Thursday, July 31, 2014

Samizdat

Samizdat (Russian: самиздат; Russian pronunciation: [səmʲɪzˈdat]) was a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade officially imposed censorship was fraught with danger as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

abusage

abusage (plural abusages)

  1. (obsolete) Abuse - Whately (1634)
  2. improper or incorrect use of language
    A stickler for the rules of grammar, Mrs. Walker cringes when she encounters any abusage by the students in her freshman English class.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sialolithiasis

Sialolithiasis refers to the formation of stones in the salivary glands. Stones are most commonly found in the submandibular gland, where stones can obstruct Wharton's duct. It is frequently associated with chronic infection (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus viridans) of the glands, dehydration (phenothiazines), Sjögren's syndrome and/or increased local levels of calcium, but in many cases can arise idiopathically. Pain, when present, usually originates from the floor of the mouth, although in many cases the stones cause only intermittent swelling.

Monday, July 28, 2014

dudgeon

dudgeon (plural dudgeons)

  1. (obsolete) A kind of wood used especially in the handles of knives.
  2. (obsolete) A hilt made of this wood.
  3. (archaic) A dagger which has a dudgeon hilt.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

bollock dagger


The bollock dagger or ballock knife is a type of dagger with a distinctively shaped shaft, with two oval swellings at the guard resembling male genitalia ("bollocks"). The guard is often in one piece with the wooden grip, and reinforced on top with a shaped metal washer. The dagger was popular in Scandinavia, Flanders, England and Scotland between the 13th and 18th centuries, in particular the Tudor period. In England the bollock dagger was commonly carried by many Border Reivers, as a backup for the lance and the sword. A large number of such weapons were found aboard the wreck of the Mary Rose. In use, the bollock dagger was similar to the Scottish dirk.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tipp-Ex

Tipp-Ex is a brand of correction fluid and other related products that is popular throughout Europe. It was also the name of the German company (Tipp-Ex GmbH & Co. KG) that produced the products in the Tipp-Ex line. Tipp-Ex is a trademark for correction products. It has become so popular that in British and Irish English, it has become a genericised trademark: to tippex or to tippex out means to erase, either generally or with correction fluid.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chamorro

The Chamorro people, or Chamoru people, are the indigenous peoples of the Mariana Islands, which include the United States territory of Guam and the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Micronesia. Today, significant Chamoru populations also exist in several U.S. states including Hawaii, California, Washington, Texas and Nevada. According to the 2000 Census, approximately 65,000 people of Chamoru ancestry live on Guam and another 19,000 live in the Northern Marianas. Another 93,000 live outside the Marianas in Hawaii and the West/Pacific coast of the United States. The Chamoru are primarily of Austronesian stock.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chagossians

The Chagossians (also Îlois or Chagos Islanders) are an ethnic group who were the indigenous inhabitants of the Chagos Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory. The Chagossians resided in the islands of Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos, and the Salomon island chain, and had settled in other parts of the Chagos Archipelago, like Egmont Islands and Eagle Islands. Most of the Chagossians now live in Mauritius and the United Kingdom after being deported from their homeland by the British government in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This mass deportation was carried out so that Diego Garcia, the island where most Chagossians lived, could serve as the location for a military base shared between the UK and the United States. Today, there are no Chagossians that live on the island of Diego Garcia, as it is now the site of the military base Camp Justice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

corpus

In linguistics, a corpus (plural corpora) or text corpus is a large and structured set of texts (now usually electronically stored and processed). They are used to do statistical analysis and hypothesis testing, checking occurrences or validating linguistic rules on a specific universe.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pronoia

Pronoia is a neologism that is defined as the opposite state of mind as paranoia: having the sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to help the person. It is also used to describe a philosophy that the world is set up to secretly benefit people.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shirime

Shirime (尻目, lit. "buttocks eye") is a strange yōkai with an eye in the place of his anus.

The story goes as follows: Long ago, a Samurai was walking at night down the road to Kyōto, when he heard someone calling out for him to wait. "Who's there?!" he asked nervously, only to turn around and find a man stripping off his clothes and pointing his bare buttocks at the flabbergasted traveler. A huge glittering eye then opened up where the strange man's anus should have been.

This creature was so liked by the haiku poet and artist Buson that he included it in many of his yōkai paintings.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Prosocial behavior

Prosocial behavior, or "voluntary behavior intended to benefit another", consists of actions which "benefit other people or society as a whole," "such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering." These actions may be motivated by empathy and by concern about the welfare and rights of others, as well as for egoistic or practical concerns. Evidence suggests that prosociality is central to the well-being of social groups across a range of scales. Empathy is a strong motive in eliciting prosocial behavior, and has deep evolutionary roots.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hawthorne effect

The Hawthorne effect is a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve or modify an aspect of their behavior being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they know they are being studied, not in response to any particular experimental manipulation.

The term was coined in 1950 by Henry A. Landsberger when analysing older experiments from 1924-1932 at the Hawthorne Works (a Western Electric factory outside Chicago). Hawthorne Works had commissioned a study to see if its workers would become more productive in higher or lower levels of light. The workers' productivity seemed to improve when changes were made and slumped when the study was concluded. It was suggested that the productivity gain occurred due to the impact of the motivational effect on the workers as a result of the interest being shown in them. Although illumination research of workplace lighting formed the basis of the Hawthorne effect, other changes such as maintaining clean work stations, clearing floors of obstacles, and even relocating workstations resulted in increased productivity for short periods. Thus the term is used to identify any type of short-lived increase in productivity.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Banner blindness

Banner blindness is a phenomenon in web usability where visitors to a website consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like information, which can also be called ad blindness.

The term "banner blindness" was coined by Benway and Lane as a result of website usability tests where a majority of the test subjects either consciously or unconsciously ignored information that was presented in banners. Subjects were given tasks to search information on a website. The information that was overlooked included both external advertisement banners and internal navigational banners, e.g. quick links. The placement of the banners on a web page had little effect on whether or not the subjects noticed them. The result of the study contradicted the popular web design guideline that larger, colourful and animated elements on a website are more likely to be seen by users.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grayanotoxins

Grayanotoxins are a group of closely related toxins found in rhododendrons and other plants of the family Ericaceae. They can be found in honey made from their nectar and cause a very rare poisonous reaction called grayanotoxin poisoning, honey intoxication, or rhododendron poisoning. The toxins are also known as andromedotoxin, acetylandromedol, or rhodotoxin.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fan service

Fan service (ファンサービス fan sābisu), fanservice, or service cut (サービスカット sābisu katto), is a term originating from anime and manga fandom for material in a series which is intentionally added to please the audience. It is about "servicing" the fan - giving the fans "exactly what they want". Fan service usually refers to "gratuitous titillation", but can also refer to intertextual references to other series.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

retronym

A retronym is a type of neologism that provides a new name for an object or concept to differentiate its original form or version from a more recent form or version. The original name is most often augmented with an adjective (rather than being completely displaced) to account for later developments of the object or concept itself.

Much retronymy is driven by advances in technology. Examples of retronyms are "acoustic guitar" (coined when electric guitars appeared), and analog watch to distinguish from a digital watch.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tuesday

Tuesday is a day of the week occurring after Monday and before Wednesday. According to international standard ISO 8601, it is the second day of the week, although in some traditions it is the third.

The English name is derived from Old English Tiwesdæg and Middle English Tewesday, meaning "Tīw's Day", the day of Tiw or Týr, the god of single combat, victory and heroic glory in Norse mythology. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio romana, and the name of the day is a translation of Latin dies Martis.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Interpretatio graeca

Interpretatio graeca is a Latin term for the common tendency of ancient Greek writers to equate foreign divinities to members of their own pantheon. Herodotus, for example, refers to the ancient Egyptian gods Amon, Osiris and Ptah as "Zeus", "Dionysus" and "Hephaestus", respectively.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Týr


Týr is the god of single combat, victory and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as a one-handed man. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws, Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziu and Cyo, all from Proto-Germanic *Tîwaz (*Tē₂waz). The latinised name is Tius or Tio.

In the late Icelandic Eddas, Tyr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda), while the origins of his name and his possible relationship to Tuisto (see Tacitus' Germania) suggest he was once considered the father of the gods and head of the pantheon, since his name is ultimately cognate to that of *Dyeus (cf. Dyaus), the reconstructed chief deity in Indo-European religion. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.

Tyr, known for his great wisdom and courage, agreed, and the other gods bound the wolf. After Fenrir had been bound by the gods, he struggled to try to break the rope. When the gods saw that Fenrir was bound they all rejoiced, except Tyr, who had his right hand bitten off by the wolf.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

stereotypy

A stereotypy is a repetitive or ritualistic movement, posture, or utterance. Stereotypies may be simple movements such as body rocking, or complex, such as self-caressing, crossing and uncrossing of legs, and marching in place. They are found in people with mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, tardive dyskinesia and stereotypic movement disorder; studies have shown stereotypies associated with some types of schizophrenia. Frontotemporal dementia is also a common neurological cause of repetitive behaviors and stereotypies. Several causes have been hypothesized for stereotypy, and several treatment options are available.

Stereotypy is sometimes called stimming in autism, under the hypothesis that it self-stimulates one or more senses. Related terms include punding and tweaking to describe repetitive behavior that is a side effect of some drugs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

zither


The zither is a musical string instrument, most commonly found in Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, 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.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

autoharp


The autoharp is a musical string instrument having a series of chord bars attached to dampers, which, when depressed, mute all of the strings other than those that form the desired chord. Despite its name, the autoharp is not a harp at all, but a chorded zither.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quadroon

Quadroon, and the associated words octoroon and quintroon are terms that, historically, were applied to define the ancestry of people of mixed-race, generally of African and Caucasian ancestry, but also, within Australia, to those of Aboriginal and Caucasian ancestry. The terms were used in law and government to provide a precise code of discrimination and the determination of rights. The use of such terminology is a characteristic of hypodescent, which is the practice within a society of assigning children of mixed union to the ethnic group which is perceived by the dominant group within the society as being "subordinate". The racial designations refer specifically to the number of full-blooded African ancestors, emphasizing the quantitative least, with quadroon signifying that a person has one-quarter black ancestry, etc.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

chocobo


A chocobo (チョコボ chokobo) is a fictional creature from the Final Fantasy video game series. The creature is a large and normally flightless galliforme/ratite bird capable of being ridden and otherwise used by player characters during gameplay. Chocobos first appeared in Final Fantasy II and have been featured in almost all subsequent Final Fantasy games, as well as making cameo appearances in numerous other games. A spin-off series featuring chocobos has also been created.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Chromolithography

Chromolithography is a method for making multi-color prints. This type of color printing stemmed from the process of lithography, and it includes all types of lithography that are printed in color. When chromolithography is used to reproduce photographs, the term photochrom is frequently used. Lithographers sought to find a way to print on flat surfaces with the use of chemicals instead of relief or intaglio printing.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

pyknic

pyknic (plural pyknics)

  1. (anthropology) A short, thickset person characterised by thick neck, large abdomen and relatively short limbs; a mesomorph.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Undulatus asperatus


Undulatus asperatus (or alternately, asperatus) is a cloud formation, proposed in 2009 as a separate cloud classification by the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. If successful it will be the first cloud formation added since cirrus intortus in 1951 to the International Cloud Atlas of the World Meteorological Organization. The name translates approximately as roughened or agitated waves.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Houndstooth


Houndstooth, houndstooth check or hound's tooth (and similar spellings), also known as dogstooth, dogtooth or dog's tooth, is a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, often in black and white, although other colours are used. The classic houndstooth pattern is an example of a tessellation.

A smaller scale version of the pattern can be referred to as puppytooth.