Monday, September 30, 2013

Teetotalism


Teetotalism (US and Canadian usage) and Teetotallism (British Commonwealth usage), (also tee-totalism), refers to either the practice of or the promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices (and possibly advocates) teetotalism is called a teetotaler (also spelled teetotaller; plural teetotalers or teetotallers) or is simply said to be teetotal. The teetotalism movement was first started in Preston, England in the early 19th century.

Some common reasons for choosing teetotalism are religious, health, family, philosophical, fear of gastric/epi-gastric and/or social reasons, and, sometimes, as simply a matter of taste or preference. When at drinking establishments, teetotallers either abstain from drinking or consume non-alcoholic beverages such as tea, coffee, water, juice, soft drinks and mocktails.

Contemporary and colloquial usage has somewhat expanded teetotalism to include strict abstinence from most recreational intoxicants (legal and illegal). Most teetotaler organizations also demand from their members that they do not promote or produce alcoholic intoxicants.

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One anecdote attributes the origin of the word to a meeting of the Preston Temperance Society in 1832 or 1833. This society was founded by Joseph Livesey, who was to become a leader of the temperance movement and the author of The Pledge: "We agree to abstain from all liquors of an intoxicating quality whether ale, porter, wine or ardent spirits, except as medicine." The story attributes the word to Dicky Turner, a member of the society, who had a stammer, and in a speech said that nothing would do but "tee-tee-total abstinence".

An alternative explanation is that teetotal is simply a reduplication of the 'T' in total (T-total). It is said that as early as 1827 in some Temperance Societies signing a 'T' after one's name signified one's pledge for total abstinence. In England in the 1830s, when the word first entered the lexicon, it was also used in other contexts as an emphasized form of total. In this context, the word is still used, predominantly in the southern United States.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

litter


The litter is a class of wheelless vehicles, a type of human-powered transport, for the transport of persons. Examples of litter vehicles include lectica (ancient Rome), jiao [较] (China), sedan chairs (England), palanquin (also known as palki Bengali'পালকি' ) (Bangladesh, India), Woh (วอ, chinese style known as giao เกี้ยว) (Thailand), gama (Korea) and tahtırevan (Turkey).

Smaller litters may take the form of open chairs or beds carried by two or more men, some being enclosed for protection from the elements. Larger litters, for example those of the Chinese emperors, may resemble small rooms upon a platform borne upon the shoulders of a dozen or more men. To most efficiently carry a litter, porters will attempt to transfer the load to their shoulders, either by placing the carrying poles upon their shoulders, or the use of a yoke to transfer the load from the carrying poles to the shoulder.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dervish

A Dervish or Darvesh is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars in Christianity or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.

Many Dervishes are mendicant ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty, unlike mullahs. The main reason they beg is to learn humility, but Dervishes are prohibited to beg for their own good. They have to give the collected money to other poor people. Others work in common professions; Egyptian Qadiriyya – known in Turkey as Kadiri – are fishermen, for example.

Friday, September 27, 2013

casemate

A casemate, sometimes rendered casement, is a fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired. originally a vaulted chamber in a fortress.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

sutler

A sutler or victualer is a civilian merchant who sells provisions to an army in the field, in camp or in quarters. The sutler sold wares from the back of a wagon or a temporary tent, allowing them to travel along with an army or to remote military outposts. Sutler's wagons were associated with the military while chuck wagons served a similar purpose for civilian wagon trains and outposts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bugchasing

Bugchasing is a slang term for the practice of pursuing sexual intercourse with HIV infected individuals in order to contract HIV. Individuals engaged in this activity are referred to as bugchasers. Bugchasers may seek HIV infection for a variety of reasons.

Bugchasers seek sexual partners who are HIV positive for the purpose of having unprotected sex and becoming HIV positive; giftgivers are HIV positive individuals who comply with the bugchaser's efforts to become infected with HIV.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hermano

Hermano (Spanish for brother) or Hermana (sister) may refer to:

Monday, September 23, 2013

saccade

A saccade is a fast movement of an eye, head or other part of an animal's body or 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 by eye fields in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain, 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, September 22, 2013

superrationality

The concept of superrationality (or renormalized rationality) was coined by Douglas Hofstadter, in his article series and book "Metamagical Themas". Superrationality is a type of rational decision making which is different than the usual game-theoretic one, since a superrational player playing against a superrational opponent in a prisoner's dilemma will cooperate while a game-theoretically rational player will defect. Superrationality is not a mainstream model within game theory.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Zugzwang

Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move", pronounced [ˈtsuːktsvaŋ]) is a term usually used in chess which also applies to various other games. The term finds its formal definition in combinatorial game theory, and it describes a situation where one player is put at a disadvantage because he has to make a move when he would prefer to pass and make no move. The fact that the player must make a move means that his position will be significantly weaker than the hypothetical one in which it was his opponent's turn to move.

Friday, September 20, 2013

militant

The word militant, which is both an adjective and a noun, usually is used to mean vigorously active, combative and aggressive, especially in support of a cause, as in 'militant reformers'. It comes from the 15th Century Latin "militare" meaning "to serve as a soldier". The related modern concept of the militia as a defensive organization against invaders grew out of the Anglo-Saxon "fyrd". In times of crisis, the militiaman left his civilian duties and became a soldier until the emergency was over, when he returned to his civilian occupation and life.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Transposons

Transposons are sequences of DNA that can move or transpose themselves to new positions within the genome of a single cell. The mechanism of transposition can be either "copy and paste" or "cut and paste". Transposition can create phenotypically significant mutations and alter the cell's genome size. Barbara McClintock's discovery of these jumping genes early in her career earned her a Nobel prize in 1983.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stahlhelm


Stahlhelm (plural, Stahlhelme) is German for "steel helmet". The Imperial German Army began to replace the traditional boiled-leather Pickelhaube (spiked combat helmet) with the Stahlhelm during World War I in 1916. The term Stahlhelm refers both to a generic steel helmet, and more specifically to the distinctive (and iconic) German design.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

zither


The zither is a musical string instrument, most commonly found in Slovenia, Austria, Hungary citera, northwestern Croatia, the southern regions of Germany, alpine Europe and East Asian cultures, including China. The term "citre" is also used more broadly, to describe the entire family of stringed instruments in which the strings do not extend beyond the sounding box, including the hammered dulcimer, psaltery, Appalachian dulcimer, guqin, guzheng (Chinese zither), koto, gusli, kantele, gayageum, đàn tranh, kanun, autoharp, santoor, yangqin, piano, harpsichord, santur, swarmandal, and others. Modern electric zithers exist, as well as a wide variation of experimental zithers like the Kitaras of Harry Partch, the Shruti Stick and the Moodswinger. It is played by strumming or plucking the strings like a guitar.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Angiography


Angiography or arteriography is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside, or lumen, of blood vessels and organs of the body, with particular interest in the arteries, veins and the heart chambers. This is traditionally done by injecting a radio-opaque contrast agent into the blood vessel and imaging using X-ray based techniques such as fluoroscopy. The word itself comes from the Greek words angeion, "vessel", and graphein, "to write or record". The film or image of the blood vessels is called an angiograph, or more commonly, an angiogram.

The term angiography is strictly defined as based on projectional radiography; however, the term has been applied to newer vascular imaging techniques such as CT angiography and MR angiography. The term isotope angiography has also been used, although this more correctly is referred to as isotope perfusion scanning.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

D-subminiature


The D-subminiature or D-sub is a common type of electrical connector. They are named for their characteristic D-shaped metal shield. When they were introduced, D-subs were among the smaller connectors used on computer systems.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

bikeshedding

Parkinson's Law of Triviality, also known as bikeshedding or the bicycle-shed example, is C. Northcote Parkinson's 1957 argument that organisations give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. Parkinson demonstrated this by contrasting the triviality of a bike shed to a nuclear reactor. Later, Poul-Henning Kamp applied the law to software development and introduced the colour of the bike shed as the proverbial trivial detail receiving disproportionate attention.

yard

A yard (abbreviation: yd) is a unit of length in the imperial and United States customary systems of measurement. Historically a yard was also used in other systems of units. The yard is equal to 3 feet or 36 inches. Under an agreement in 1959 between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, the yard (known as the "international yard" in the United States) was legally defined to be exactly 0.9144 metres. Prior to that date, the legal definition of the yard when expressed in terms of metric units varied slightly from country to country.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Peerage

The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system. The term is used both collectively to refer to the entire body of noble titles (or a subdivision thereof), and individually to refer to a specific title (and generally has an initial capital in the former case and not the latter). The holder of a peerage is termed a peer.

In modern practice, no new hereditary peerages are created (except for members of the Royal Family), but only life peerages which carry the personal right to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Peerages, like all modern British honours, are created by the British monarch, taking effect when letters patent are affixed with the Great Seal of the Realm. Her Majesty's Government advises the Sovereign on a new peerage, under a process which scrutinises appointments to political honours. Currently a few hereditary peers, who are elected to represent the others, also retain the right to sit and vote in the House of Lords.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zokors

Zokors are Asiatic burrowing rodents resembling mole rats. They include two genera, Myospalax and Eospalax. Zokors are native to much of China, Kazhakstan, and Siberian Russia.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

abjure

abjure
  1. To renounce upon oath; to forswear; to disavow.
  2. To renounce or reject with solemnity; to recant; to abandon forever; to reject; repudiate.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gemach

Gemach (Hebrew: גמ"ח‎, plural, גמחים, gemachim, an abbreviation for גמילות חסדים, gemilut chasadim, "acts of kindness") is a Jewish free-loan fund which subscribes to both the positive Torah commandment of lending money and the Torah prohibition against charging interest on a loan. Unlike bank loans, gemach loans are interest-free, and are often set up with easy repayment terms.

Gemachs operate in most Jewish communities. The traditional gemach concept — that of a money-lending fund — extends loans on a short- or long-term basis for any need, including emergency loans, medical expenses, wedding expenses, etc. However, many people have expanded the concept of gemachs to include free loans of household items, clothing, books, equipment, services and advice.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Turps

Turps may refer to several things, primarily paint solvents:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Béarnaise

Béarnaise sauce (French: Sauce béarnaise) is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and flavored with herbs. It is considered to be a 'child' of the mother Hollandaise sauce, one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. The difference is only in their flavoring: Béarnaise uses shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon, while Hollandaise uses lemon juice. Its name is related to the town of Béarn, France.

In appearance it is light yellow and opaque, smooth and creamy.

Béarnaise is a traditional sauce for steak.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Carpaccio

Carpaccio is a dish of raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna) generally thinly sliced or pounded thin and served as an appetizer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

birling


Logrolling (log birling or just birling), is a sport that originated in the lumberjack/log driver tradition of the northeastern United States and Canada, involving logs in a river (traditionally) or other body of water. After bringing their logs downriver, the lumberjacks have a competition to see who can balance on a log the longest while it is still rolling in the river.

The contest involves two lumberjacks, each on one end of a log floating in the river. One or the other starts "walking" (or "rolling") the log, and the other is forced to keep up. The contest involves attempting to stay on the log while attempting to cause the competitor to lose their balance and splash into the water.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

monstrance


A monstrance is the vessel used in the Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, and Anglican churches to display the consecrated Eucharistic host, during Eucharistic adoration or Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Created in the medieval period for the public display of relics, the monstrance today is usually restricted for vessels used for hosts. The word monstrance comes from the Latin word monstrare, meaning "to show", and is cognate with the English word demonstrate, meaning "to show clearly". In Latin, the monstrance is known as an ostensorium (from ostendere, "to show").

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Calcite

Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380-470°C, and vaterite is even less stable.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Travertine


Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems. It is frequently used in Italy and elsewhere as a building material.

Travertine is a terrestrial sedimentary rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from solution in ground and surface waters, and/or geothermally heated hot-springs. Similar (but softer and extremely porous) deposits formed from ambient-temperature water are known as tufa.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Consecration


Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred".

Sunday, September 1, 2013

datacasting


Datacasting (data broadcasting) is the broadcasting of data over a wide area via radio waves. It most often refers to supplemental information sent by television stations along with digital television, but may also be applied to digital signals on analog TV or radio. It generally does not apply to data which is inherent to the medium, such as PSIP data which defines virtual channels for DTV or direct broadcast satellite systems; or to things like cable modem or satellite modem, which use a completely separate channel for data.