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CAPacitor. Countable noun for the device or circuit element. I've never heard `cap' used for electronic capacitance. Read a story about my embarrassing stupidity at the C/R entry.

Capricornus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Catabolite-gene Activator Protein.

Cellulose Acetate Proprionate.

Center for American Progress. A think tank founded in 2003. ``Progressive ideas for a strong, just, and free America.'' It is initially headed by President Clinton's last chief-of-staff John Podesta, often described as a ``Democratic Party operative.'' He insists that it ``is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just'' etc. They couldn't be mistaken for Republicans, but they're making a fair effort to appear more sincere than coy while pretending that they're nonpartisan. Matt Bai, in an interesting article in the New York Times Magazine (``Notion Building,'' Oct. 12, 2003) observed:
Podesta stressed that the think tank was not an organ of the Democratic Party. Rather, he pledged that American Progress would offer its voice and ideas to any policy maker or party that would have them. It was obvious that he wanted the center to be seen as an insurgent force in politics, beholden to no one, although it was difficult to imagine who besides the Democrats would stand to benefit from a revitalized liberal agenda. (Presumably Podesta isn't raising $50 million in order to take over the Green Party.)

With all the foredoomed campaign finance reforms that swirl around, political parties, think tanks, PAC's and all the rest are like shells in a shell game. I think Dick whatsisname, the disgraced triangulation guy, explained that CAP is one of the institutions that the Clintonites are making so they have a power base when Howard Dean takes over the Democratic Party in 2004 and ousts them. According to Bai, Podesta is trying to steer clear of the left-vs.-center contention. A different battle is between those who think the Democratic Party's problem is putting its ideas across and those who think the party needs to come up with ideas to put across. Podesta is firmly in the second camp. (This entry was written as Howard Dean's star was rising in 2003, and Dick Morris's comment reflected the assumption that Dean would win the party's nomination. His campaign imploded in time for the Iowa caucuses, yet by the end of 2004 he had taken a clear lead in the race for DNC chair. This time his lead didn't evaporate in January.)

The site has rather asinine URL's.

Civil Air Patrol.

``The Flying Nun,'' a popular TV series of the early '60's starring Sally Field, was based on The Fifteenth Pelican by Tere Rios. Rios, a Madison, Wisconsin housewife and novelist, was a former pilot in the Georgia Civil Air Patrol.

Columbia Appletalk Package.

Committee on Appointments and Promotions. A university faculty committee that is concerned with who is to be where at what time (appointments) and special sales events (promotions). Okay, that's not it exactly, but the appointments part isn't all that far off.

Common Agricultural Policy. An EU program of subsidies to farmers, costing about 40 billion euros in 2003 and representing about half the EU budget. The largest share of subsidies goes to French farmers.

Community Action Program. A 1960's program of subsidies to neighborhood organizations, disbursed by the OEO.

Computer-Aided (CA-) {Philosophy | Planning | Production | Publishing}.

Computing And Philosophy. An area of more interest to people in the philosophy field than people in the computer field. There's an International Association for this stuff, which coordinates the three main conferences: AP-CAP (Asia-Pacific), NA-CAP (North American) and E-CAP (European).

Concerned Alumni of Princeton. A politically conservative group formed in 1972, with financial support from Shelby Cullom Davis (class of 1930). T. Harding Jones ('72) was the first executive director. CAP was very unpopular with the university administration, and with many of the undergraduates. During the half-time at the 1974 Harvard-Princeton game, as usual,
the Princeton marching band detached itself into lines to form letters and spell out certain words, while a scripted commentary was read over the loudspeakers. While playing ``Stars and Stripes Forever,'' the band formed the letters C-A-P, with one part of the band organized as a floating ``R.'' The commentator announced, ``The Princeton University Band takes a long `harding' look at concerned alumni.'' The trouble that CAP finds at Princeton, the commentator continued, really ``comes from the pen of T. Harding Jones, a self-appointed theologian, philosopher, campus politico, sociologist, lawyer, and Great Right Hope. The band now gives CAP a right-handed compliment.'' At this point the ``R,'' after trying to move between the ``A' and the ``P,'' finally settled in between the ``C'' and the ``A.'' The band next paid tribute to Shelby Cullom Davis, who, the commentator said, supports ``the students' favorite comic book, Prospect magazine.''

Starting in October 1972, the group published a magazine called The Prospect. Bradley was a member of the magazine's board and caused a stir when he resigned in protest following the first one or two issues.

Of little political significance, but I'm gonna tell you 'bout it anyway, is the resonance of the word Prospect. Prospect is a street running north from the Washington Road side of campus. The Woodrow Wilson School is at the NW corner of Washington and Prospect, and the Engineering buildings are hidden further away in the same quadrant. Prospect has many large old mansions that belong to ``eating clubs,'' essentially the Princeton version of fraternities. (Fraternities and secret societies were banned from campus in the middle of the nineteenth century. They were allowed back some time in the 1980's, and I remember that at least one fraternity started a chapter before 1984.) For many years there was a Prospect Club also. Eating clubs are considered one of the unique features of Princeton's undergraduate experience, though maybe they are a bug. In any case, most Princeton traditionalists cherish this as a part of what makes Princeton-as-it-used-to-be so wonderful.

CAP petered out of existence around 1986 or maybe 1987. It soared to prominence at the end of 2005 because Samuel Alito ('72) had listed his CAP membership in a 1985 application for a political appointment in the Reagan administration's Department of Justice. In 2005, Alito was undergoing the usual trial-by-ordeal required of all US Supreme Court Justice nominees, and stated (lookit me: I'm a journalist!) that he did not recall being a member until he was reminded (in 2005) by the disclosure of his 1985 application. He did remember that Princeton had expelled his ROTC from campus during his junior year and that he had to go to Trenton State College to finish his ROTC classes. He supposed in 2005 that his opinion of the ROTC expulsion might have been part of what led him to join CAP in 1972. No one ever turned up who could remember his having been a member. Records of the group give no indication that he played an active role in it. Back up: records of the group existed twenty years later!

Another early member was Bill Bradley ('65), a Princeton Tigers basketball star who had gone on to a professional basketball career with the New York Knicks, and who later served as a US Senator from New Jersey (1979 to 1996 legislative seasons). He quit CAP in 1973. In 1978 I attended a rock concert at Livingston College (part of Rutgers University) that was a campaign fund-raiser for Bill Bradley. The acts that I remember were the Blues Brothers and Patti Smith. It was an indoor event and the acoustics were terrible. (Either that, or Patti Smith couldn't sing.)

There is a great deal of disagreement on the precise explicit positions taken by CAP, if any. It is claimed that it was in some way or another opposed to coeducation (although the first women had already been admitted to the undergraduate college in 1969), or that it was opposed to race-based affirmative action in admissions, but that it favored traditional admissions and financial-aid favoritism for athletes and alumni children. Alito was confirmed; I can't be bothered to pursue this any more.

Prostate CAncer. Cancer of the prostate gland. Some men get breast cancer; no women get prostate cancer.

Clinical Attending [Physician], Psychiatry Clerkship.

Convective Available Potential Energy.

Council for American Private Education.

A loose-fitting garment that has roughly the shape of an annulus sector or isoceles trapezoid when laid out flat. I think it was back in the 1980's or so that I first heard of the warning labels they were starting to put in the capes of superhero Halloween costumes -- ``CAPE DOES NOT ENABLE WEARER TO FLY'' or somesuch. Legal ass-coverage.

A long obituary of Ken Caminiti appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune (October 31, 2004; p. C-1) and mentioned a story his mother Yvonne used to tell ``of how Kenny, at age 2 1/2, decided he was Batman and tried to `fly' down the stairs.'' He took a lot of risks, and he usually survived.

Cape Cod
Used as a common noun: ``a Cape Cod'' is short for ``a Cape Cod house [or bungalow].'' That's a well-known type of smallish, box-like house (squarish layout, onish floors -- okay thish ish getting out of hand, I mean one or two floors, probably one floor and a finished attic with dormers in a steep roof).

capelan, capelin
A small edible fish of the Scrabble tablelands. Or maybe the Dinner tablelands.

Center for Advanced Photonic and Electronic Materials. Successor of CEEM. Announced in the Reporter, 20 February 1997.

Capen Hall
Many people coming to an address in Capen Hall, on the North campus of UB, are tripped up by the elevator access. Many rooms in Capen Hall are within the library; public access to these rooms is only through the library entrance on the first floor. Fourth and fifth floors of Capen are accessible only by elevator (not counting fire-alarmed doors), and elevators serve rooms either inside or outside the library exclusively. To reach fourth- and fifth-floor rooms (administuff) outside the library, take an elevator from G, 1, or 2 (the third floor is all library) outside. To get to any room in the library, first go to the first floor of Capen so you can enter the library.

This map will help you get to the building.

Capen Hall 10
In one semester I endured fire alarms, two protests that marched too slowly past the doors (the second had drums and brass instruments), and the booming PA system of the library upstairs and behind me. On the bright side, there's plenty of natural light, and you can get an emergency-exit door's-worth of fresh air.

capex, cap-ex
CAPital EXpenditures. Traditional term for business-equipment expenditures.

capitalist tool
Not a financial instrument, but an epithet. Adopted as its nickname by one of the national (US) business magazines.

Canadian Association of Public Libraries (a division of the CLA).


Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest (of the US). An annual meeting is held in Spring, usually a Friday and Saturday in early April. Every few years CAPN holds this meeting in Canada, jointly with the adjacent Canadian association CACW (q.v.) [as in 1995, Banff, Alberta; 2000, Victoria, B.C.; 2003, Calgary]. In 2001 the Spring meeting was held jointly with CAMWS in Provo, Utah.

An abbreviation of CAPtaiN, and also eye dialect for an informal pronunciation. The contracted pronunciation uses the same stressed vowel for the letter a as the full enunciation, but uses the consonants that occur in the common American pronunciation of cotton; in particular, the middle consonant is a glottal stop. There is no more systematic spelling of this consonant than apostrophe. Hence, ``Ca'n'' might be more accurate eye dialect, but it would be less recognizable.

Local nickname for Capistrano, which in turn is short for San Juan Capistrano, a city in Orange County, California. The city's school district, the second largest in Orange County (as of 2010, when the teachers' union is contemplating a strike) is the Capistrano Unified School District. The city is also called San Juan and SJC for short.

This is the place famous for its old mission and its annual miracle. The annual miracle is that every year swallows return to the ruined church there from their southern peregrination, precisely on St. Joseph's Day (March 19) -- even on leap years. Of course, although they return precisely on that day, they don't all return at once. It's just the precise day that they begin to return. Also, some special swallows also return a bit earlier -- these are the special ``scout swallows.''

The swallows come to this particular place because it was a Franciscan mission, and swallows were birds that St. Francis of Assisi loved. And St. Francis of Assisi is one of the parton saints of scouting, so that explains the early birds. Be prepared! Also each year, the swallows leave (or first begin to leave, not counting the scouts) on the Day of San Juan, October 23.

And look, I didn't say swallows were the birds he ``loved best.'' He was big on pheasant, he had a pet crow, pigeons attended his sermons, etc., etc. So let's not play favorites here. If it had been a Jesuit mission, each year Capo would see a plague of vultures, the favorite bird of St. Francis Xavier. Ha, ha, just kidding; everything else is entirely serious.

Capp, Al
Alfred Gerald Caplin (1909-1979). Developed the L'il Abner cartoon strip, which inspired movies and other fine works. The NCS has a page for him.

The Center for Advancement of Public Policy. Founded by Martha Burk and Ralph Estes in 1991

I have been asked: for advancement in what direction?

Forward, of course!

I'm surprised everyone doesn't support the progressive movement.

Computer-Aided (CA-) {Production | Process} Planning.

Computer Application[s].

Canadian Antique Phonograph Society.

CAssini Plasma Spectrometer. An instrument on NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. ``Mission'' ... it sounds so diplomatic.

Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies. ``The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies ... is a non-profit organization that, while affiliated with the National Association of Purchasing Management and the Arizona State University College of Business, is an independent research organization. Its mission is to help organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research to support the evolution of strategic purchasing and supply management.

CAPS is located in the Arizona State University Research Park.''

The ``active'' ingredient in hot peppers. It's not water-soluble, so drinking water won't help much if you OD. For reasons that are still in scientific dispute, spicy food is more popular in hotter climes (sour foods are more popular in colder climes.) Enough capsaicin is painful to most mammals, but doesn't bother birds. Apparently this is because of the function of this plant adaptation: spiciness which prevents mammals from eating the fruit, but not birds, causes the seed to be dispersed more widely in droppings.

This is a good links site from among the alternative medicine pages for Trigeminal Neuralgia. Here's an introduction to the unique chemistry of capsaicin, and some more detail. Here's a general description from the epicurious dictionary.

Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns. French: ACEIP.

Completely Automatic Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Images of reoriented, twisted or otherwise distorted or disguised text strings, usually interspersed with nontext content, presented for transcription. The distortions and so forth are meant to stymie non-meat-based pattern-recognition software. You type in the text to demonstrate that you are not some bot or spider that might be trying, say, to spam a discussion site or harvest email addresses for spamming. Here's an article about the evolutionary competition between CAPTCHA and CAPTCHA-breaking software.

The CAPTCHA acronym incorporates the term ``Turing test'' in the loose sense of a test to distinguish humans from machines, and not in the strict sense of the relatively unstructured test originally proposed by Alan Turing. The usual problem with such Turing tests is not that computers can pass them, but that humans may not. There's actually an annual event where the Turing test in its original form is implemented. Communicating (in English) via keyboard in wide-ranging discussions lasting a few minutes, human judges try to distinguish the humans from the computers among their interlocutors. So far no program has convinced the judges that it is human, but some humans have been mistaken for computer programs.

In principle, a CAPTCHA need not be text-based. A CAPTCHA might generate other sorts of tests than distorted-text recognitions to distinguish humans from bots, but text-based tests are still the most common.


You gotta problem widdat? We ain't talkin' geology here.

Often paired with carping, but not in the sense of fishing for carp. Cf. Carp.

Computer-Aided Quality Assurance. Gee, why didn't they just go ahead and use the usual QA for Quality Assurance?

Carina. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Back in the 1960's, I leafed through a silly paperback with fanciful cartoon pictures inspired by puns on the car syllable. A slow vehicle called Es-car-got, a scary one named Boris Car-loff, that sort of thing. I don't know -- the constellation name Carina puts me in mind of an ocarina or PCP.

Central African Republic. Following a coup in March 2003, François Bozizé became CAR head. He is often identified as the CAR President, but since he abolished the constitution, I don't see why it wouldn't be equally valid to call him the CAR Grand High Muckety-Muck. They once had a president who qualified as CAR Grand High Yuckity-Yuck -- President-for-Life and later Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa. While in power he often gave hints that like his grandfather, he too was a cannibal, and after he was toppled in a French-backed coup that never had UN approval, human parts were found in his meat-locker. He was charged with torture and murder, ho-hum, and cannibalism -- there's something slightly unusual. He was acquitted of the cannibalism charge, but you could draw your own conclusions.

I propose that the CAR find someone named Burator and make him president. I mean, what could possibly go wrong that hasn't already gone wrong?

Chemically Amplified [photo]Resist. It's used in lithography (CARL).

Computer Assisted Radiology. Vide CA-.

car alarm
Antitheft device which provides useful warning to a parking lot that a lightning storm is in progress. Federally approved models are loud enough to be heard over the thunder even if the storm is local.

They're also pretty good at detect-and-destroy against late-night quiet in residential areas.

When a burglar is trying to break into a car with a car alarm, people walk by and say things like ``poor sucker can't get his alarm turned off.'' Eventually someone calls the police, who help get the alarm turned off and say responsible law-enforcement-type things like ``take it to your dealer and have that thing adjusted.''

Actress Roz Kelly is best known for her role as Fonzie's aggressive biker girlfriend Pinky Tuscadero in the 1973-84 television series ``Happy Days.'' In 1998 she joined the ranks of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Jr., spending time in jail for making a symbolic protest. In late November of that year, after being awakened repeatedly by a car alarm, she armed herself with a 12-gauge Winchester shotgun and fired into two cars and a neighbor's empty apartment. She was eventually sentenced to three years' probation.

Unit of precious gem mass; approximately or exactly 0.2 gram. The carat has been in use throughout the modern era (i.e., since the sixteenth C.). In 1877, international agreement set its value at 205 mg, but country-to-country variations continued. The 200mg carat was approved by the fourth CGPM in 1907.

Carat is also Commonwealth spelling for another unit of measure of precious value -- gold purity -- which in the US is written karat.

Diamond mass is sometimes measured in hundredths of a carat, called points.

The word carat comes from the Arabic word qirat for the seed of the coral tree. Another seed that became a unit of measure was the barleycorn (one third of an inch). However, the old folk songs about John Barleycorn refer to beer, which is traditionally brewed from fermented barley (though this is not necessary). The rock group Traffic recorded an arrangement of one of these songs, ``John Barleycorn Must Die,'' in the late sixties or early seventies.

Of course, the most common seed word to be an official unit of measure is the grain (gr.).

California Air Resources Board. In its own literature, CARB uses the abbreviation ARB. Because of its major air pollution problems and large market, the state of California is motivated to impose strict auto emission controls and able to make them stick. Thus, the ARB of California is a concern far outside California, where the C in CARB is necessary to disambiguate.

CARBurator. Carburetor.

Central ARBiter. Controls access among different boards (cf. BARB) to the bus. Unarbitrated buses are also used. It sounds a bit like passengers boarding a mass transit vehicle, and it is, but the passengers are packets of data.

The inflected form of ``carbon'' used to indicate that the carbon is anionic.

carbide lamp
A lamp that runs on calcium carbide and water. Calcium carbide [CaC2] is stable in isolation to very high temperatures (b.p. 2300 °C), but reacts with water to form acetylene and calcium hydroxide:
CaC2 + 2 H2O (l) --> C2H2 (g) + Ca(OH)2

This hydrolysis reaction was discovered by Friedrich Wöhler in 1862. In 1888, an economically efficient way was found to manufacture calcium carbide (reaction of lime and coke in an electric arc furnace). Hydrolysis of calcium carbide quickly became the principal method of acetylene production, which it remained until it was replaced by petroleum fractionation in the 1950's.

Calcium carbide was also used directly in carbide lamps. In these lamps, water drips in a controlled way into a ``generator'' chamber containing the calcium carbide, and the acetylene is burned off.

Sugars, starches, and related organic compounds. The name was coined in reference to the fact that the empirical formula for these is equivalent to hydrated carbon (carbon bonded, or hydrogen-bonded, or chelated to water molecules). This is in the ratio one atom of carbon to one molecule of water (hýdôr in Greek), either exactly or approximately. Until late in the nineteenth century, the word was commonly written as a hyphenate (carbo-hydrate).

The name ``hydrocarbons'' is often mistakenly used in place of carbohydrates. Hydrocarbons are all those compounds which contain only hydrogen and carbon, but carbohydrates contain oxygen as well. In semiconductors, the confusion is institutionalized as a conventional meaning (vide THC), just like the conventional meanings of ``cholesterol'' in medicine, ``rare earth'' (see RE entry specifically) in geology, and ``metal'' by astronomers.

That Immanuel Velikovsky confused carbohydrate and hydrocarbon was one of the more minor points lodged against the theories advanced in his best sellers Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval. So if you hope to launch a daft new theory and cult, or even if you only want to nurse a persecution complex, be sure to get these two terms straight.

The three main bulk nutrients are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Notice that carbohydrates are the only group not referred to by a singular-form mass noun.

carbolic acid
An old name for phenol. It's acidic, but after all it's an alcohol. In its typical reactions with other acids, that's the way to think of it: it's not going to be a weak acid that keeps its hydrogen -- it's going to be an alcohol that esterizes. (Depending on the reaction mechanism, that means that the alcohol ``loses'' either a hydrogen from its hydroxyl group, or its entire hydroxyl group. You know, until now I never thought of that as, like, unpleasant or anything.)

Trademark for silicon carbide abrasive. Developed by Edward Goodrich Acheson in March 1891. Telescope-mirror grinders use it for coarse work, then switch to aluminum oxide (corundum) for a smooth finish.

The term carborundum was coined by the inventor Acheson. I don't know what he had in mind, but it seems very likely he wanted to evoke the term corundum (only inferior in hardness to diamond and carborundum itself, among industrial abrasives then available). The substitution of carbo- for co- would indicate the carbon component (it's made by burning sand and coke together; sounds like a great premise for a chimera movie genre -- beach blanket tales from the crypt).

Get oriented at the Mohs's Hardness Scale entry.

carboxyl group
The organic group typically written COOH in molecular formulas, and drawn in some variant of


in structural formulas.

The hydrogen from this group typically has a high dissociation constant, so molecules containing the group are acids (called ``carboxylic acids'') by the Arrhenius definition (and hence by all accepted definitions). When people say ``organic acid,'' they usually mean carboxylic acid. This saves a syllable at a small cost in precision, since most organic acids of interest, and among these most of the strong ones, are carboxylic acids.

carboxylic acid
An organic chemical that includes a carboxyl group (which is acidic).

Carboxylic acids form salts in the usual way that acids do. In addition, carboxylic acids react with alcohols to form esters:

                 RCOOH        +     R'OH    -->   RCOOR'  +   H O

            carboxylic acid       alcohol         ester      water

The reverse reaction is an example of hydrolysis. Usually when people say ``ester'' they mean an ester formed as above between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid, but alcohols can react in the same way with other acids (organic and not), and the term ester is applied to the resulting product.

In principle, a molecule with two carboxyl groups is a diprotic acid, but it's an interesting case. Normally in a polyprotic acid, each successive hydrogen ionization is harder. In other words, the dissociation constant for the first proton is higher than for the second, and so forth. For a large organic molecule with two well-separated carboxyl groups, however, the ionizations should be essentially independent.

A slide-in module containing microelectronics additions to an existing box (PC or other computing machine). Here's an example from Fujitsu.

card catalog, card catalogue
An increasing number of you, my dear readers, have never been initiated into the mysteries of the library card catalog. For your improvement, I excerpt here some information from a book called Library Guide for the Chemist, by Byron A. Soule, Sc.D. (New York and London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1938). (I trust that for the time being, I needn't explain ``book.'') (And another parenthetical remark: other people besides chemists used libraries and card catalogs.) [Perhaps I should warn you that this entry is under construction, I've misplaced my copy of Library Guide, and there isn't any information about card catalogues here yet. There's more information on card catalogues at the OLCC entry, but you need a handkerchief to read that.]

Now just to set things up and give you the big picture orientation: Libraries used to contain books, because no one else would have them and it seemed a shame to discard them. (Okay, that's just a guess, but there's supporting evidence in the fact that as of 2006, libraries still contain books. Check 'em out!) These books are usually in codex form: printed on separate sheets of paper that are bound together along one edge.

[Usually codices but not always. Old Fine Hall at Princeton (a fine old hall where Einstein once had an office) houses the East Asian Studies department and its excellent collection of old Chinese books, mostly (okay, I only checked a couple of the book boxes, so I'm extrapolating) in the form of scrolls. One of my neighbors my first year in the NGC was a graduate student from Hong Kong who was studying Chinese literature. At some point, I remarked that I wouldn't have expected the US to be the place to go to study Chinese literature. He explained that the best collections of old Chinese literature were in Europe, because of all the stuff the Europeans took when they controlled China, and that the best place to study was the US, because the European collections were closed-stack, and American philanthropists had bought many European collections and donated them to American universities.

It's been over 25 years since he told me this, so things may have changed. He was also bitter about the script modification adopted in the PRC, which has been promoted as a way to simplify writing and help increase literacy. His beef was that it made young Chinese effectively illiterate: unable to read the old literature. Script reform as effective censorship of the past -- why didn't I think of that? From periodic complaints I hear, it seems that unhappiness with the script reform persists in Taiwan.]

The main or ultimate topic of this entry (the card catalog) is one we should wade carefully into; there may be hidden shallows in this deep topic, so an impatient dive could be disastrous. Let's start with a poem quoted before the preface of Soule's book:


These are the masters who instruct us
without rods and ferules,
without hard word and anger,
without clothes or money.

If you approach them they are not asleep;
if investigating you interrogate them
they conceal nothing;
if you mistake them, they never grumble;
if you are ignorant they cannot laugh at you.

The library of wisdom, therefore,
is more precious than all riches,
and nothing that can be wished for
is worthy to be compared with it.

Whosoever, therefore, acknowledges himself
to be a zealous follower
of truth, of happiness,
of wisdom, of science,
or even of faith,
must of necessity make himself
a lover of books.

-- Richard de Bury, ``Philobiblon.''
(Written in 1344, first published in 1474).

``The first great principle in learning to use a library is to acquire the knack of saving time.'' -- W.W. Bishop

``A month in the laboratory can often save thirty minutes in the library'' -- proverb.

card game
The way most people play card games, the cards are not disposable: you play a number of games with the same deck of cards, so you see the same cards a number of times, to the point where they look familiar, if not downright friendly.

In Las Vegas, in order to avoid having the cards become too friendly with the customers, the card decks are retired frequently. At the MGM Grand and probably many others, they'll give you used decks to take home as souvenirs. They're marked, so you don't try to sneak them into a game, but they're identically marked, so you can use them in your own game.

CertificateS for Amortizing Revolving Debts. Sounds like a gamble.

Center for Addictions Assessment, Referral and Education. In Michiana. No webpage -- gee, they really are discreet!

City Airport Rail Enterprise. A consortium of AMEC and the Royal Bank of Scotland as the preferred bidder and concessionaire to design, build and maintain a DLR city airport extension.

Originally (1945) a consortium of 22 US relief organizations called Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe. As explained here, the acronym expansion continued to change while the acronym remained the same. In the 1950's, CARE stood for the Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere. Sometime in the 1990's it took its present expansion: Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.

Presumably, the name of this relief organization has influenced the use of ``care package'' to refer to a mailed gift of necessities, like a package of food from parents to child away at school.

A company that provides vehicle history reports. The name is evidently intended to suggest ``car facts.''

In a sensible world, this would be the name of some mobile cellular document compression protocol or the like. But this is not a sensible world: ``Carfax Publishing Company is one of the few publishers that concentrates solely on academic and learned journals. This specialisation has been a fundamental factor in our expansion from just one journal in the early 1970s to 175 in 1997.''

The name comes from the original location of its offices: the cross-roads at the center of Oxford.

There was a Carfax Gallery, founded in 1898, that exhibited such artists as William Rothenstein (a co-founder of the gallery), Charles Conder, Walter Sickert, and Max Beerbohm. Robert Ross became involved with the gallery in 1901, and you can read about the Carfax Gallery in

[Carhenge jpeg]
In Nebraska, north of Alliance. Note that they renamed a couple of roads a few years back, so you want to go into the center of town and ask directions. [Carhenge jpeg] Carhenge is just as large as Stonehenge, probably, and it's not cordoned off or anything. The images illustrating this entry are some of the photographs I took during my own pilgrimage there as the millennium drew nigh. I'll have some more detailed commentary after my pal Robert (a carchaeologist) has a look and emails me some verbiage.

(I understand that there's a small imitation someplace not far from Oxford, in addition to the Ontario carhenge made from crushed cars. Catherine Yronwode tries to keep track of some of the most important tribute (physical) sites.)

[Carhenge jpeg]

[Carhenge jpeg]

[Carhenge jpeg]

[Carhenge jpeg]

I'm pretty irritated by the degree of realism in movies. Usually when you get to know people well, it turns out that they are shallow caricatures of the deep persons you assumed they were. The only realistic movies are escapist fantasies.

CARIbbean COMmunity. (That's the expansion I find on the organization's own webpages, but elsewhere I have also seen the expansion or interpretation ``Caribbean Community and Common Market.'')

Canadian Association of Research Libraries.

Chemically Amplified [photo]Resist Lithography.

Colorado Association of Research Libraries. From a UB machine, this is convenient. Elsewhere, try going direct.

Combined Arms Research Library. At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Computer-Assisted Regional Planning. Enough, already! Cf. CAK.

A fishy fish. The Asian carp is occasionally a pet in the US. People tire of carp (I want to say carping, but that doesn't happen) and want a new pet, so they toss the pet into a local pond, where it has no natural predators, and pretty soon all you catch in that pond is no fish, or one big carp.

Name of the Hiroshima team of the Japanese Pro Baseball; in the Central League. (Here's an enthusiast's page.) No longer ``Hiroshima Toyo Carp.'' That was when they were sponsored by Mazda. Pronounced `Kaahp.' Not Koi.

car parts
I just chatted with a guy at a preservationist/restorer car show in Mishawaka. He had a 1968 Corvette, and he asserted that early in the model year, manufacturers used to use up part stock from the previous year. He gave as example his own experience: he had needed to replace a lever on the 'vette's steering column, and when he tried to put in the 1968-model part it didn't fit; he tried the 1967 piece and it fit perfectly. [Of course, it may have been a problem with the database information. Here's a 2003 article reporting on an AAIA-sponsored study specifically concerned with data synchronization in the automotive aftermarket. ``The data errors are ubiquitous and expensive. More than half the parts available from suppliers are not reflected in the data files of their distributors; of the parts in common, around one-third require part number reconciliation; and of those that do match, there are still errors in other pertinent data fields in one out of every ten stock keeping units (SKUs).'']

That show was open to pretty much all vehicles, even though it was sponsored by the Michiana Mopar Association. (As you know, of course, Mopar sells aftermarket parts for Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth vehicles. When Chrysler Corporation bought AMC (before eventually being bought in its turn by Mercedes), it kept the Jeep line in production and also retagged the Eagle line and continued selling those for a couple of years. It turns out that Mopar carries parts for AMC in general.

On a flight once, I was seated next to an employee of one of the major auto parts retailers, like Advance Auto Parts or something. He was reading some internal company literature, and while he was in the bathroom, I learned that their marketing research had discovered that putting stores close together has an anti-intuitive benefit. If the stores have overlapping sales regions -- i.e., if they're close enough that some customers who go to one store could as easily go to the second store when it opens -- you might expect the new store to take business from the old store. But in practice, same-store sales at the older store generally increase after a new store opens nearby (presumably more than they might otherwise be expected to increase, if the market is growing). It's believed that people are just generally more aware of the company -- of both stores -- when two stores are advertising than when one is. If I had read further, I might have learned how close is too close (I think they were considering stores about five miles apart), but the wait to use the bathrooms wasn't that long. (I really appreciate all this insider information, of course, but I'd be happier if they seated me next to a babe who works in swimwear next time. Even happier if she travels in swimwear. Driving has its advantages. Once when I was driving cross-country, I had to get my car repaired in Houston; another customer at the shop was an attractive saleswoman for Johnson beauty products. It's no wonder the airlines are all going bankrupt: they can't figure out how to satisfy their customers' most basic needs!)

Another marketing issue is who exactly the aftermarket retailers' competition is -- i.e., what their potential customers' alternatives are. Patronizing a different company's store? Putting up with a ratty car? Visiting junkyards? Scrapping the car and buying a new one? If other retailers are the main competition, then where they don't exist the market might be saturated with a single store. Don't laugh: Once I interviewed for a job in little Athens, Nowhere (or maybe Athens, Ohio; actually both), and happened to mention Meineke Muffler shops. They didn't have muffler shops in Athens; they had auto repair shops. Glad I didn't get the job.

I mentioned the nearby-stores thing to Gary -- Don't ask me ``Gary who?'' If you'd been reading the glossary diligently you'd know that I don't say, and you'd also know who he is. -- and Gary told me about his dad. For a while when Gary was a kid, his dad had a furniture store. When they found out that another furniture store was, pardon the expression, moving in nearby on the same street, Gary asked his dad if that wouldn't be bad for business. His dad said it would be good, because it would help make their area the place where people would think of going to buy furniture. Eventually a big fire on that street put them out of business, and Gary's dad bought a gas station. Or maybe that was before, but it's interesting how stories line up. I visited the car show (the one sponsored by Michiana Mopar) with Robert (the carchaeologist -- remember?). Robert's dad used to distribute marketing materials to Getty gas stations.


carpe diem
Latin: `today is a good day to carpet.'

Oh, alright -- I guess that some of you may have valid excuses for not already knowing this, so I'll give you a hint. Saul Bellow wrote a novella with the title Seize the Day. That's a very old expression.

``Carpe Diem'' was a song on the first Fugs album. It was a boring number -- the longest track (over five minutes), and the fewest distinct (in the sense of nonidentical) words: ``Carpe diem / Death is a-comin' in. [Repeat.]''

In 1995, Metallica came out with a song called ``Carpe Diem Baby.'' The only other place in this glossary where we have Metallica information as of this writing is also Latin-related. See Agricola.

Another apparent classical allusion in rock music is the title track of a 1981 AC/DC album: ``For Those About To Rock (We Salute You).'' This is presumably intended to evoke the famous salute to Claudius: Morituri te salutant. This is typically mistranslated or faithfully misquoted in English as `we who are about to die salute you.' AC/DC also gave their 1977 album the title ``Let There Be Rock.''

In the late 1980's, the New Mexico State football team went from being just bad to scraping the profundities of the haplessness barrel. They made #9 on this list of all-time worst college football teams, where it is reported that a new assistant coach, watching his first practice said, ``Lord have mercy on our souls.'' The Aggies finally ended their 27-game losing skid in a blow-out upset of the 105th-ranked Titans of Cal State Fullerton.

Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy.

See, for example,
M. D. Levenson, Physics Today, 30, #5, p. 44 (May 1977);
A. B. Harvey, J. R. McDonald, and W. M. Tolles, Progress in Analytical Chemistry, p. 211 (New York: Plenum, 1977).

Computer-Assisted Radiology & Surgery.

Corrective-Action Reporting System. Acronym is obsolete, now use RCRIS.

Championship Auto Racing Teams.

cartridge brass
A brass intermediate in composition between red brass and yellow brass: 70% Cu, 30% Zn.

Calibrated AirSpeed.

Cassiopeia. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Center for Auto Safety. Founded by Consumers Union and Ralph Nader in 1970.

Channel-Associated Signaling.

Chemical Abstracts Service. ``The World's Largest Most Comprehensive Databases of Chemical Information!''

Choral Art Society.


Classical Association of Scotland.

College of Arts and Sciences. At UB, the former faculties of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (FNSM), Social Sciences (FSS), and Arts and Letters (FAL) were merged into a CAS in 1998.

I've gotten used to the idea that social sciences are counted among the arts and sciences, but I never gave much thought to which. I realize now that I must unconsciously have classed them with the arts -- like metalworking and bricklaying. (As Sherlock Holmes pointed out -- when you've eliminated the impossible, then the truth must lie in whatever remains, no matter how improbable.) I noticed that Ball State (that's BS University now) has a College of Sciences and Humanities, and I thought: ``Cool -- they realized that these two belong together in a college separate from the social sciences!'' Eventually, I discovered that they had made the common error of regarding the social sciences as sciences. As if a fire dog were a breed of canine.

Collision Avoidance System[s].

Column-Address Strobe.

Communication Application Software.

Computer-Aided Surgery. Vide CA-.

Cost Accounting Standards.

Council of Academic Societies.

Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Curriculum Assessment Service.


Classical Association of South Africa. I guess (from the URL) that KVSA is the Afrikaans initialism.

Clean Air Strategic Alliance. ``[A]n incorporated entity responsible for strategic management of air quality in Alberta,'' Canada.

Computer-Assisted (CA-) Sperm-motion Analysis. Really! I didn't have to make this up. Here, an instance. FWIW, in Spanish casa means `he hunts,' `she marries,' and `house.' These meanings seem pretty unrelated. All over the semantic map. It's not really a big coincidence when this happens in Spanish. The language has a severe word shortage, so most words take a second job, maybe a third. Blame it on the economic austerity measures introduced to satisfy el FIM (`the IMF').

Okay, okay -- if you want to be fussy about it, `he [or she or it] hunts' is spelled caza. To 90% of Spanish-speakers, that's a homophone of (un homófono de) casa.

Oh, and, uh, it turns out that the two words that are not just homophones but homographs are related. The verb casar (`to marry') is derived from casa (`house'), in a development that might otherwise have yielded a verb meaning `to house.' Not to worry, though: casar also means `to nullify' and serves as a noun referring to the collection of houses constituting a village.

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Based at Columbia University. If they had made the en from National a part of the acronym, they could have pronounced it en casa -- Spanish for `at home.' There are already too many other organizations with the CASA acronym, as you can see here.

Casa Amarilla
A historic house in the city of Buenos Aires. The name means `Yellow House' in Spanish.

Casa Azul
A large farm (funda) in Chile, in the municipio de La Unión, provincia de Valdivia. The name means `Blue House' in Spanish. As noted in the colored houses entry, the South Korean presidential mansion is called the ``blue house'' also. I hope it's a subdued shade.

Casa Blanca
Spanish for `White House.' The US presidential mansion in Washington, DC. Cf. Casa Rosada.

Casa Blanca and Casablanca are common place names in Spanish. The following list is just a sampling. It's taken largely from the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada and may be a little out of date, since the encyclopedia was published between about 1907 and 1930.


There's a large farm by that name in the municipio de Florida, departamento de Puchacay, provincia de Concepción. The one-word form is standard for a department in another province of Chile.


There are neighborhoods (entidades de población) called Casa Blanca in many municipalities:
              Municipio        Provincia
              ---------        ---------
              Arboleas         Almería
              Denia            Alicante
              Félix            Canarias
              Letur            Albacete
              Lietor           Albacete
              Oñate            Guipúzcoa
              Vicar            Almería
See also Casablanca.

A spelling of casa blanca, Spanish for `white house,' sometimes used when that expression becomes a proper noun.

There's a municipality of Casablanca in Columbia. According to the Diccionario Enciclopédico Planeta (1984): 274 km2 and 7339 inhabitants. Primary enterprises: sugar cane and corn farming, forestry, and gold mining.

There's a town of Casablanca in Chile. According to the Diccionario Enciclopédico Planeta (1984): 955 km2 and 12,314 inhabitants. A rich farming area in the fifth region of of Aconcagua.

There are neighborhoods (entidades de población) called Casablanca in many Spanish municipalities:

              Municipio               Provincia
              ---------               ---------
              Abarán                  Murcia
              Cospeito                Lugo
              Firgas                  Canarias
              Fuente Alamo            Murcia
              Lorenzana               Lugo
              San Carlos de la Rápita Tarragona
See also Casa Blanca.

One of the great movies of all time. And not a bad flick, either. The preceding link is to IMDb. There's Casablanca-related website called <cyberblanca.com>. Probably the best book on the making of Casablanca is the one by Aljean Harmetz that we cite at various places. Other entries with Casablanca content:

Casa Colorada
A historic house in the city of Buenos Aires. The name means `Red House' in Spanish.

Casa Dorada
A Peruvian hacienda in the district of Tambillo, in the province of Huamanga, in the department of Avacucho. According to its entry in the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada (which must date from no later than 1930), it had 40 inhabitants. What am I doing!? The name means `Gold House' in Spanish.

Casa Pintada
A place in Argentina. Specifically, it's in the district of Dolores, department of Chacabuco, province of San Luis. The name means `Painted House' in Spanish. Why -- that's almost as rare as a white house!

Casa Roja
A Guatemalan hamlet, in the municipio de Pueblo Nuevo, in the departamento de Retalhulen. It had a population of 85 according to its entry in the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada (dating no later than 1930). The name means `Red House' in Spanish.

Casa Rosada
`Pink House.' The Presidential mansion of Argentina, in BAires. I guess pink hides the blood stains better than white.

I'm looking for other colored executive mansions, and I'm having a hard time finding them. I did, however, discover directions explaining that the ``Capt. [James & Emma Holt] White House will be the yellow house on your left.'' It's in Alamance County, N.C. How far is that from Orange County, N.C.?

Center for Anthropology and Science Communications.


The fellow who tells Brutus of Cicero's speech: ``it was Greek to me'' in the opening act of Shakespeare's ``Julius Caesar.'' For more unrelated stuff, see the gringo entry.

Council Committee on Conformity Assessment. In French: Comité de l'ISO pour l'évaluation de la conformité. The French name has no letter a preceding the only ess. The English name has no letter c following any ess. This kind of asinine naming is hardly surprising for the ISO, but for a bunch of desk fascists like CASCO (doing very useful and necessary work, I'm sure), it's probably required.

Computer-Aided (CA-) {Software | Systems} Engineering. Granted, software engineering without computers would seem feckless. Here's a random CASE link. (Yeah, yeah, it's in German. Too bad. I don't do SE or SWE for a living; go bother some other content provider. Here.)

Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society.

Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household. The AP/Ipsos ``CASH Index'' is intended to be a sort of consumer confidence index, and is based on surveys of 1,000 US adults, conducted every two to five weeks since January 2002. The survey has questions covering attitudes about the local economy currently and in the future, personal finances ditto, ``comfort with making major purchases and other household purchases, confidence in job security and in the ability to save and invest for retirement or education, and job loss experience for self, friends and family in the recent past, as well as job loss expectations for self, friends and family in the near future.'' It's a pollster's license to kill, and best of all it can't be proven wrong because it's meaningless. Recalibrated in January 2004. She blinded me with science.

Die Wirtschaftszeitung der Schweiz. German: `The Economics Newspaper of Switzerland.' Hmmm. Funny way to make up an acronym. Hmmm.

While you're stroking your chin and disheveling your beard, visit the Johnny Cash and Johnny Paycheck items under the Nomenclature is Destiny entry.

Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (a division of the CLA).

Council of American Survey Research Organizations.

Complete Active-Space Self-Consistent Field (SCF) (theories; quantum chemical calculations). Also called Multiple Configuration Self-Consistent Field (MCSCF). Sort of like following SCF Hartree-Fock (HF) with a configuration-interaction (CI) calculation using only a few (presumptively) most important configuration interactions. Except that the HF orbitals are optimized simultaneously with the CI.

Capillary-Action Shaping Technique.

CAsk for (temporary) Storage and Transport Of nucleaR material. I'm not sure there's an official position on which letters of the expansion are represented in the acronym.


Classical Association of the Southwestern United States. The organization was being resuscitated after being moribund for a few years. The fall 2000 meeting was the first in half a dozen years. Late in 2005, I heard CASUS was ``trying to revise and expand its email list.'' They did have meetings each year from 2006 to 2008 that I am aware of, at least, but as of 2010 they don't have a Facebook page.

California Achievement Test. Assessment tool for K-12 students. Cf. ITBS.

Center for Advanced Technology. For example, the New York State Center for Advanced Sensor Technology, designated by the NYS governor in July 1998 for SUNY Stony Brook, known as ``Sensor CAT.''

Center for Assistive Technology. An affiliate of UB's Occupational Therapy department, works closely with the community agencies Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) and Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), serving the entire Western New York area.

Children's Apperception Test. A version of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT, q.v.) for children. There is also a Senior Apperception Technique (SAT) for the other end of the age spectrum.

ChlorAmphenicol Transferase.

Citizens Area Transit. Buses in Las Vegas, NV.

``Citizens'' sounds so burgherisch, so sober and responsible. Just the sort of ideas you associate with Las Vegas.

In 1986, the last time the APS held a meeting in Las Vegas (and it was the last time; hotels were appalled by our sobriety and other unwelcome virtues), I visited family in LA, rented a car and drove in. Caught in traffic, I saw a taxi beside and slightly ahead of me, nosing toward my lane like he wanted go ahead of me... and then he did the most outrageous, stupid, unexpected thing one could have imagined: he gave me the right of way and waited for me to pass. Confusion! Anger! He could have caused an accident! They should confiscate his medallion!

Rule of the road #1: DO WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU.

If you don't someone will be surprised and an accident is very likely. If you're driving a taxi, you should cut people off and turn without signaling.

Sheesh. Fortunately I was able to handle the emergency, and no one was hurt.

Classroom Assessment Techniques.

Clear-Air Turbulence. Technical designation of times during a flight when beverages may be served to passengers.

Computed Axial Tomography. Here's something (down when I looked) from LLNL. Also (more once, and less often now) expanded Computer-Assisted (CA-) Tomography.

Computer-Adaptive Testing. The questions asked are at a difficulty level corresponding to the proficiency level of the person tested, as estimated from responses to preceding questions. In other words, the test adapts to sample ability with questions of appropriate difficulty.

Computer-Aided Transcription.

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. The AAP pleonasm ``CATA Alliance'' is common.


Inflammation of the mucous membranes, especially of the upper respiratory tract. Often used synonymously with common cold, not surprisingly given that diagnosis of cold is generally by symptomatology, and catarrh is the major one. Etymology ultimately from the Greek: kata down + rhein flow.

The principal requirement in a word that is a synonym of catarrh is that it not have any nasal consonants, so you can pronounce it when you've got it. The best thing about the word catarrh is that you can hawk up phlegm just by prolonging the second syllable.

Class, Architecture, Topology (fold family) and Homologous superfamily, a project at University College London (UCL) for the classification of protein domains, based on data archived at PDB.

Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters. A chapter of the American Translators Association serving North and South Carolina.

Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview[ing|s]. This is not a hypothetical category of software; Wincati is one CATI product.

Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application. DMIS-compliant software for coordinate measuring machines (CMM.

You know, the word calibre, referring to gun-muzzle size, is a corruption of the word caliper, which one used to measure it with.

Common Applications and Tools Integration Services.

CATastrOphe. Used as a verb or noun by model-rocket crowd; refers to an unfortunate event befalling a rocket. There is a camp that regards the CATO as an acronym. This affects the pronunciation. Learn more from the rec.models.rockets FAQ.


All through the OJ Simpson murder trial, I kept hoping, thinking, there's got to be a way. Maybe the Senate could have held its own hearings, called Brian ``Kato'' Kaelin as a witness, and at the conclusion of his testimony, he could have said it: ``uh, delenda est Carthago.'' It would have made my century.

Gloss for those who, uh, don't remember:
It is recorded that Cato the Elder used to end all his speeches in the Roman Senate with that phrase, which meant `Carthage is [to be] destroyed.' Rome did destroy Carthage in the third Punic war, although the business about sowing the soil there with salt is now generally believed to be just a story invented later.

Cato the Younger was a partisan of Pompey against Julius Caesar, and committed suicide after the defeat of Pompey. This Cato's daughter Portia was married to Brutus, who also eventually opposed Julius Caesar.

Hmmm. This seems to be a religion. Pretty popular in Spanish-speaking areas. Taking an edjercated guess, I'd say it's probably the worship of cats. Universal cats.

Computer-Aided Training Systems.

Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint/Scriptural Study.

You know, it's pretty unusual for an organization to get a name that is a sentence rather than a noun phrase. Verbs power strong language; I guess they're trying to make a powerful statement about a computer (no article; is ``Computer'' its name? how quaint!) that assisted tools for study. I guess that's it. Either that, or the stonecutter lacked a stencil for the hyphen, and the name is just an ordinary noun phrase about Computer-Assisted Tools further specified by a prepositional phrase.

``Computer-Assisted,'' as I believe I point out elsewhere, is a rather widely used term. One problem with hackneyed phrases is that their use becomes a bit unthought. For example, what exactly is a computer-assisted tool? We can gain some insight by considering analogous expressions, such as power-assisted steering. This is steering that works without (engine) power, but that works better with a power assist. Obviously, then, any computer-assisted tool exists independently of any computer, and can be used without a computer, but works better with a computer. That's why it's not called a computer-based tool, or software study tool. I'm going to think up some examples of computer-assisted tools real soon, in the interests of scholarship.

I think ``fax'' here stands for facts. In other contexts, ``fax'' stands for facsimile, which may be the opposite of a fact.

``[A] member-owned information organization serving producers in all segments of the cattle business. Cattle-Fax is a member-directed corporation, governed by a board of directors, elected from the membership. The staff of Cattle-Fax is comprised of [sic; they mean comprises] market analysts, research analysts, data collectors, an information services department and service personnel.''

That and more here. Really, there is no more accurate and complete compilation of the facts of cattle than the cattle themselves. Eventually, then, as they improve their operation, when you ask for detailed information about one of their beeves, they'll just send its genome description and some historical data to your phone, and a device on your end will clone a facsimile for your inspection.

Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. (French: Association canadienne des professeurs de rédaction technique et scientifique -- ACPRTS).


A Roman poet (G. Valerius Catullus). Some sites noted on the classics list (CLASSICS-L):

You should be careful pronouncing Catullus, that it doesn't sound like Catallus, the Roman army general. The error is unbelievably frequent. In fact, until Mark B. pointed it out, I had even spelled Catullus as Catallus above, making an oddly meaningless sentence.

Community Antenna TeleVision. (Cable TV.) CATV is also now expanded as ``CAble TV.''

Control Arithmetic Unit.

Clark Atlanta University. Formed in 1988 from the merger of Clark College, a four-year liberal arts college, and Atlanta University, which offered only graduate degrees. A privately operated HBCU.

Canadian Association of University Business Officers. In French: ACPAU. Canadian analogue of NACUBO. I'd really like to pun on George Eliot's or Umberto Eco's Causubon, or even Caliban, but it's too great an alphabetical stretch.

Citizens Against UFO Secrecy.

Aristotle identified four causes:
  1. Formal Cause
  2. Material Cause
  3. Efficient Cause
  4. Final Cause

Final cause is purpose. Efficient cause is what we call cause in the sense of cause-and-effect; efficient cause is what we moderns think of as the determinant cause. Material cause is what a thing is made of. On 96.10.25 the Stammtisch considered the possibility that analytical chemists have Aristotle all wrong, but we went off on a tangent about saponification process [200] and Maimonides [613] before we could reach a firm conclusion.

Everyone mistakenly thinks of formal cause as ``name.'' Well, alright, not everyone, but I misunderstood for twenty-one years and nobody corrected me. The formal cause is really the identity of a thing in a fundamental sense -- related to Plato's ideal forms but inhering in the thing perceived, rather than in some thing outside the cave that is not directly perceived. For Ari, the formal cause is determining.

Okay now, some email input from an appropriate Stammtisch member allows me to raise the quality of discussion a notch: there are relationships among the causes...

In Metaphysics 1050a8, Aristotle wrote ``The initiating principle [arche] is that for the sake of which a process of becoming takes place, and this is always the end or goal [telos].'' Nearby he also writes ``Matter [hyle] exists in a potential state, just because it may attain to its form [eidos]; and when it exists actually, then it is in its form.''

As it happens, I can understand the meaning of these passages. The meaning of these passages is that it may require some study to understand Aristotle's philosophy.

When Elizabeth lies abed at night and wonders what went wrong with the kids, she may think she shouldn't have married such a mean guy. The consort is a great supporter of the WWF, which seems completely unobjectionable. An example of really poorly organized writing; I don't know what the point is either. Blank verse haiku.

caustic soda
Lye. Sodium Hydroxide. NaOH. Sometimes just called ``caustic.'' Back when he was a trucker, Dave (you probably don't know him) used to deliver a lot of caustic soda to local gasohol plants. Caustic soda and sulfuric acid are used to raise and lower, respectively, the pH of the gasohol mash.

Canadian Association of University Teachers. Same as l'ACPPU.

Canadian Association of University Teachers. Same as l'ACPPU.

Canadian Association of University Teachers of German / L'Association des Professeurs d'Allemand des Universités Canadiennes. It ``was founded by sixteen professors of German from ten universities who met at the Université de Montréal during the 1962 Learned Societies' Conference. As the Association has evolved, its main objective has become the promotion of studies and research in Germanic Studies at the post-secondary level.''


Classical Association of Virginia. There's also a state Junior Classical League for Virginia.

Constant Angular Velocity. The term is usually applied to CD and DVD drives. A CD or DVD used for data storage is usually operated at CAV. For playing music, a CD is normally run at constant linear velocity (CLV) to maintain a constant data rate. The motor speed decreases from 495 to 212 rpm as the read head moves away from the center to keep the disc moving past the read head at CLV.

CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment. Yes, it was developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, but the cee does not stand for Chicago. At the time the system was under development, that university was officially the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle.'' Consequently (after a manner of speaking), the cee also doesn't stand for ``Circle.'' There are good Greek restaurants in the area; I had my first retsina in one close by that's built into a cellar -- that's sort of cave-like. CAVE is a bit cave-like too, since it's a spatially immersive environment, so it's not an utter XARA. It's a trademarked ``room-sized advanced visualization tool that combines high-resolution, stereoscopic projection and 3-D computer graphics to create the illusion of complete sense of presence in a virtual environment.''

If you have a library handy, you could see C. Cruz-Neira, D. J. Sandin, and T. A. DeFanti, ``Virtual Reality: The Design and Implementation of the CAVE,'' Proceedings of the SIGGRAPH '93 Computer Graphics Conference (ACM SIGGRAPH, August 1993), pp. 135-142.

On the other hand, if you have access to the internet, you can follow this link to Fakespace Systems Inc, which also markets RAVE.

CAVE requires viewers to wear special goggles; the illusion of depth is created by displaying distinct left- and right-eye images projected in linearly polarized light. (This causes a confusing double image if a viewer tilts his head.) Similar systems include NAVE and BNAVE.

(Flight) Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited.

Computer-Aided (CA-) Warehouse Engineering. A special case of CASE (...Software...). The ``warehouse'' in question here is a data warehouse (DW).

Softwarehouse -- now there's a word.


Classical Association of Western New York. That's right, rhymes with Shawnee. There's also a state-wide organization (CAES).

A number of years ago, George Constantou was its head. His niece was property manager where I rented an apartment.

Computer-Aided whatever. Vide CA-.

Clean As You Go. Pronounced ``cage.'' Restaurant jargon.

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