Wednesday, February 29, 2012

dingle

dingle (plural dingles)

  1. A small, narrow or enclosed, usually wooded valley.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reciprocity

Reciprocity in evolutionary biology refers to mechanisms whereby the evolution of cooperative or altruistic behaviour may be favoured by the probability of future mutual interactions. A corollary is how a desire for revenge can harm the collective and therefore be naturally deselected.

Monday, February 27, 2012

lexer

In computer science, lexical analysis is the process of converting a sequence of characters into a sequence of tokens. A program or function which performs lexical analysis is called a lexical analyzer, lexer or scanner. A lexer often exists as a single function which is called by a parser or another function.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

revue

A revue is a type of multi-act popular theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance and sketches. The revue has its roots in 19th century American popular entertainment and melodrama but grew into a substantial cultural presence of its own during its golden years from 1916 to 1932. Though most famous for their visual spectacle, revues frequently satirized contemporary figures, news or literature. Due to high ticket prices, ribald publicity campaigns and the occasional use of prurient material, the revue was typically patronized by audience members who earned more and felt less restricted by middle-class social mores than their contemporaries in vaudeville. Like much of that era's popular entertainments, revues often featured material based on sophisticated, irreverent dissections of topical matter, public personae and fads, though the primary attraction was found in the frank display of the female body.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Downforce


Downforce is a downwards thrust created by the aerodynamic characteristics of a car. The purpose of downforce is to allow a car to travel faster through a corner by increasing the vertical force on the tires, thus creating more grip.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rightsholder

Rightsholder: The person or entity that owns a set of rights (often the copyright) on a given content item.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

equerry

An equerry (from French: "écurie" (stable), and related to the French word "écuyer" (squire)) is an officer of honour. Historically, it was a senior attendant with responsibilities for the horses of a person of rank. In contemporary use, it is a personal attendant, usually upon a Sovereign, a member of a Royal Family, or a national representative. They are equivalent to Aides-de-Camp, but the term is specific to the Commonwealth of Nations.

Ajaw


Ajaw (also ahau or ahaw in the older orthography) is a political rulership title attested from the epigraphic inscriptions of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, with a meaning variously interpreted as "lord", "ruler", "king" or "leader". It denoted any of the leading class of nobles in a particular polity and was not limited to a single individual. Since the ajaw performed religious activities, it also designated a member of the Maya priesthood. The variant kuhul ajaw ("divine lord") indicates a sovereign leader of a polity, although the extent of the territory and influence controlled by an ajaw varied considerably, and could also be applied to persons who in theory recognised the overlordship of another person, dynasty or state. The title was also given to women, though generally prefixed with the sign Ix ("woman") to indicate their gender.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pyxis


Pyxis (Greek: box) is a small and faint constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for a mariner's compass (it should not be confused with Circinus, which represents a draftsman's compasses). Pyxis is completely visible from latitudes south of 53 degrees north, with its best evening-sky visibility from mid-northern latitudes in January through March.

Pyxis was introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century; he called it Pyxis Nautica, but the name was shortened. The constellation is located close to those forming the old constellation of Argo Navis (the ship Argo), and in the 19th century astronomer John Herschel suggested renaming Pyxis to 'Malus, the mast', but the suggestion was not followed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Postclassical

The Postclassical Era refers to the period of time that immediately followed the Classical Era, generally during the years between 200-500 and 1200-1453 CE, depending on the continent.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mesoamerica


Mesoamerica or Meso-America (Spanish: Mesoamérica) is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Prehistoric groups in this area are characterized by agricultural villages and large ceremonial and politico-religious capitals. This culture area included some of the most complex and advanced cultures of the Americas, including the Olmec, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Mixtec, Totonac and Aztec among others

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Antlia


Antlia (from Ancient Greek ἀντλία) is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name means "pump" and it specifically represents an air pump. The stars comprising Antlia are faint, and the constellation was not created until the 18th century. Beginning at the north, Antlia is bordered by Hydra the sea snake, Pyxis the compass, Vela the sails, and Centaurus the centaur.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

furbelow


In sewing and dressmaking, a ruffle, frill, or furbelow is a strip of fabric, lace or ribbon tightly gathered or pleated on one edge and applied to a garment, bedding, or other textile as a form of trimming. A ruffle without gathers or pleats may also be made by cutting a curved strip of fabric and applying the inner or shorter edge to the garment.

A deep (wide) ruffle is usually called a flounce (earlier frounce or fronce).

Ruffles appeared at the draw-string necklines of full chemises in the 15th century, evolved into the separately-constructed ruff of the 16th century, and remained a fashionable form of trim, off-and-on into modern times.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Trammel

Trammel or trammels may refer to:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

polemic

A polemic is an argument against someone of your same doctrine. The word is derived from the Greek polemikos (πολεμικός), meaning "warlike, hostile".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Currawongs


Currawongs are three species of medium-sized passerine birds belonging to the genus Strepera in the family Artamidae native to Australasia. These are the Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor), Pied Currawong (S. graculina), and Black Currawong (S. fuliginosa). The common name comes from the call of the familiar Pied Currawong of eastern Australia and is onomatopoeic. They were formerly known as Crow-shrikes or Bell-magpies.

Despite their resemblance to crows and ravens, they are only distantly related to the corvidae, instead belonging to an Afro-Asian radiation of birds termed the Malaconotoidea.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

templon


A templon (from Greek τέμπλον meaning "temple", plural templa) is a feature of Byzantine churches consisting of a barrier separating the laity in the nave from the priests preparing the sacraments at the altar. The templon first appeared in Christian churches around the fifth century CE and is still found in many Eastern Christian churches. Initially it was a low barrier probably not much different from the altar rails of many Western churches. It eventually evolved into the modern iconostasis, still found in Orthodox churches today. It is usually composed of carved wood or marble colonnettes supporting an architrave (a beam resting on top of columns). Three doors, a large central one and two smaller flanking ones, lead into the sanctuary. The templon did not originally obscure the view of the altar, but as time passed, icons were hung from the beams, curtains were placed in between the colonnettes, and the templon became more opaque. In modern Orthodox churches, it is common for the openings of the templa to be constructed specifically to contain icons.

Monday, February 13, 2012

mication

mication: a quick motion

Saturday, February 11, 2012

burletta

A burletta (Italian, meaning little joke), also sometimes burla or burlettina, is a musical term generally denoting a brief comic Italian (or, later, English) opera. The term was used in the 18th century to denote the comic intermezzos between the acts of an opera seria, but was sometimes given to more extended works; Pergolesi's La serva padrona was designated a 'burletta' at its London premiere in 1750.

In England the term began to be used, in contrast to burlesque, for works that satirized opera but without using musical parody. Burlettas in English began to appear in the 1760s, the earliest identified being Midas by Kane O'Hara, first performed privately in 1760 near Belfast, and produced at Covent Garden in 1764. The form became debased when the term 'burletta' began to be used for English comic or ballad operas, as a way of evading the monopoly on opera in London belonging to Covent Garden and Drury Lane. After repeal of the 1737 Licensing Act in 1843, use of the term declined.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chanchada

Chanchada is the name of a genre of (often musical) comedies produced in Brazil. Its name (given by journalists and film critics of the 1930s), coming from the Paraguayan Spanish slang and meaning "mess", "trash", "trick", implied the ease in accessibility of these films' content to a culturally deprived audience.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cortisol

Cortisol (hydrocortisone) is a steroid hormone, or glucocorticoid, produced by the adrenal gland.m It is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also decreases bone formation. Various synthetic forms of cortisol are used to treat a variety of different diseases.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Comprimario

A Comprimario is a supporting role in an opera. Derived from the Italian "con primario", or "with the primary", the term refers to a performer who sings small role pieces.

Many singers began their careers as comprimario singers; some have made a career out of singing such parts. Among these latter are singers such as Anthony Laciura, Jean Kraft, Nico Castel and Charles Anthony of the Metropolitan Opera.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Orléanist

The Orléanists were a French right-wing/center-right party which arose out of the French Revolution. It governed France 1830-1848 in the "July Monarchy" of king Louis Philippe. It is generally seen as a transitional period dominated by the bourgeoisie and the conservative Orleanist doctrine in economic and foreign policies. The chief leaders included Prime Minister François Guizot. It went into exile during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III and collapsed with the establishment of the Third Republic in 1870.

Monday, February 6, 2012

basse

basse: Goatskin-headed tambourine, used in secular music.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

membranophone

A membranophone is any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by way of a vibrating stretched membrane. It is one of the four main divisions of instruments in the original Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification.

Most membranophones are drums. Hornbostel-Sachs divides drums into three main types: struck drums, where the skin is hit with a stick, the hand, or something else; string drums, where a knotted string attached to the skin is pulled, passing its vibrations onto the skin; and friction drums, where some sort of rubbing motion causes the skin to vibrate (a common type has a stick passing through a hole in the skin which is pulled back and forth).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Brummagem

Brummagem (and historically also Bromichan, Bremicham and many similar variants, all essentially Bromwich·ham) is the local name for the city of Birmingham, England, and the dialect associated with it (see, for example, Carl Chinn and Steve Thorne). It gave rise to the terms Brum (a shortened version or Brummagem) and Brummie (inhabitants of the city, their accent and dialect, and frequently West Midlanders and their accents in general).

Brummagem and Brummagem ware are also terms for cheap and shoddy imitations, in particular when referring to mass-produced goods. This use is archaic in the UK, but persists in some specialist areas in the USA and Australia.

Friday, February 3, 2012

importunity

importunity (plural importunities)

  1. (obsolete) Unseasonableness; an unsuitable or inappropriate time.
  2. A constant and insistent demanding.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nutraloaf

Nutraloaf, sometimes called prison loaf, disciplinary loaf, food loaf, confinement loaf, seg loaf, or special management meal, is a food served in United States prisons to inmates who have demonstrated significant behavioral issues. It is similar to meatloaf in texture, but has a wider variety of ingredients. Prisoners may be served nutraloaf if they have assaulted prison guards or fellow prisoners with sharpened utensils. Prison loaf is usually exceedingly bland in taste, perhaps even unpleasant, but prison wardens argue that nutraloaf provides enough nutrition to keep prisoners healthy without requiring utensils to be issued.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Topotērētēs

Topotērētēs (Greek: τοποτηρητῆς) was a Byzantine technical term, meaning deputy or lieutenant (literally "place-warden"). As such, it was used in different ways throughout the Empire's history. In the 9th-11th centuries, the topotērētēs was the deputy of senior military commanders of the themata, the tagmata and the navy. The topotērētēs was usually placed in command of one half of the respective unit. In the early 12th century, topotērētai are found as commanders of small regions and fortresses, while in the late Palaiologan period, the term was used for representatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople in sees that now lay outside the Empire's borders.