Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The Oldowan, often spelled Olduwan or Oldawan, is the archaeological term used to refer to the stone tool industry that was used by Hominines during the Lower Paleolithic period. The Oldowan is significant for being the earliest stone tool industry in prehistory, being used from 2.6 million years ago up until 1.7 million years ago, when it was followed by the more sophisticated Acheulean industry. Oldowan tools were therefore the earliest stone tools in human history, and mark the beginning of the archaeological record of stone tools. The term "Oldowan" is taken from the site of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where the first Oldowan tools were discovered by the archaeologist Louis Leakey in the 1930s. However, some contemporary archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists prefer to use the term "Mode One" tools to designate Oldowan tools, with "Mode Two" designated Acheulean ones and so forth.

Monday, September 29, 2014


In analytic philosophy, the term anti-realism is used to describe any position involving either the denial of an objective reality or the denial that verification-transcendent statements are either true or false. This latter construal is sometimes expressed by saying "there is no fact of the matter as to whether or not P." Thus, we may speak of anti-realism with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the material world, or even thought. The two construals are clearly distinct and often confused. For example, an "anti-realist" who denies that other minds exist (i. e., a solipsist) is quite different from an "anti-realist" who claims that there is no fact of the matter as to whether or not there are unobservable other minds (i. e., a logical behaviorist).

Sunday, September 28, 2014


In the philosophy of mathematics, constructivism asserts that it is necessary to find (or "construct") a mathematical object to prove that it exists. When one assumes that an object does not exist and derives a contradiction from that assumption, one still has not found the object and therefore not proved its existence, according to constructivism. This viewpoint involves a verificational interpretation of the existence quantifier, which is at odds with its classical interpretation.

There are many forms of constructivism. These include the program of intuitionism founded by Brouwer, the finitism of Hilbert and Bernays, the constructive recursive mathematics of Shanin and Markov, and Bishop's program of constructive analysis. Constructivism also includes the study of constructive set theories such as IZF and the study of topos theory.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term zoetrope is from the Greek words ζωή (zoe), meaning "alive, active", and τροπή (trope), meaning "turn". "Zoetrope" taken to mean "active turn".

The zoetrope consists of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. On the inner surface of the cylinder is a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures across. The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion.

Friday, September 26, 2014


In some circles of mathematical philosophy, the Pre-Intuitionists are considered to be a small but influential group who informally shared similar philosophies on the nature of mathematics. The term itself was used by L. E. J. Brouwer, who in his 1951 lectures at Cambridge described the differences between intuitionism and its predecessors:

Of a totally different orientation [from the "Old Formalist School" of Dedekind, Cantor, Peano, Hilbert, Russell, Zermelo, and Couturat, etc.] was the Pre-Intuitionist School, mainly led by Poincaré, Borel and Lebesgue. These thinkers seem to have maintained a modified observational standpoint for the introduction of natural numbers, for the principle of complete induction [...] For these, even for such theorems as were deduced by means of classical logic, they postulated an existence and exactness independent of language and logic and regarded its non-contradictority as certain, even without logical proof. For the continuum, however, they seem not to have sought an origin strictly extraneous to language and logic.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


A sabaton or solleret is part of a knight's armour that covers the foot. Fifteenth century sabatons typically end in a tapered point well past the actual toes of the wearer's foot. Sabatons of the first half of sixteenth century end at the tip of the toe and may be wider than the actual foot. The first piece of armour to be put on. Made of riveted iron plates.

Princes and dukes were allowed to have toes of gothic sabatons 2.5 feet (0.76 m) long, lords (barons and higher) 2 feet long and gentry only 1-foot (0.30 m) long.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


A hauberk is a shirt of mail. The term is usually used to describe a shirt reaching at least to mid-thigh and including sleeves. Haubergeon ("little hauberk") generally refers to a shorter variant with partial sleeves, but the terms are often used interchangeably.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


A brassard or armlet (British English) is an armband or piece of cloth or other material worn around the upper arm, used as an item of military uniform to which rank badges (or other insignia) may be attached instead of being stitched into the actual clothing. The brassard, when spread out, may be roughly rectangular in shape, where it is worn merely around the arm; it may also be a roughly triangular shape, in which case the brassard is also attached to a shoulder strap.

Brassards are also used with the uniforms of organizations which are not military but which are influenced by and styled upon the military, such as police, emergency services, volunteer services, or militaristic societies and political parties.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Vambraces (French: avant-bras, Polish: karwasz, sometimes known as lower cannons in the Middle Ages) or forearm guards are "tubular" or "gutter" defences for the forearm worn as part of a suit of plate armour. Vambraces may be worn with or without separate couters in a full suit of medieval armour. The term originates in the early 14th century. They were made from either leather or steel. Leather vambraces were sometimes reinforced with longitudinal strips of hardened hide or metal creating "splinted armour".

Sunday, September 21, 2014


A gambeson (or aketon or padded jack or arming doublet) is a padded defensive jacket, worn as armour separately, or combined with mail or plate armour. Gambeson were produced with a sewing technique called quilting. Usually constructed of linen or wool, the stuffing varied, and could be for example scrap cloth or horse hair. During the 14th century, illustrations usually show buttons or laces up the front.

An arming doublet (also called aketon) worn under armour, particularly plate armour of fifteenth and sixteenth century Europe contains arming points for attaching plates and fifteenth century examples may include goussets sewn into the elbows and armpits to protect the wearer in locations not covered by plate. German gothic armour arming doublets were generally shorter than Italian white armour doublets, which could extend to the upper thigh. In late fifteenth century Italy this also became a civilian fashion. Men who were not knights wore arming doublets, probably because the garment suggested status and chivalry.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Cuisses are a form of medieval armour worn to protect the thigh. The word is the plural of the French word cuisse meaning 'thigh'. While the skirt of a maille shirt or tassets of a cuirass could protect the upper legs from above, a thrust from below could avoid these defenses. Thus, cuisses were worn on the thighs to protect from such blows. Padded cuisses made in a similar way to a gambeson were commonly worn by knights in the 12th and 13th Centuries, usually over chausses and may have had poleyns directly attached to them.

Cuisses could also be made of brigandine or splinted leather, but by the Late Middle Ages they were typically made from plate armour.

Friday, September 19, 2014


The Quasi-War was an undeclared war fought mostly at sea between the United States and the French Republic from 1798 to 1800. In the United States, the conflict was sometimes also referred to as the Franco-American War, the Pirate Wars, or the Half-War.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


A Mamluk (Arabic: مملوك mamluk (singular), مماليك mamālīk (plural)), "owned"; also transliterated mamlouk, Turkish: Memlük, also called Kölemen; , mamluq, mamluke, mameluk, mameluke, mamaluke or marmeluke was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans or Kipchak and later Circassian and Georgian. The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior class, was of great political importance and was extraordinarily long-lived, lasting from the 9th to the 19th century AD. Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies. Particularly in Egypt, but also in the Levant, Iraq, and India, mamluks held political and military power. In some cases, they attained the rank of sultan, while in others they held regional power as amirs or beys. Most notably, mamluk factions seized the sultanate for themselves in Egypt and Syria in a period known as the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517). The Mamluk Sultanate famously beat back the Mongols at the Battle of Ayn Jalut and fought the Crusaders effectively driving them out from the Levant by 1291 and officially in 1302 ending the era of the Crusades.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

infantry square

Historically an infantry square is a combat formation an infantry unit forms in close order usually when threatened with cavalry attack. With the development of modern firearms and the demise of cavalry this formation is now considered obsolete.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Kleinstaaterei is a German word, mainly used to denote the territorial fragmentation in Germany and neighbouring regions during the Holy Roman Empire (especially after the end of the Thirty Years' War) and during the German Confederation in the first half of the 19th century. It refers to the large number of virtually sovereign medium and small secular and ecclesiastical principalities and Free Imperial cities, some of which were little larger than a single town or the grounds of the monastery of an Imperial abbey. Estimates of the total number of German states at any given time during the 18th century varies, ranging from 294 to 348, to more.

On the eve of the French Revolution, travellers leaving Brunswick, capital of the Duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, for Paris would still need to enter and exit six duchies, four bishoprics and one Free City before reaching France.

Monday, September 15, 2014


The "Deutschlandlied" ("Song of Germany", German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃlantˌliːt]; also known as "Das Lied der Deutschen" or "The Song of the Germans"), has been used wholly or partially as the national anthem of Germany since 1922. The music was written by Joseph Haydn in 1797 as an anthem for the birthday of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of "Das Lied der Deutschen" to Haydn's melody, lyrics that were considered revolutionary at the time.

The song is also well known by the opening words and refrain of the first stanza, "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" (literally, "Germany, Germany above all"), but this has never been its title. The line "Germany, Germany above all" meant that the most important goal of the Vormärz revolutionaries should be a unified Germany overcoming the perceived anti-liberal Kleinstaaterei. Alongside the Flag of Germany it was one of the symbols of the March Revolution of 1848.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Significs is a linguistic and philosophical term introduced by Victoria, Lady Welby in the 1890s. It was later adopted by the Dutch Significs Group (or movement) of thinkers around Frederik van Eeden, which included L. E. J. Brouwer, founder of intuitionistic logic, and further developed by Gerrit Mannoury and others.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


In the philosophy of mathematics, intuitionism, or neointuitionism (opposed to preintuitionism), is an approach to mathematics as the constructive mental activity of humans. That is, mathematics does not consist of analytic activities wherein deep properties of existence are revealed and applied. Instead, logic and mathematics are the application of internally consistent methods to realize more complex mental constructs.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Backtracking is a general algorithm for finding all (or some) solutions to some computational problem, that incrementally builds candidates to the solutions, and abandons each partial candidate c ("backtracks") as soon as it determines that c cannot possibly be completed to a valid solution.

The classic textbook example of the use of backtracking is the eight queens puzzle, that asks for all arrangements of eight queens on a standard chessboard so that no queen attacks any other. In the common backtracking approach, the partial candidates are arrangements of k queens in the first k rows of the board, all in different rows and columns. Any partial solution that contains two mutually attacking queens can be abandoned, since it cannot possibly be completed to a valid solution.

Backtracking can be applied only for problems which admit the concept of a "partial candidate solution" and a relatively quick test of whether it can possibly be completed to a valid solution. It is useless, for example, for locating a given value in an unordered table. When it is applicable, however, backtracking is often much faster than brute force enumeration of all complete candidates, since it can eliminate a large number of candidates with a single test.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Epigraphy (from the Greek: ἐπιγραφή epi-graphē, literally "on-writing", "inscription") is the study of inscriptions or epigraphs as writing; it is the science of identifying graphemes, clarifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writing and the writers. Specifically excluded from epigraphy are the historical significance of an epigraph as a document and the artistic value of a literary composition.

A person using the methods of epigraphy is called an epigrapher or epigraphist. For example, the Behistun inscription is an official document of the Achaemenid Empire engraved on native rock at a location in Iran. Epigraphists are responsible for reconstructing, translating, and dating the trilingual inscription and finding any relevant circumstances. It is the work of historians, however, to determine and interpret the events recorded by the inscription as document. Often, epigraphy and history are competences practiced by the same person.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


A trireme (derived from Latin: "tres remi:" "three-oar;" Greek Τριήρης, literally "three-oarer") was an ancient vessel and a type of galley, a Hellenistic-era warship that was used by the ancient maritime civilizations of the Mediterranean, especially the Phoenicians, ancient Greeks and Romans.

The trireme derives its name from its three rows of oars on each side, manned with one man per oar. The early trireme was a development of the penteconter, an ancient warship with a single row of 25 oars on each side, and of the bireme (Greek: διήρης), a warship with two banks of oars, probably of Phoenician origin. As a ship it was fast and agile, and became the dominant warship in the Mediterranean from the 7th to the 4th centuries BC, when they were largely superseded by the larger quadriremes and quinqueremes. Triremes played a vital role in the Persian Wars, the creation of the Athenian maritime empire, and its downfall in the Peloponnesian War.

In English, no differentiation is made between the Greek triērēs and the Latin triremis. This is sometimes a source of confusion, as in other languages these terms refer to different styles of ships. Though the term today is used almost exclusively for ancient warships, modern historians also refer to medieval and early modern galleys with three banks of oars per side as triremes. The rowing arrangement of these differed considerably, though, since knowledge of the multi-level structure of the original triremes was lost some time during Late Antiquity.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Beat reporting, also known as specialized reporting, is a genre of journalism that can be described as the craft of in-depth reporting on a particular issue, sector, organization or institution over time. Beat reporters build up a base of knowledge on and gain familiarity with the topic, allowing them to provide insight and commentary in addition to reporting straight facts. This distinguishes them from other journalists who might cover similar stories from time to time.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Cover Your Ass (CYA) or Cover Your Own Ass (CYOA) describes professional and organizational practices that serve to protect oneself from legal and administrative penalties, criticism, or other punitive measures.

As an example, just before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the final launch approval by Morton Thiokol (the maker of the solid rocket boosters used during the launch) contained the following warning: "Information on this page was prepared to support an oral presentation and cannot be considered complete without the oral discussion". This warning, which was present even though the information was sent by fax, has been labelled as a CYA notice.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Dichroism has two related but distinct meanings in optics. A dichroic material is either one which causes visible light to be split up into distinct beams of different wavelengths (colours) (not to be confused with dispersion), or one in which light rays having different polarizations are absorbed by different amounts.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

El Jefe

El Jefe is a Spanish term meaning "the Chief" or "the Boss."

  • "El Jefe" is a less-common nickname for former Cuban President Fidel Castro (deriving from his title as Comandante en Jefe or "Commander-in-Chief" of the Cuban Armed Forces).
  • El Jefe, intro track to Daddy Yankee's 2007 album, El Cartel: The Big Boss.
  • El Hefe, the guitar player for the punk band NOFX, derives his nickname from El Jefe.
  • El Jefe is a common title used or given to people.

Friday, September 5, 2014


The Velo-Dog was a pocket revolver originally created in France by Charles-François Galand in the late 19th century as a defense for cyclists against dog attacks. The name is a portmanteau of "velocipede" and "dog".

Surviving examples vary considerably in appearance, but all have certain features in common. All have short barrels and fired the 5.75 mm (.22 calibre) Velo-dog cartridge. The hammer is shrouded to avoid its snagging on clothing, so the weapon is double action only. Another unusual feature on many guns is the lack of a trigger guard, and a trigger that folds into the body of the weapon when not in use.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Consuetudinary (Medieval Latin consuetudinarius, from consuetudo, custom) is a term applied to law where the rule of law is determined by long-standing custom as opposed to case law or statute.

Most laws of consuetudinary basis deal with standards of community that have been long-established in a given locale. However the term "consuetudinary" can also apply to areas of international law where certain standards have been nearly universal in their acceptance as correct bases of action - in example, laws against piracy or slavery (see hostis humani generis). In many, though not all instances, consuetudinary laws will have supportive court rulings and case law that has evolved over time to give additional weight to their rule as law and also to demonstrate the trajectory of evolution (if any) in the interpretation of such law by relevant courts.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


The Doukhobors or Dukhobors (Russian: Духоборы, Dukhobory), earlier Dukhobortsy (Russian: Духоборцы) (literally - Spirit-Wrestlers) are a group of Russian origin. The Doukhobors were one of the sects - later defined as a religious philosophy, ethnic group, social movement, or simply a "way of life" - known generically as Spiritual Christianity. The origin of the Doukhobors is uncertain. The first clear record of their existence, and the first use of the names related to "Doukhobors", are from the 18th century. However, some scholars believe that the sect had its origins in the 17th or even the 16th century. They rejected secular government, the Russian Orthodox priests, icons, all church ritual, the Bible as the supreme source of divine revelation, and the divinity of Jesus. Their pacifist beliefs and desire to avoid government interference in their life led to an exodus of the majority of the group from the Russian Empire to Canada at the close of the 19th century.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


In Greek mythology, Thanatos (Greek: Θάνατος (Thánatos), "Death," from θνῄσκω - thnēskō, "to die, be dying") was the daemon personification of death. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to but rarely appearing in person.

His name is transliterated in Latin as Thanatus, but his equivalent in Roman mythology is Mors or Letus/Letum, and he is sometimes identified erroneously with Orcus (Orcus himself had a Greek equivalent in the form of Horkos, God of the Oath).

Monday, September 1, 2014


A kinesin is a protein belonging to a class of motor proteins found in eukaryotic cells. Kinesins move along microtubule filaments, and are powered by the hydrolysis of ATP (thus kinesins are ATPases). The active movement of kinesins supports several cellular functions including mitosis, meiosis and transport of cellular cargo, such as in axonal transport. Most kinesins walk towards the plus end of a microtubule, which, in most cells, entails transporting cargo from the centre of the cell towards the periphery. This form of transport is known as anterograde transport.