Tuesday, March 31, 2015


doddle (plural doddles)

  1. A job, task or other activity that is simple or easy to complete.

Monday, March 30, 2015


A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis. A set of three gimbals, one mounted on the other with orthogonal pivot axes, may be used to allow an object mounted on the innermost gimbal to remain independent of the rotation of its support (cf. vertical in the first animation). For example: on a ship, the gyroscopes, shipboard compasses, stoves, and even drink holders, typically use gimbals to keep them upright with respect to the horizon despite the ship's pitching and rolling.

The gimbal suspension used for mounting compasses and the like is sometimes called a Cardan suspension after Italian mathematician and physician Gerolamo Cardano (1501–1576) who described it in detail. However, Cardano did not invent the gimbal, nor did he claim to. The device has been known since antiquity and may not have a single identifiable inventor.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


A callback, in terms of comedy, is a joke which refers to one previously told in the set. The second joke is often presented in a different context than the one which was used in the initial joke. Callbacks are usually used at or near the end of a set, as the aim is to create the biggest laugh at the end of a comic set. The main principle behind the callback is to make the audience feel a sense of familiarity with the subject matter, as well as with the comedian. It helps to create audience rapport. When the second joke is told, it induces a feeling similar to that of being told a personal or in-joke.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Derived from the words hydraulics and pneumatics, pneudraulics is the term used when discussing systems on military aircraft that use either or some combination of hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Sometimes, land tractors will have pneumatic tires and hydraulic shovels.

The science of fluids made of both gas and liquid.

Friday, March 27, 2015


A barostat is a device used to maintain constant pressure in a closed chamber. Their main principle is providing constant pressures in a balloon by means of a pneumatic pump. Barostats are frequently used in neurogastroenterology research, where they are used for measuring gut wall tension or sensory thresholds in the gut.

A specially designed instrument is needed in neurogastroenterology research since the gut wall has an outstanding capacity to expand and contract spontaneously and by reflex. When this occurs, a balloon placed anywhere in the gut has to be inflated or deflated very rapidly in order to maintain a constant pressure in this balloon.

Barostat-balloon systems have been used anywhere in the gut, including the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, and the rectum ampulla.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Pneumatics is a section of technology that deals with the study and application of pressurized gas to affect mechanical motion.

Pneumatic systems are extensively used in industry, where factories are commonly plumbed with compressed air or compressed inert gases. This is because a centrally located and electrically powered compressor that powers cylinders and other pneumatic devices through solenoid valves is often able to provide motive power in a cheaper, safer, more flexible, and more reliable way than a large number of electric motors and actuators.

Pneumatics also has applications in dentistry, construction, mining, and other areas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


anisotropic (comparative more anisotropic, superlative most anisotropic)

  1. (physics) Having properties that differ according to the direction of measurement; exhibiting anisotropy.
    The crystal has an anisotropic structure, as it is stronger along its length than laterally.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015



  1. (slang) an expression of surprise or amazement, often followed by "dude"
    Cowabunga, dude! Look at that crazy Godzilla!
While initially believing Cowabunga held its origins in the nonsense word "kawabonga", modern linguists now believe it originated from the ancient Native American exclamation Kwa Bungu Its more modern incarnation was invented by Edward Kean, writer of The Howdy Doody Show, a children's TV show that ran in the USA from 1947 until 1956. Chief Thunderthud, a character on the show, started every sentence with the nonsense word "kawabonga" or with the syllable "kawa". followed by ordinary English words. Other Indian characters of a different tribe, such as Chief Featherman or Princess Summerfall Winterspring, used "kawagoopa" similarly, as a greeting or to voice frustration or surprise. The comic character Chief Thunderchicken exclaimed "Kawa Chicken!" Chief Thunderthud was also occasionally heard to exclaim "Kowaraschi," to express extreme frustration, perhaps in reference to major league baseball player Vic Raschi, whose daughter occasionally appeared in the Peanut Gallery (studio audience).

Monday, March 23, 2015


Goalball is a team sport designed for blind athletes. It was devised by Hanz Lorenzen (Austria), and Sepp Reindle (Germany), in 1946 in an effort to help in the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans. The International Blind Sports Federation, responsible for fifteen sports for the blind and partially sighted in total, is the governing body for this sport.

The sport evolved into a competitive game over the next few decades and was a demonstration event at the 1976 Summer Paralympics in Toronto. The sport's first world championship was held in Austria in 1978 and goalball became a full part of the Paralympics from the 1980 Summer Paralympics in Arnhem onwards.

Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents' goal. Teams alternate throwing or rolling the ball from one end of the playing area to the other, and players remain in the area of their own goal in both defence and attack. Players must use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball. Games consist of two 12 minute halves (formerly 10 minute halves). Blindfolds allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Asphyxia or asphyxiation (from Greek α- "without" and σφύξις sphyxis, "heartbeat") is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from being unable to breathe normally. An example of asphyxia is choking. Asphyxia causes generalized hypoxia, which primarily affects the tissues and organs. There are many circumstances that can induce asphyxia, all of which are characterized by an inability of an individual to acquire sufficient oxygen through breathing for an extended period of time. These circumstances can include but are not limited to: the constriction or obstruction of airways, such as from asthma, laryngospasm, or simple blockage from the presence of foreign materials; from being in environments where oxygen is not readily accessible: such as underwater, or in a vacuum; environments where sufficiently oxygenated air is present, but cannot be adequately breathed due to air contamination such as excessive smoke. Asphyxia can cause coma or death.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Groove is the sense of propulsive rhythmic "feel" or sense of "swing" created by the interaction of the music played by a band's rhythm section (drums, electric bass or double bass, guitar, and keyboards). Ubiquitous in popular music, groove is a consideration in genres such as salsa, funk, rock, fusion, and soul. The word is often used to describe the aspect of certain music that makes one want to move, dance, or "groove".

Musicologists and other scholars began to analyze the concept of "groove" in the 1990s. They have argued that a "groove" is an "understanding of rhythmic patterning" or "feel" and "an intuitive sense" of "a cycle in motion" that emerges from "carefully aligned concurrent rhythmic patterns" that sets in motion dancing or foot-tapping on the part of listeners.

Friday, March 20, 2015


beseem (third-person singular simple present beseems, present participle beseeming, simple past and past participle beseemed)

  1. (archaic, transitive and intransitive) To appear, seem, look (with some qualifying word).
    This inn beseems well for a weary traveller.
  2. (archaic, transitive and intransitive) To be appropriate or creditable (without qualifying word).

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Belladonna, from the Italian expression "bella donna" meaning "beautiful lady"

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


A dowager is a widow who holds a title or property, or dower, derived from her deceased husband. As an adjective, "dowager" usually appears in association with monarchical and aristocratic titles.

In loose popular usage, dowager as a stand-alone noun may refer to any elderly widow, especially one who is wealthy or behaves with dignity.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Satī (Devanagari: सती, the feminine of sat "true"; also called suttee) was a religious funeral practice among some Indian communities in which a recently widowed woman would have immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. The practice had been banned several times, with the current ban dating to 1829 by the British.

The term is derived from the original name of the goddess Sati, also known as Dakshayani, who self-immolated because she was unable to bear her father Daksha's humiliation of her (living) husband Shiva. The term may also be used to refer to the widow herself. The term sati is now sometimes interpreted as "chaste woman."

Monday, March 16, 2015


Rangelands are vast natural landscapes in the form of grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, wetlands, and deserts. Types of rangelands include tallgrass and shortgrass prairies, desert grasslands and shrublands, woodlands, savannas, chaparrals, steppes, and tundras. Rangelands do not include barren desert, farmland, closed canopy forests, or land covered by solid rock, concrete and/or glaciers.

Rangelands are distinguished from pasture lands because they grow primarily native vegetation, rather than plants established by humans. Rangelands are also managed principally with extensive practices such as managed livestock grazing and prescribed fire rather than more intensive agricultural practices of seeding, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Moorland or moor is a type of habitat, in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, found in upland areas, characterised by low-growing vegetation on acidic soils and heavy fog. Moorland nowadays generally means uncultivated hill land (such as Dartmoor in South West England), but the Old English mōr also refers to low-lying wetlands (such as Sedgemoor, also SW England). It is closely related to heath although experts disagree on precisely what distinguishes the types of vegetation. Generally, moor refers to highland, high rainfall zones, whereas heath refers to lowland zones which are more likely to be the result of human activity.

Moorland habitats are most extensive in the neotropics and tropical Africa but also occur in northern and western Europe, Northern Australia, North America, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Most of the world's moorlands are very diverse ecosystems. In the extensive moorlands of the tropics biodiversity can be extremely high. Moorland also bears a relationship to tundra (where the subsoil is permafrost or permanently frozen soil), appearing as the tundra retreats and inhabiting the area between the permafrost and the natural tree zone. The boundary between tundra and moorland constantly shifts with climate change.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

cattle grid

A cattle grid (or stock grid) or cattle guard – also known as a vehicle pass, Texas gate, stock gap (in U.S. Southeast ) or, in New Zealand, a cattle stop – is a type of obstacle used to prevent livestock, such as sheep, cattle, pigs, horses, or mules from passing along a road or railway which penetrates the fencing surrounding an enclosed piece of land. It consists of a depression in the road covered by a transverse grid of bars or tubes, normally made of metal and firmly fixed to the ground on either side of the depression, such that the gaps between them are wide enough for animals' legs to pass through, but sufficiently narrow not to impede a wheeled vehicle or human foot. This provides an effective barrier to animals without impeding wheeled vehicles, as the animals are reluctant to set foot on the grates.

Friday, March 13, 2015


Macropods are marsupials belonging to the family Macropodidae, which includes kangaroos, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, pademelons, and several others. Macropods are native to Australia, New Guinea, and some nearby islands. Before European settlement of Australia, there were about 53 species of Macropods. Six species have since become extinct. Another 11 species have been greatly reduced in numbers. Other species (e.g. Simosthenurus, Propleopus, Macropus titan) became extinct after the Australian Aborigines arrived and before the Europeans arrived.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Autorotation is the state of flight where the main rotor system of a helicopter is being turned by the action of air moving up through the rotor rather than engine power driving the rotor, as with an autogyro. The term autorotation can be traced back to a period of early development in helicopters between 1915 and 1920 and refers to the rotors turning without the engine.

In normal, powered flight, air is drawn into the main rotor system from above and exhausted downward, but during autorotation, air moves up into the rotor system from below as the helicopter descends. Autorotation is permitted mechanically because of both a freewheeling unit, which allows the main rotor to continue turning even if the engine is not running, as well as curved main rotor blades such that when the collective pitch is fully down the inner part of the blade has negative pitch relative to the horizontal plane and can be spun up by the relative wind. It is the means by which a helicopter can be landed safely in the event of complete engine failure. Consequently all single-engine helicopters must demonstrate this capability in order to obtain a type certificate.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015


A saccade (/sɨˈkɑːd/ sə-KAHD) is a fast movement of an eye, head or other part of an animal's body or of a device. It can also be a fast shift in frequency of an emitted signal or other quick change. Saccades are quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction. Initiated cortically by the frontal eye fields (FEF), or subcortically by the superior colliculus, saccades serve as a mechanism for fixation, rapid eye movement and the fast phase of optokinetic nystagmus. The word appears to have been coined in the 1880s by French ophthalmologist Émile Javal, who used a mirror on one side of a page to observe eye movement in silent reading, and found that it involves a succession of discontinuous individual movements.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


handbarrow (plural handbarrows)

  1. frame, supported by poles, used for carrying things

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Broadly, any metalanguage is language or symbols used when language itself is being discussed or examined. In logic and linguistics, a metalanguage is a language used to make statements about statements in another language (the object language). Expressions in a metalanguage are often distinguished from those in an object language by the use of italics, quotation marks, or writing on a separate line.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Each hydrogen molecule (H2) consists of two hydrogen atoms linked by a covalent bond. If we neglect the small proportion of deuterium and tritium which may be present, each hydrogen atom consists of one proton and one electron. Each proton has an associated magnetic moment, which is associated with the proton's spin of 1/2. In the H2 molecule, the spins of the two hydrogen nuclei (protons) couple to form a triplet state known as orthohydrogen, and a singlet state known as parahydrogen.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Assortative mating

Assortative mating is a nonrandom mating pattern where individuals with similar genotypes and/or phenotypes mate with one another more frequently than what would be expected under a random mating pattern. For example, it is common for individuals of similar body size to mate with one another. Less commonly, in negative assortative mating, individuals with diverse traits mate more frequently than what would be expected in random mating. Both cases cause the frequency of certain genotypes to differ greatly from the frequencies predicted by the Hardy-Weinberg Principle, which states that allele and genotype frequencies should remain constant under a random mating system. Assortative mating does not change the frequency of individual alleles, but increases the proportion of homozygous individuals. By contrast, disassortative mating results in a greater number of heterozygotes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


graspable (comparative more graspable, superlative most graspable)

  1. Able to be grasped
  2. Able to be understood or comprehended; understandable

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


In the automotive field, a transaxle is a major mechanical component that combines the functionality of the transmission, the differential, and associated components of the driven axle into one integrated assembly.

Transaxles are near universal in all automobile configurations that have the engine placed at the same end of the car as the driven wheels: the front-engine, front-wheel drive layout, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout arrangements.

Monday, March 2, 2015


An indiction is any of the years in a 15-year cycle used to date medieval documents throughout Europe, both East and West. Each year of a cycle was numbered: first indiction, second indiction, etc. However, the cycles were not numbered, thus other information is needed to identify the specific year.

When the term began to be used, it referred only to the full cycle, and individual years were referred to as being Year 1 of the indiction, Year 2 of the indiction, etc. But usage changed, and it gradually became common to talk of the 1st indiction, the 2nd indiction, and so on.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Etos Kosmou

Etos Kosmou (Ancient Greek: Έτος Κόσμου) was an early Byzantine and Roman Christian chronology system of measuring time introduced by Panodorus of Alexandria, Hippolytus of Rome, Sulpicius Severus, Annianus of Alexandria, George Syncellus, and others. It means, "Year of the Universe."