety of approaches influenced by, and reacting to, the harmonious ideals and restrained naturalism associated with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and early Michelangelo. Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities.

The definition of Mannerism, and the phases within it, continues to be the subject of debate among art historians. For example, some scholars have applied the label to certain early modern forms of literature (especially poetry) and music of the 16th and 17th centuries. The term is also used to refer to some Late Gothic painters working in northern Europe from about 1500 to 1530, especially the Antwerp Mannerists—a group unrelated to the Italian movement. Mannerism also has been applied by analogy to the Silver Age of Latin.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Golden Legend

The Golden Legend (Latin: Legenda aurea or Legenda sanctorum) is a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine that became a late medieval bestseller. More than a thousand manuscripts of the text have survived, compared to twenty or so of its nearest rivals. It was likely compiled around the year 1260, although the text was added to over the centuries.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


The stag-moose or stag moose (Cervalces scotti) was a large, moose-like deer of North America of the Pleistocene epoch. It was slightly larger than the moose, with an elk-like head, long legs, and complex, palmate antlers. The species went extinct approximately 11,500 years ago, toward the end of the most recent ice age, as part of a mass extinction of large North American mammals.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


The Harmattan is a dry and dusty West African trade wind. It blows south from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter). The temperatures can be as low as 3 degrees Celsius. The name comes from or is related to an Akan cognate.

On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles (between 0.5 and 10 micrometres).

In some countries in West Africa, the heavy amount of dust in the air can severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days, comparable to a heavy fog. The effect caused by the dust and sand stirred by these winds is known as the Harmattan haze, which costs airlines millions of dollars in cancelled and diverted flights each year, and risks public health by increasing meningitis cases. The interaction of the Harmattan with monsoon winds can cause tornadoes. Humidity drops to as low as 15 percent and can result in spontaneous nosebleeds for some. The wind can cause severe crop damage.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


débrouillard m (plural débrouillards)

  1. resourceful person, hustler

Monday, June 9, 2014

premature antifascist

premature antifascist (plural premature antifascists)

  1. (US, often pejorative) One who opposed fascism at a time when the United States government was still on relatively friendly terms with fascist Italy and (to a lesser extent) Nazi Germany, especially a supporter of the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Gemology or gemmology is the science dealing with natural and artificial gems and 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.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) are laws that attempt to regulate habits of consumption. Black's Law Dictionary defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter of apparel, food, furniture, etc." Traditionally, they were laws that regulated and reinforced social hierarchies and morals through restrictions on clothing, food, and luxury expenditures. In most times and places, they were ineffectual.

Throughout history, societies have used sumptuary laws for a variety of purposes. They attempted to regulate the balance of trade by limiting the market for expensive imported goods. They were also an easy way to identify social rank and privilege and often were used for social discrimination.

This frequently meant preventing commoners from imitating the appearance of aristocrats and sometimes also to stigmatize disfavored groups. In the Late Middle Ages, sumptuary laws were instituted as a way for the nobility to cap the conspicuous consumption of the prosperous bourgeoisie of medieval cities, and they continued to be used for these purposes well into the 17th century.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


The surviving victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are called hibakusha (被爆者), a Japanese word that literally translates to "explosion-affected people". Many victims were Japanese who still live in Japan, but several thousand, Japanese and non-Japanese, live abroad in Korea, the United States, Brazil and elsewhere.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


A blazar (blazing quasi-stellar object) is a very compact quasar (quasi-stellar object) associated with a presumed supermassive black hole at the center of an active, giant elliptical galaxy. Blazars are among the most energetic phenomena in the universe and are an important topic in extragalactic astronomy.

Blazars are members of a larger group of active galaxies that host active galactic nuclei (AGN). A few rare objects may be "intermediate blazars" that appear to have a mixture of properties from both optically violent variable (OVV) quasars and BL Lac objects. The name "blazar" was originally coined in 1978 by astronomer Edward Spiegel to denote the combination of these two classes.

Blazars are AGN with a relativistic jet that is pointing in the general direction of the Earth. We observe "down" the jet, or nearly so, and this accounts for the rapid variability and compact features of both types of blazars. Many blazars have apparent superluminal features within the first few parsecs of their jets, probably due to relativistic shock fronts.

The generally accepted picture is that OVV quasars are intrinsically powerful radio galaxies while BL Lac objects are intrinsically weak radio galaxies. In both cases the host galaxies are giant ellipticals.

Alternative models, for example, gravitational microlensing, may account for a few observations of some blazars which are not consistent with the general properties.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


uxorious (comparative more uxorious, superlative most uxorious)

Overly devoted or submissive to one's wife.

Monday, June 2, 2014


Motherland may refer to a mother country, i.e. the place of one's birth, the place of origin of an ethnic group or immigrant, or a Metropole in contrast to its colonies. People from Australia and former British colonies would sometimes describe the United Kingdom as the "Mother Country", often carrying a strong British Imperialist connotation, and not always in a flattering manner.

Russians commonly refer to Mother Russia as a personification of their nation. Many Russians around the world refer to Russia as their motherland.

The French commonly refer to "la mère Patrie" as France and are ready to die for her; the Hispanic Americans, too, commonly refer to "la Madre Patria" as Spain, but currently without any ideological meaning.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


The Aalenian is a subdivision of the Middle Jurassic epoch/series of the geologic timescale that extends from about 175.6 Ma to about 171.6 Ma (million years ago). It was preceded by the Toarcian and succeeded by the Bajocian.