Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ching chong

Ching chong is a pejorative term sometimes employed by speakers of the English language to mock people of Chinese ancestry, or other Asians who may look Chinese.

Several public commentators have characterized the term as derogatory while noting that assaults or physical intimidation of Asians are often accompanied by racial slurs or imitation Chinese.

The prevalent usage of this phrase began as an insult during the gold-rush eras of the 19th century in Ballarat, Australia, when the Chinese gold prospectors were of Ch'ing (which is in Wade-Giles romanization, Chinese character: 清, also spelled "Qing" in Pinyin romanization) Dynasty origin.

While usually intended for ethnic Chinese, the slur has also been directed at other East Asians. Mary Paik Lee, a Korean immigrant who arrived with her family in San Francisco in 1906, writes in her autobiography that on her first day of school, girls circled and hit her, chanting:

Ching Chong, Chinaman,
Sitting on a wall.
Along came a white man,
And chopped his tail off.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Osteomyelitis


Osteomyelitis (osteo- derived from the Greek word osteon, meaning bone, myelo- meaning marrow, and -itis meaning inflammation) simply means an infection of the bone or bone marrow. It can be usefully subclassified on the basis of the causative organism (pyogenic bacteria or mycobacteria), the route, duration and anatomic location of the infection.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Black and Tan


Black and Tan is a drink made from a blend of pale ale, usually Bass Pale Ale, and a dark beer such as a stout or porter, most often Guinness. Sometimes a pale lager is used instead of ale; this is usually called a half and half. Contrary to popular belief, however, Black and Tan as a mixture of two beers is not a drink commonly consumed in Ireland. Indeed, the drink has image problems in parts of Ireland and elsewhere due to the association with the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force which was sent into Ireland in the early 1920s and nicknamed the Black and Tans.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

pentahedron


In geometry, a pentahedron (plural: pentahedra) is a polyhedron with five faces. Since there are no face-transitive polyhedra with five sides and there are two distinct topological types, this term is less frequently used than tetrahedron or octahedron.

With regular polygon faces, the two topological forms types are the square pyramid and triangular prism. Geometric variations with irregular faces can also be constructed.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

intussusception


An intussusception is a medical condition in which a part of the intestine has invaginated into another section of intestine, similar to the way in which the parts of a collapsible telescope slide into one another. This can often result in an obstruction. The part that prolapses into the other is called the intussusceptum, and the part that receives it is called the intussuscipiens.

Friday, February 22, 2013

haver

haver

  1. (UK) To hem and haw
  2. (Scottish) To maunder; to talk foolishly; to chatter; talking nonsense; to babble

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fusilier


Fusilier was originally the name of a soldier armed with a light flintlock musket called the fusil. The word was first used around 1680, and has later developed into a regimental designation. The name fusilier derives from the French word fusil which means flintlock musket.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

interdict

In Roman Catholic canon law, an interdict is an ecclesiastical censure that excludes from certain rites of the Church individuals or groups, who nonetheless do not cease to be members of the Church.

In Scottish law, "an interdict is a civil court order that tells a person not to do something or to stay away from you, your children or a specific place, such as your house. If a person doesn't stick to an interdict, the police might be able to arrest them if the interdict gives them the power to do so."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nephilim


The Nephilim (plural) are the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" in Genesis 6:4, and/or giants who inhabit Canaan in Numbers 13:33. A similar word with different vowel-sounds is used in Ezekiel 32:27 to refer to dead Philistine warriors.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Supermarionation


Supermarionation (a portmanteau of "super", "marionette" and "animation") is a puppetry technique devised in the 1960s by British production company AP Films. It was used extensively in the company's numerous Gerry and Sylvia Anderson-produced action-adventure series, the most famous of which was Thunderbirds. The term was coined by Gerry Anderson, possibly in imitation of "Dynamation", Ray Harryhausen's stop motion technique.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

scion

scion (plural scions)

  1. A descendant, especially a first-generation descendant.
  2. A detached shoot or twig containing buds from a woody plant, used in grafting.
  3. The heir to a throne.
  4. guardian

Friday, February 15, 2013

abiogenesis


In natural science, abiogenesis or biopoesis is the study of how biological life arises from inorganic matter through natural processes, and the method by which life on Earth arose. Most amino acids, often called "the building blocks of life", can form via natural chemical reactions unrelated to life, as demonstrated in the Miller–Urey experiment and similar experiments that involved simulating some of the conditions of the early Earth in a laboratory. In all living things, these amino acids are organized into proteins, and the construction of these proteins is mediated by nucleic acids, that are themselves synthesized through biochemical pathways catalysed by proteins. Which of these organic molecules first arose and how they formed the first life is the focus of abiogenesis.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

preamplifier


A preamplifier (preamp) is an electronic amplifier that prepares a small electrical signal for further amplification or processing. A preamplifier is often placed close to the sensor to reduce the effects of noise and interference. It is used to boost the signal strength to drive the cable to the main instrument without significantly degrading the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The noise performance of a preamplifier is critical; according to Friss' formula, when the gain of the preamplifier is high, the SNR of the final signal is determined by the SNR of the input signal and the noise figure of the preamplifier.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

proscenium


A proscenium theatre is a theatre space whose primary feature is a large frame or arch (called the proscenium arch even though it is frequently not a rounded archway at all), which is located at or near the front of the stage. The use of the term "proscenium arch" is explained by the fact that in Latin, the stage is known as the "proscenium", meaning "in front of the scenery."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lensboard


A Lens board (commonly spelled as lensboard) is a photographic part used for securing a lens to the front standard of a large format view camera. The lens board itself is usually flat, square, and made of metal (most commonly Aluminum) or wood and sometimes plastic. The lens board will have a hole of various diameters drilled dead center on the board. A lens board typically varies between 1 and 4 millimeters in thickness. The overall size and shape of the lens board depends on the brand of camera and film format used. Some cameras will use 2 to 4 screws to secure the lens board to the front standard of the view camera, most commonly however, the lens board will be secured by one or more locking levers or tabs to allow tool-less removal of the lens board. The rear surface of a lens board is usually painted matte black to keep light entering the camera through the lens during exposure from reflecting off the surface and interfering with the projected image.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

concertina


A concertina is a free-reed musical instrument, like the various accordions and the harmonica. It has a bellows and buttons typically on both ends of it. When pressed, the buttons travel in the same direction as the bellows, unlike accordion buttons which travel perpendicularly to it. Also, each button produces one note, while accordions typically can produce chords with a single button.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

vignetting


In photography and optics, vignetting is a reduction of an image's brightness or saturation at the periphery compared to the image center. The word vignette, from the same root as vine, originally referred to a decorative border in a book. Later, the word came to be used for a photographic portrait which is clear in the center, and fades off at the edges. A similar effect occurs when filming projected images or movies off a projection screen. The resulting so-called "hotspot" effect defines a cheap home-movie look where no proper telecine is used.

Friday, February 8, 2013

daguerreotype

The daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process. The image is a direct positive made in the camera on a silver plated copper or brass plate. The surface of a daguerreotype is like a mirror, with the image made directly on the silvered surface; it is very fragile and can be rubbed off with a finger, and the finished plate has to be angled so as to reflect some dark surface in order to view the image properly.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

gobo

A gobo (or GOBO) derived from "Go Between" or GOes Before Optics -originally used on film sets, is a physical template slotted inside, or placed in front of, a lighting source, used to control the shape of emitted light.

In the design of an artificial environment in which lighting instruments are used, it is sometimes desirable to manipulate the shape of the light which is cast over a space or object. To do so, a piece of material with patterned holes through which light passes is placed in the beam of light to allow only the desired "shape" or pattern through, while blocking the rest of the light, casting a specific shadow/light into the space.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Holography


Holography (from the Greek ὅλος hólos, "whole" + γραφή grafē, "writing, drawing") is a technique that allows the light scattered from an object to be recorded and later reconstructed so that when an imaging system (a camera or an eye) is placed in the reconstructed beam, an image of the object will be seen even when the object is no longer present. The image changes as the position and orientation of the viewing system changes in exactly the same way as if the object were still present, thus making the image appear three-dimensional. The holographic recording itself is not an image - it consists of an apparently random structure of either varying intensity, density or profile - an example can be seen below.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Granularity

Granularity is the extent to which a system is broken down into small parts, either the system itself or its description or observation. It is the "extent to which a larger entity is subdivided. For example, a yard broken into inches has finer granularity than a yard broken into feet."

Coarse-grained systems consist of fewer, larger components than fine-grained systems; a coarse-grained description of a system regards large subcomponents while a fine-grained description regards smaller components of which the larger ones are composed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

connoisseur

A connoisseur (French connaisseur, from Middle-French connoistre, then connaître meaning "to be acquainted with" or "to know somebody/something.") is a person who has a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts, or an expert judge in matters of taste.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

shill

A shill, plant or stooge is a person who helps a person or organization without disclosing that he or she has a close relationship with that person or organization. Shill typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) that he or she is secretly working for. The person or group that hires the shill is using crowd psychology, to encourage other onlookers or audience members to purchase the goods or services (or accept the ideas being marketed). Shills are often employed by confidence artists.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Padel tennis

Padel tennis (or just pádel) is a racquet sport played extensively in Spain and Latin America.

Padel is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court about half the size of a tennis court. The balls used and the scoring is the same as normal tennis, just with a little less pressure, and so the biggest difference is that the court has walls and the balls can be played off them in a similar way as in the game of squash.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mucilage

Mucilage is a thick, gluey substance produced by most plants and some microorganisms. It is a polar glycoprotein and an exopolysaccharide.

It occurs in various parts of nearly all classes of plant, usually in relatively small percentages, and is frequently associated with other substances, such as tannins and alkaloids.