Wednesday, September 30, 2015


A viceroy is a regal official who runs a country, colony, or city province (or state) in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory may be called a viceroyalty. The adjective form is viceregal, less often viceroyal. A vicereine is a woman in a viceregal position, or a viceroy's wife.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

canary trap / Barium meal test

A canary trap is a method for exposing an information leak by giving different versions of a sensitive document to each of several suspects and seeing which version gets leaked.
The term was coined by Tom Clancy in his novel Patriot Games, although Clancy did not invent the technique. The actual method (usually referred to as a Barium meal test in espionage circles) has been used by intelligence agencies for many years. The fictional character Jack Ryan describes the technique he devised for identifying the sources of leaked classified documents:
Each summary paragraph has six different versions, and the mixture of those paragraphs is unique to each numbered copy of the paper. There are over a thousand possible permutations, but only ninety-six numbered copies of the actual document. The reason the summary paragraphs are so lurid is to entice a reporter to quote them verbatim in the public media. If he quotes something from two or three of those paragraphs, we know which copy he saw and, therefore, who leaked it.
A refinement of this technique uses a thesaurus program to shuffle through synonyms, thus making every copy of the document unique.

Patriot Games theatrical poster.jpg

Monday, September 28, 2015


The güiro is a Latin-American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a stick or tines along the notches to produce a ratchet-like sound.
The güiro is commonly used in Puerto Rican and other Latin-American music, and plays a key role in the typical rhythm section of important genres like cumbia and son. Playing the güiro usually requires both long and short sounds, made by scraping up and down in long or short strokes.
The güiro, like the maracas, is often played by a singer. Another type of güiro, commonly found in Brazil, is the reco-reco, is made of a cylindrical metal box that encases two or three steel springs. These are stretched over a lid, against which a metal stick is rubbed.
File:Modern fibreglass guiro.jpeg

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Allosauroidea is a superfamily or clade of theropod dinosaurs which contains four families — the Metriacanthosauridae, Allosauridae, Carcharodontosauridae, and Neovenatoridae. The oldest-known allosauroid, Shidaisaurus jinae, appeared in the early Middle Jurassic (probably Bajocian stage) of China. The last known definitive surviving members of the group died out around 93 million years ago in Asia (Shaochilong) and South America (Mapusaurus), though the megaraptorans, including the late-surviving Orkoraptor of the Late Cretaceous, (Maastrichtian stage), may belong to the group as well. Additional, but highly fragmentary, remains probably belonging to carcharodontosaurids have been found from the Campanian-Maastrichtian boundary (70 Ma ago) in Brazil. Allosauroids had long, narrow skulls, large orbits, three-fingered hands, and usually had "horns" or ornamental crests on their heads. The most famous and best understood allosauroid is the North American genus Allosaurus.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


badinage n

  1. Playful raillery; banter.

Friday, September 25, 2015


quisling n
  1. (pejorative) A traitor who collaborates with the enemy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


plutodemocracy n
  1. A deceptive pseudodemocracy government that is in fact a hopeless hypercapitalist plutocracy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


sororate n
  1. The custom of the marriage of a man to the sister of his wife, usually after the wife has died.
  2. A marriage according to this custom.

Monday, September 21, 2015


floordrobe n
  1. (humorous) Clothing strewn on the floor.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


oubliette n
  1. A dungeon only accessible by a trapdoor at the top.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


popliteal adj
  1. (anatomy) Of the area behind the knee.

Friday, September 18, 2015


oneironaut n
  1. A person who explores dream worlds, usually associated with lucid dreaming.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


sheeple n pl
  1. (derogatory slang) People who unquestioningly accept as true whatever their political leaders say or who adopt popular opinion as their own without scrutiny.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

fons honorum

fons honorum n
  1. A person who, by virtue of sovereignty, holds the exclusive right to create and confer legitimate titles of nobility and orders of chivalry.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


rowel (plural rowels)
  1. The small spiked wheel on the end of a spur.
    • 1819, The deep and sharp rowels with which Ivanhoe’s heels were now armed, began to make the worthy Prior repent of his courtesy — Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
    • 1936, The dry desert of my native land, her men grey and gaunt, their spines twisted, their feet shod with rowel and spur. — Henry Miller, Black Spring
    • 1973, The Lone Ranger will storm in at the head of a posse, rowels tearing blood from the stallion’s white hide, to find his young friend, innocent Dan, swinging from a tree limb by a broken neck. — Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
    • 1992, He nodded at the Americans. Buena suerte, he said. He put the long rowels of his spurs to the horse and they moved on. — Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
  2. A little flat ring or wheel on a horse's bit.  [quotations ▼]
  3. A roll of hair, silk, etc., passed through the flesh of a horse in the manner of a seton in human surgery.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Scuttling is the act of deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull.

Monument to the Scuttled Ships by Amandus Adamson, just off the promenade at Sevastopol.
This can be achieved in several ways—valves or hatches can be opened to the sea, or holes may be ripped into the hull with brute force or with explosives. Scuttling may be performed to dispose of an abandoned, old, or captured vessel; to prevent the vessel from becoming a navigation hazard; as an act of self-destruction to prevent the ship from being captured by an enemy force; as a blockship to restrict navigation through a channel or within a harbor; or to provide an artificial reef for divers and marine life.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Mechatronics is a design process that includes a combination of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering and computer engineering. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering, that is to say, it rejects splitting engineering into separate disciplines. Originally, mechatronics just included the combination of mechanics and electronics, hence the word is a combination of mechanics and electronics; however, as technical systems have become more and more complex the word has been "updated" during recent years to include more technical areas.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


In Freudian psychoanalysis, the word preconscious is applied to thoughts which are unconscious at the particular moment in question, but which are not repressed and are therefore available for recall and easily 'capable of becoming conscious' - a phrase attributed by Sigmund Freud to Joseph Breuer.

Friday, September 11, 2015


A microlife is a unit of risk representing half an hour change of life expectancy.
Introduced by David Spiegelhalter and Alejandro Leiva, microlives are intended as a simple way of communicating the impact of a lifestyle or environmental risk factor, based on the associated daily proportional effect on expected length of life. Similar to the micromort (one in a million probability of death) the microlife is intended for "rough but fair comparisons between the sizes of chronic risks". This is to avoid the biasing effects of describing risks in relative hazard ratios, converting them into somewhat tangible units. Similarly they bring long-term future risks into the here-and-now as a gain or loss of time.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


A micromort is a unit of risk measuring a one-in-a-million probability of death (from micro- and mortality). Micromorts can be used to measure riskiness of various day-to-day activities. A microprobability is a one-in-a million chance of some event; thus a micromort is the microprobability of death. The micromort concept was introduced by Ronald A. Howard who pioneered the modern practice of decision analysis.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

rhumb line

In navigation, a rhumb line (or loxodrome) is a line crossing all meridians of longitude at the same angle, i.e. a path derived from a defined initial bearing. That is, upon taking an initial bearing, one proceeds along the same bearing, without changing the direction as measured relative to true north.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


In computer programming, homoiconicity (from the Greek words homo meaning the same and icon meaning representation) is a property of some programming languages in which the program structure is similar to its syntax, and therefore the program's internal representation can be inferred by reading the text's layout. If a language has homoiconicity, it means that the language text has the same structure as its abstract syntax tree (i.e. the AST and the syntax are isomorphic).
In a homoiconic language the primary representation of programs is also a data structure in a primitive type of the language itself. This makes metaprogramming easier than in a language without this property, since code can be treated as data: reflection in the language (examining the program's entities at runtime) depends on a single, homogeneous structure, and it does not have to handle several different structures that would appear in a complex syntax. To put that another way, homoiconicity is where a program's source code is written as a basic data structure that the programming language knows how to access.
A typical, commonly cited example is the programming language Lisp, which was created to be easy for lists manipulation and where the structure is given by S-expressions that take the form of nested lists. Lisp programs are written in the form of lists; the result is that the program can access its own functions and procedures while running, and programmatically reprogram itself on the fly. Homoiconic languages typically include full support of syntactic macros allowing the programmer to express program transformations in a concise way.

Monday, September 7, 2015


Pregón, a Spanish word meaning announcement or street-seller's cry, has a particular meaning in both Cuban music as well as in Latin American music in general. It can be translated as a song based on a street-seller's cry or a streer-seller's song ("canto de los vendedores ambulantes").

Sunday, September 6, 2015


depone (third-person singular simple present depones, present participle deponing, simple past and past participle deponed)
  1. (intransitive, law) To testify, especially in the form of a deposition.
  2. (transitive, law) To take the deposition of; to depose.
  3. To lay, as a stake; to wager.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hudibras to this entry?)
  4. To lay down.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


anatopism (plural anatopisms)
  1. (rare) A thing that is out of its proper place; the geographic counterpart to anachronism.
    A war elephant described rampaging through Tenochtitlan in a novel about the Aztec Empire would be an anatopism.

Friday, September 4, 2015


Droving is the practice of moving livestock over large distances by walking them "on the hoof".
Droving stock to market, usually on foot and often with the aid of dogs, has a very long history in the Old World. The settlement of new land in Australia and North America led to drives of sheep and cattle over great distances by men on horseback, supported by wagons or packhorses. See Drover (Australian) and Cattle drives in the United States.


Thursday, September 3, 2015


The New Church (or Swedenborgianism) is the name for several historically related Christian denominations that developed as a new religious movement, informed by the writings of Swedish scientist and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Swedenborg claimed to have received a new revelation from Jesus Christ through continuous heavenly visions which he experienced over a period of at least twenty-five years. In his writings, he predicted that God would replace the traditional Christian Church, establishing a 'New Church', which would worship God in one person: Jesus Christ. The New Church doctrine is that each person must actively cooperate in repentance, reformation, and regeneration of one's life. The movement was founded on the belief that God explained the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures to Swedenborg as a means of revealing the truth of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Swedenborg claimed divine inspiration for his writings and followers believe that Swedenborg witnessed the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, along with the inauguration of the New Church.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Saudade (European Portuguese: [sɐwˈðaðɨ], Brazilian Portuguese: [sawˈdadi] or [sawˈdadʒi], Galician: [sawˈðaðe]; plural saudades) is a Portuguese and Galician word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or deeply melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return. A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
Saudade was once described as "the love that remains" after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.
In Portuguese, "Tenho saudades tuas" (European Portuguese) or "Tenho saudades de você" (Brazilian Portuguese), translates as "I have saudade of you" meaning "I miss you", but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have saudade of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.
In Brazil, the day of saudade is officially celebrated on January 30.

Saudade (1899), by Almeida Júnior

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges. The areas to show 'white' are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood (unlike wood engraving where the block is cut in the end-grain). The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas.

File:Durer Revelation Four Riders.jpg