Saturday, December 31, 2011

anemometer


An anemometer is a device for measuring wind speed, and is a common weather station instrument. The term is derived from the Greek word anemos, meaning wind. The first known description of an anemometer was given by Leon Battista Alberti around 1450.

Anemometers can be divided into two classes: those that measure the wind's speed, and those that measure the wind's pressure; but as there is a close connection between the pressure and the speed, an anemometer designed for one will give information about both.

Friday, December 30, 2011

machan

A bird hide (or hide) is a shelter, often camouflaged, that is used to observe wildlife, especially birds, at close quarters. Although hides were once built chiefly as a hunting aids, they are now commonly found in parks and wetlands for the use of bird watchers, ornithologists and other observers who do not want to disturb wildlife as it is being observed.

A typical bird hide resembles a garden shed, with small openings, shutters, or windows built into at least one side to enable observation.

Variant types of bird hide include:

  • the tower hide, which has multiple storeys and allows observations over large areas
  • the bird blind, which is a screen similar to one wall of a typical hide, with or without a roof for shelter
  • the machan, a covered platform erected to observe birds and wildlife in high trees or on cliffs, particularly in India where it was originally used by tiger-hunters.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

balaclava


A balaclava, also known as a balaclava helmet or ski mask, is a form of headgear that covers the whole head, exposing only part of the face. Often only the eyes or eyes and mouth are left exposed. The name "balaclava" comes from the town of Balaklava, near Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine. During the Crimean War, knitted balaclavas were sent over to the British troops to help protect them from the bitter cold weather. However, according to Richard Rutt, the name 'balaclava helmet' did not first appear in print during the Crimean War, but only much later, in 1881. This type of headgear was also known in the 19th century as an Uhlan cap or a Templar cap. In modern American English,when made for those serving in the armed forces, they are usually known as 'helmet liners'. They are traditionally knitted from wool, and can be rolled up into a hat to cover just the crown of the head.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

lintel


Post and lintel (or Post and beam) is a simple architrave where a horizontal member (the lintel—or header) is supported by two vertical posts at either end. This form is commonly used to support the weight of the structure located above the openings in a bearing wall created by windows and doors.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Presque-isle


Presque-isle (from the French presqu'île, meaning almost an island) is a geographical term denoting a piece of land which is closer to being an island than most peninsulas because of its being joined to the mainland by an extremely narrow neck of land.

Monday, December 26, 2011

wing box

The wing box of an airplane is the structural component from which the wings extend. The section of the fuselage between the wing roots. This is the strongest structural area of the aircraft, and suffers the most frequent shear stresses. Modern (post 1955) aircraft often locate the main landing gear near the wing roots to take advantage of the structural strength they afford.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Yuletide

Yule or Yuletide ("Yule-time") is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic people as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January on a date determined by the lunar Germanic calendar. The festival was placed on December 25 when the Christian calendar (Julian calendar) was adopted. Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

canard

In aeronautics, canard (French for duck) is an airframe configuration of fixed-wing aircraft in which the forward surface is smaller than the rearward, the former being known as the "canard", while the latter is the main wing. In contrast a conventional aircraft has a small horizontal stabilizer behind the main wing.[1][2][3]

Some early fixed-wing aircraft such as the Brazilian Santos-Dumont 14-bis and French Canard Voisin had tail-first configuration which were seen by observers to resemble a flying duck — hence the name.

Friday, December 23, 2011

amphibrach


An amphibrach is a metrical foot used in Latin and Greek prosody. It consists of a long syllable between two short syllables. The word comes from the Greek αμφίβραχυς, amphíbrakhys, "short on both sides".

In English accentual-syllabic poetry, an amphibrach is a stressed syllable surrounded by two unstressed syllables. It is the main foot used in the construction of the limerick, as in "There once was / a girl from / Nantucket." It was also used by the Victorians for narrative poetry, e.g. Samuel Woodworth's "The Old Oaken Bucket" beginning "How dear to / my heart are / the scenes of / my childhood." W.H. Auden's "Oh Where Are You Going" is a more recent and slightly less metrically-regular example. The amphibrach is also often used in ballads and light verse, such as the hypermetrical lines of Sir John Betjeman's "Meditation on the A30."

Amphibrachs are a staple meter of Russian poetry. A common variation in an amphibrachic line, in both Russian and English, is to end the line with an iamb, as Thomas Hardy does in "The Ruined Maid": "Oh did n't / you know I'd / been ru in'd / said she".

Some books by Dr. Seuss contain many lines written in amphibrachs, such as these from If I Ran the Circus:

All ready / to put up / the tents for / my circus.
I think I / will call it / the Circus / McGurkus.
And NOW comes / an act of / Enormous / Enormance!
No former / performer's / performed this / performance!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

trochee

A trochee or choree, choreus, is a metrical foot used in formal poetry consisting of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one. Trochee comes from the Greek τροχός, trokhós, wheel, and choree from χορός, khorós, dance; both convey the "rolling" rhythm of this metrical foot.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anal

Anal is a Kuki-Chin-Naga language of India and Myanmar, part of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It has 13,853 speakers in India (2001 census). Its dialects are Laizo and Malshom.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tarsorrhaphy

Tarsorrhaphy is a surgical procedure in which the eyelids are partially sewn together to narrow the opening (i.e. palpebral fissure).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Haleakalā


Haleakalā, or the East Maui Volcano, is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

Early Hawaiians applied the name Haleakalā ("house of the sun") to the general mountain. Haleakalā is also the name of a peak on the south western edge of Kaupō Gap. In Hawaiian folklore, the depression at the summit of Haleakalā was home to the grandmother of the demigod Māui. According to the legend, Māui's grandmother helped him capture the sun and force it to slow its journey across the sky in order to lengthen the day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sawzall

A reciprocating saw is a type of saw in which the cutting action is achieved through a push and pull reciprocating motion of the blade.

The term reciprocating saw is commonly assigned to a type of saw used in construction and demolition work. This type of saw, also known as a recipro saw, Sabre Saw, or Sawzall (a trademark of the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company) has a large blade resembling that of a Jigsaw and a handle oriented to allow the saw to be used comfortably on vertical surfaces. The typical style of this saw has a foot at the base of the blade, also similar to a jigsaw. The user rests this foot against the surface being cut so that the tendency of the blade to push away from or pull towards the cut as the blade travels through its cycle can be countered.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

corbel


In architecture a corbel (or console) is a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger". The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or parapet, has been used since Neolithic times. It is common in Medieval architecture and in the Scottish baronial style as well as in the Classical architectural vocabulary, such as the modillions of a Corinthian cornice and in ancient Chinese architecture.

The word "corbel" comes from Old French and derives from the Latin corbellus, a diminutive of corvus (a raven) which refers to the beak-like appearance.[1] Similarly, the French refer to a bracket-corbel, usually a load-bearing internal feature, as corbeau (a crow). A cul-de-lampe is a kind of bracket-corbel supporting a vault; the term is also used for a corbel with a tapering base. Italians use mensola, the Germans, Kragstein.[1] The usual word in modern French for a corbel in the context of Classical architecture is modillon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Irie


Irie, in Rastafarian vocabulary, refers to positive emotions or feelings, or anything that is good. Specifically it refers to high emotions and peaceful vibrations. This is a phonetical representation of "all right".

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Berberine

Berberine is a quaternary ammonium salt from the protoberberine group of isoquinoline alkaloids. It is found in such plants as Oregon grape, Barberry, Tree Turmeric.

Berberine is strongly yellow colored, which is why in earlier times Berberis species were used to dye wool, leather and wood. Wool is still today dyed with berberine in northern India. Under ultraviolet light, berberine shows a strong yellow fluorescence.

Monday, December 12, 2011

millennium

A millennium (plural millenniums or millennia) is a period of time equal to one thousand years (1,000) (from the Latin phrase mille, thousand, and annus, year), often but not necessarily related numerically to a particular dating system.

For example, a millennium could start at the beginning of the year 289 and finish at the beginning of the year 1289.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christian side hug

The Christian side hug is a satirical term for a display of affection in which a person hugs another by putting one arm around their shoulders, rather than both arms around them, thus minimizing the chance of inadvertent sexual contact.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gob

Gob may refer to:

Gob, a British slang term meaning "Mouth" derived from the Irish word of the same meaning.

Friday, December 9, 2011

entropy

In information theory, entropy is a measure of the uncertainty associated with a random variable. In this context, the term usually refers to the Shannon entropy, which quantifies the expected value of the information contained in a message, usually in units such as bits. Equivalently, the Shannon entropy is a measure of the average information content one is missing when one does not know the value of the random variable. The concept was introduced by Claude E. Shannon in his 1948 paper "A Mathematical Theory of Communication".

Shannon's entropy represents an absolute limit on the best possible lossless compression of any communication, under certain constraints: treating messages to be encoded as a sequence of independent and identically-distributed random variables, Shannon's source coding theorem shows that, in the limit, the average length of the shortest possible representation to encode the messages in a given alphabet is their entropy divided by the logarithm of the number of symbols in the target alphabet.

A fair coin has an entropy of one bit. However, if the coin is not fair, then the uncertainty is lower (if asked to bet on the next outcome, we would bet preferentially on the most frequent result), and thus the Shannon entropy is lower. Mathematically, a coin flip is an example of a Bernoulli trial, and its entropy is given by the binary entropy function. A long string of repeating characters has an entropy rate of 0, since every character is predictable. The entropy rate of English text is between 1.0 and 1.5 bits per letter, or as low as 0.6 to 1.3 bits per letter, according to estimates by Shannon based on human experiments.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hoi polloi

Hoi polloi (Ancient Greek: οἱ πολλοί), an expression meaning "the many", or in the strictest sense, "the majority" in Greek, is used in English to denote "the masses" or "the people", usually in a derogatory sense. Synonyms for "hoi polloi" include "... commoners, great unwashed, minions, multitude, plebeians, proletariat, rank and file, Riff Raff, the common people, the herd, the many, the plebs, the proles, the peons, the working class".

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Historicity

Historicity may mean:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

rhombicosidodecahedron


In geometry, the rhombicosidodecahedron, or small rhombicosidodecahedron, is an Archimedean solid, one of thirteen convex isogonal nonprismatic solids constructed of two or more types of regular polygon faces.

It has 20 regular triangular faces, 30 square faces, 12 regular pentagonal faces, 60 vertices and 120 edges.

The name rhombicosidodecahedron refers to the fact that the 30 square faces lie in the same planes as the 30 faces of the rhombic triacontahedron which is dual to the icosidodecahedron.

It can also be called an expanded or cantellated dodecahedron or icosahedron, from truncation operations on either uniform polyhedron.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Barsoom

Barsoom is a fictional representation of the planet Mars created by American pulp fiction author Edgar Rice Burroughs, who wrote close to 100 swashbuckling action adventure stories in various genres in the first half of the 20th century, and is now best known as the creator of the character Tarzan. The first Barsoom tale was serialized as Under the Moons of Mars in 1912, and published as a novel as A Princess of Mars in 1917. Ten sequels followed over the next three decades, further extending his vision of Barsoom and adding other characters.

The world of Barsoom is a romantic vision of a dying Mars, based on now outdated scientific ideas made popular by Astronomer Percival Lowell in the early 20th century. While depicting many outlandish inventions, and advanced technology, it is a savage, 'frontier' world, of honor, noble sacrifice and constant struggle, where martial prowess is paramount, and where many races fight over dwindling resources. It is filled with lost cities, heroic adventures and undiscovered ancient secrets.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Anaglyph


Anaglyph images are used to provide a stereoscopic 3D effect, when viewed with glasses where the two lenses are different (usually chromatically opposite) colors, such as red and cyan. Images are made up of two color layers, superimposed, but offset with respect to each other to produce a depth effect. Usually the main subject is in the center, while the foreground and background are shifted laterally in opposite directions. The picture contains two differently filtered colored images, one for each eye. When viewed through the "color coded" "anaglyph glasses", they reveal an integrated stereoscopic image. The visual cortex of the brain fuses this into perception of a three dimensional scene or composition.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Indulgent

Indulgent
Disposed or prone to indulge, humor, gratify, or give way to one's own or another's desires, etc., or to be compliant, lenient, or forbearing; showing or ready to show favor; favorable; indisposed to be severe or harsh, or to exercise necessary restraint: as, an indulgent parent; to be indulgent to servants.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jatropha

Jatropha is a genus of approximately 175 succulent plants, shrubs and trees (some are deciduous, like Jatropha curcas), from the family Euphorbiaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek words ἰατρός (iatros), meaning "physician," and τροφή (trophe), meaning "nutrition," hence the common name physic nut. Mature plants produce separate male and female flowers. As with many members of the family Euphorbiaceae, Jatropha contains compounds that are highly toxic.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

fount

fount:
  1. something from which water flows
  2. a device from which poultry may drink
  3. (figuratively) that from which something flows or proceeds
    He is a real fount of knowledge!