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Cadmium. Atomic number 48.

Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Calibration Data.

Carrier Detect (better: DCD). A standard light on external modems.

Change Diagram. Model used in one approach to the design of asynchronous logic circuits. See, for example, M. A. Kishinevsky, A. Kondratyev, and A. Taubin, ``Specification and Analysis of self-timed circuits,'' Journal of VLSI Signal Processing, vol. 7, pp. 117-135 (1994).

Certificate of Deposit.

Circular Dichroism.

Civil Defense.

College Director.

Collision Detection (as in CSMA/CD (q.v.)).

Committee Draft.

Compact Disc. In its standard form, a soft plastic disc with a thin layer of aluminum on top, protected by a lacquer layer. Information is written on the disc in the form of microscopic corrugations (``pits and lands'') of the aluminum, read from the bottom. The gross physical dimensions are highly standardized: 120 mm diameter, 1.2 mm thick. The data density is constrained by the use of 780 nm laser wavelength, with 0.83-µm pits and lands on data tracks 1.6 microns apart.

There are a variety of formats defined for various kinds of data and application. The standard music CD uses the Redbook audio format (so called because the spec was distributed in a red book). This has a bit depth of 16 and a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz.

Compressed Data.

Conduct Disorder.

Congressional District. The region of a US state represented by a member of the House of Representatives.

Maine has an interesting way of allocating its votes in the Electoral College. The popular majority statewide is used to select two electors, and popular majority in each CD determines ``its'' EC elector. The way things looked for a long time, it seemed this might matter in 2004. Nebraska uses the same system, but all districts were expected to go to a single ticket (Republican). In fact, through 2004 neither state has split its electoral vote since they changed their allocation laws (1969 in Maine and 1991 in Nebraska).

In the 2004 general election, there was a ballot issue in Colorado to amend the state constitution. The proposed amendment 36 would have apportioned electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote (without respect to CD's, but this seemed a good place to mention it anyway). If passed, it was supposed to take effect immediately, determining EV apportionment for the 2004 presidential election. Most polls favored the Republican ticket to win a narrow victory in the state in 2004, so Democrats stood to benefit from a switch of as many as four of the state's nine EV's in that cycle. (In the very close election that was anticipated, that might have been decisive.) The effective-immediately provision, however, was challenged in court in mid-October, and fear of adding to election confusion and uncertainty worked against approval of the amendment. Both major parties opposed the amendment, with one of the main stated objections being that it would make Colorado a guaranteed fly-over in future presidential campaigns. The ballot proposition had some popular traction, but was eventually solidly defeated.

The US House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, and many democracies have bicameral legislatures with identifiable upper and lower houses. In parliamentary democracies without a separately elected executive, however, the different role of parties, the typically attenuated role of the upper house, and the different dynamics of power make the correspondence with the US system a bit shaky. With that proviso, at least at the formal level one may say that in Canada, what correspond to US CD's are the voting districts for the House of Commons. These are informally known as ``ridings.'' It puts me in the mind of Dudley Do-right, the only cartoon character I can think of with a hyphenated name.

Critical Dimension.

Crohn's Disease. He can keep it! I'll take whatever's behind CD door number two.

CycloDextrin. CD's are widely used in pharmacology as biocompatible carriers of biologically active agents.

Certified Dental Assistant.

Clinical Document Architecture. A standard developed by the Health Level Seven organization (HL7). It's an ANSI-approved document architecture for exchange of clinical information using XML.

Communications Decency Act. A 1996 attempt of the US Congress to censor the Internet, voided as unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1997.

Conceptual Design Activity. Term used to designate the phase of the ITER Project from April 1988 to December 1990.

Cosmic Dust Analyzer. An instrument on NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. Oooh, like, cosmic, man! What's the high like?

Crohn's Disease Activity Index. The original was developed and described by W.R. Best, J.M. Becktel, J.W. Singleton, and F. Kern in ``Development of a Crohn's Disease Activity Index -- National Cooperative Crohns-Disease Study,'' Gastroenterology, vol. 70, pp. 439-444 (1976). (As of August 15, 2008, that paper had been cited 1551 times in the literature indexed by ISI.) The metric wasn't very precisely optimized, to judge from the round-number weights:

CDAI = 2F +  5F +  7F +  20F +  30F +  10F +  6F +  F   ,
         1     2     3      4      5      6     7    8

where the Fi are ``weight factors'' that you can read about on this page, which has a CDAI calculator. The first three authors of that 1976 paper later published ``Rederived Values of the 8 Coefficients of the Crohn Disease Activity Index (CDAI)'' in vol. 77 of the same journal, pp. 843-846 (1979). The next article (pp. 847-869), by R.W. Summer, et al., describes the National Cooperative Crohn Disease Study. I have neither online access to the journal nor sufficent interest in the subject to walk over to the medical school. The titles, including the disease name, are quoted as I have them. There are other, less popular indices of Crohn's-Disease activity.

Caribbean Development Bank.

The initials of C. D. ``Charlie'' Bales, suggestive of Cyrano de Bergerac, get it? C. D. Bales is the lead male role in the movie comedy Roxanne (1987), an updated version of Edmond Rostand's ``Cyrano de Bergerac'' (funny, but not a comedy). In that play and this movie, C.D.B. has self-image problems on account of a long proboscis, falls in love with beautiful Roxanne, helps another man woo her, and eventually reveals that he is the author of the other man's eloquence. (Yeah, that's a bit of a spoiler, but a spoiler-ahead warning would not have been appropriate; part of the experience of classics is that you know how they turn out before you enter the theater or read the book.)

The real Cyrano de Bergerac was a seventeenth-century writer. In one of his stories, he proposed seven ways to reach the Moon from Earth, including rockets. The other six ways wouldn't have worked. In True History, written in around 150 C.E., Lucian of Samosata explains how a Greek ship could reach the Moon by winds and water-spouts. When you consider that a water-spout is a jet and that the propellant in modern rockets is electrolyzed water (i.e., combusted hydrogen and oxygen), this is amazingly prescient. In the movie Roxanne, the title character (Roxanne Kowalski, played by Daryl Hannah) is an astronomer. More on Roxanne and other Steve Martin movies at the Hfuhruhurr entry.

Community Development Block Grant. See CDBGP.

Community Development Block Grant Program. A program run by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It's got a bunch of messy allocation formulas and eligibility rules, but basically the idea is to provide funds to help low-income families fix up their homes.

Coincidence Doppler-Broadening Spectroscopy.

California Department of Corrections. Either this is the department of office supplies in charge of white-out, or it's the prison system. Your guess is as good as mine, I bet. An interesting Prisoner's Dictionary is mostly based on the CDC dialect.

Centers for Disease Control. Based in Atlanta, Ga. The name now is technically Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clock Distribution Circuit. Here's a page from TI.

Control Data Corporation. Founded 1957. Used to be in the computer hardware business (see this little memorial to their CYBER machines), but now they hawk ``E-Commerce Solutions'' and ``Systems Integration Services.'' It was originally organized by a bunch of executives who left ERA, but it is remembered in the hardware community as one of the companies that the renowned engineer Seymour Cray worked at. After he joined in Sept. 1957, a month after CDC formed, he got them to work on supercomputers for scientific calculation. Cray left in 1972 to form his own eponymous company (CRI).

Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir. Normally translated `Catholics for the right to choose,' but the female plural is marked, so an accurate translation is `Catholic women for the right to choose.' CDD is a pro-choice organization in various Latin American countries. Latin America generally has abortion laws more restrictive than those in Europe and the English-speaking countries. Unexpectedly, a regional rash of leftist governments at the beginning of the 21st century has coincided with legislative movement to further restrict abortion.

Compact Disc-Digital Audio. Original-flavor CD. The acronym continued to be used for a while on computers to indicate that the CD-ROM drive could play audio tracks.

Copper Distributed Data Interface. Same protocol as FDDI; name only indicates that implementation is on a copper-cable LAN.

It provides speeds up to 100 Mbps, for distances up to approximately 200 km, but only 125 mi., yet again demonstrating the inferiority of the metric system.

The copper cables are shielded twisted pairs, thus the alternative name SDDI.

Certified Diabetes Educator.

California Department of Education.

Chemical Dry Etching.

Common Desktop Environment. Created for COSE. Faq here.

Compact Disc, Erasable. And recordable too, or there wouldn't be much point.

Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad. Spanish, `Dominican Electricity Corporation.' The national power utility of the Dominican Republic (.do).

Community Development and Employment Program. The main Australian government make-work program.

Children's Defense Fund. Created/led by Marion Wright Edelman. I think Hillary Rodham was on its board.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Modern incarnation (interesting word, there; you got a licence to say that?) of the sixteenth-century Roman Inquisition. (Yeah, the Spanish Inquisition had a head start.)

Ohhh -- still crazy.
Still cra-ay-zy.
Still crazy after all these years!

Well, they had to give up physical torture and immolation in the eighteenth century. But they still get to work in secret, ignore their own rules, conduct kangaroo proceedings, lie, punish their enemies, excommunicate, etc. So it's fun work if you can get it. I hear the church is short of normal heterosexual men who would like to take vows of celibacy and obedience, but I haven't yet seen help-wanted ads for CDF in particular. Until then you might get some pointers from The Modern Inquisition : Seven prominent Catholics and their struggles with the Vatican, by Paul Collins (Woodstock and New York: Overlook Pr., 2002).

Current Density Functional Theory (DFT). An extension of Density Functional Theory.

G. Vignale and Mark Rasolt, Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2360 (1987). and Phys. Rev. B 37, 10685 (1988).

IATA code for Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, (northeast of and) serving Paris, France. Operated by ADP.

Compact Disc plus Graphics. Ordinary CD players can play the audio and ignore the graphics.

Cadmium Mercury Telluride. Common II-VI family of narrow bandgap semiconductors. Touted for infrared detectors. See MCT entry.

Collector Diffusion Isolation. In ordinary junction isolation, an n-type epi layer is grown over a p-type substrate. The region of the epi layer deeper than the metallurgical BC junction is collector material for an npn transistor. It is necessary to surround this n material with a p-doped sidewall that will function as a reverse-biased junction, and this is done by an extended p-diffusion. CDI instead manages to save a fabrication step by using a p-doped epi layer. Thus, the surrounding p-layer is already in place. The buried layer now is not the subcollector but the main part of the collector, and isolation requires a deep doping by n, not just to contact the buried layer but also to surround the part of the epitaxial region that will be base. The steps saved are both the isolation and base-forming p diffusions.

The method is obsolete a few times over.

Compact Disc - Interactive. A format used by Philips for their interactive CD player. Cannot be played back on a conventional audio CD player.

Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine. It's ``the national organization of individuals responsible for teaching internal medicine to medical students'' and part of the AAIM.

Compact Disc - Karaoke. No really! I am sooo not making this up! (In contrast with other similarly amusing entries.) Perpetrated jointly by JVC and Phillips, it's a 12 cm disc with 74 minutes of audio, video, and text. (No, I don't know what a minute of text is.) Playable on CD-I and some CD-G players.

Chief Dull Knife College. Previously Dull Knife Memorial College.

Commercial Driver's License.

Commercial Driver's License Information System.

Canadian Democratic Movement. A left-wing political grouping.

Coalition for a Democratic Majority.

Collaborative Decision-Making.

Code-Division Multiple Access. Multiple access by the use of Spread Spectrum Systems with different spreading signals. Also called SSMA.


Cadmium Manganese Telluride. Popular II-VI system for dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS).

Compact Disc - MagnetoOptical.

Complementary DNA. Single-stranded DNA that is complementary to messenger RNA or DNA that has been synthesized from messenger RNA by reverse transcriptase. In practice the ``synthesized'' bit is critical: cDNA is synthetic DNA, distinguished from naturally-occurring DNA that has merely been isolated. The US Supreme Court has ruled that cDNA can be protected under the patent laws.

CaDmium Oxide. (CdO is the chemical formula, not some randomly selected abbreviation.) This is an infrequently studied II-VI compound. It has a lattice constant of 4.689 Å and direct bandgap of 2.5 eV at room temperature.

Career Development Organization, Inc., of SUNY. Also ``SUNYCDO.''

Chief Diversity Officer. A top university official in charge of minimizing intellectual diversity, or a top corporate official in charge of minimizing legal adversity. If you want to see real diversity, look at all the different CXO's that there are.

Collateralized Debt Obligation.

Community Dial Office.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It's important to have the letters in alphabetical order.

Concurrent DOS.

CD Player.

Census-Designated Place. A place designated by the US census. Not too arbitrarily, but not especially systematically.

Different entries for a given head text, usually corresponding to different expansions of a shared initialism, are normally ordered in this glossary by alphabetizing on the definition text. I figured this is a good place to point that out, since this entry is almost problematical. Alphabetization here is based on the immediate appearance of text rather than on its expansion. (The reasoning is that if you knew all that, you wouldn't be looking it up. The flaw in the reasoning is that since you don't know all that, the ordering isn't especially helpful.)

Here's some standard Census Bureau boilerplate, taken from the same appendix as the MCD boilerplate; I've only added a hyphen and an otiose parenthetical aside:

Census-designated places (CDPs) are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places. CDPs are delineated to provide census data for concentrations of population, housing, and commercial structures that are identifiable by name but are not within an incorporated place. CDP boundaries usually are defined in cooperation with state, local, and tribal officials. [What -- no community activists??? Stonewalling!] These boundaries, which usually coincide with visible features or the boundary of an adjacent incorporated place or other legal entity boundary, have no legal status, nor do these places have officials elected to serve traditional municipal functions. CDP boundaries may change from one decennial census to the next with changes in settlement pattern; a CDP with the same name as in an earlier census does not necessarily have the same boundary.

Cellular Digital Packet Data.

Comb-like Dispersion-Profiled Fiber. Alternating lengths of standard (high dispersion) telecom fiber and dispersion-shifted (low dispersion) fiber, giving a comb-like dispersion profile as a function of wavelength. In order to get regular spacing in wavelength, the pattern of lengths of high- and low-dispersion fiber has to be chirped.

Census-Designated Place.

Center for Democratic Rights. A US civil rights advocacy group.

Coded Departure Routes. Routes predefined and designated by codes, for use to route air traffic around areas of severe weather.

Cdr., CDR

Compact Disc - Recordable. Although some rewritable discs are coming out (1996), ``CD-R'' refers to an older write-once, read-many (WORM) technology. Learn more at Andy McFadden's CD-R FAQ and in three newsgroups:

Conceptual Design Report.

Cached DRAM. Not to be confused with CD-ROM.

Cutaneous Drug Reaction Database. It used to be served by Dartmouth's BioMedical Libraries, but all the links to it that I can find in January 2005 are expired.

Catastrophic Disaster Response Group. A box somewhere in the vast US government management chart.

Cross-Domain Resource Manager.

CD used as ROM. A now-quite-old ``Yellow Book'' standard announced by Phillips and SONY in 1985.

Here's a colorful picture from the Smithsonian's Information Age photo exhibit.

A local-focus posting on the Classics list points to a few other postings on CD-ROM readers.

A CD-ROM holds up to 680 Megabytes of data, about the same as 300,000 pages of text.

Places to look for particular CD-ROM's:

CD-ROM eXtended Architecture. ``Yellow-Book Plus.''

CaDmium Sulfide. (CdS is the chemical formula, not some randomly selected abbreviation.) When I was a kid I had a CdS cell in my electronic projects kit. I believe it changed resistance in response to light. I'm pretty sure selenium does the same; it was a famous discovery.

Lattice constant of 4.136 Å is by far the smallest among common compound semiconductors, so it doesn't lattice match or even make a tolerable pseudomorphic heterointerface with anything, so it isn't used to make any heterostructures. Room-temperature direct bandgap of 2.42 eV isn't very exciting either.

Centre des Démocrates Sociaux.

Child-Directed Speech. Speech directed to a child. Defines a range of linguistic registers.

Corona Discharge Spectroscopy. Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer.

Credit Default Swap.

Cadmium Selenide. A direct gap II-VI compound semiconductor with a bandgap of 1.8 eV at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. The conduction band rises in hydrostatic pressure, while the valence band falls. Uniaxial pressure raises heavy hole band and lowers the light hole band. This is typical.

Lattice constant of 6.050 Å is in a populous neighborhood.

Cell Delay Tolerance.

Center for Democracy and Technology.

Central Daylight (savings) Time (DST. GMT - 5 hrs.

Cadmium Telluride. HgCdTe-based (MCT-based) materials and devices are currently most of the commercial II-VI market and are used primarily for IR detectors.

Bandgap of CdTe is 1.58 eV; lattice constant is 6.482 Å.

According to a 1996.11.20 posting by Fei Long in the semiconductors-2-6 newsgroup, he (at the University of Hull) and Paul Harrison (at the University of Leeds) had recently published work on the CdTe band structure. Here's the meat of the posting.

Catholic Distance University. It's based in Herndon, Virginia, but I suppose you might ``go'' there and never know it. It's a ``University'' because it offers an MA in Religious Studies. (Otherwise it would be the ``CDC.'')

This is probably a good place to mention the problem of Man's alienation from God, and how it's much worse than not being able to attend classes located conveniently near your home. And how the rapture will take place at warp speed. (But maybe I have the wrong religion. Do they teach Kierkegaard?) However, I don't know enough about all that and the information doesn't seem to be within reaching distance, so I'll just quote CDU's homepage, which says it was ``established in 1983 to respond to the need for life long spiritual formation and a deeper knowledge of Church Teaching. CDU's mission calls for transmitting faithfully and systematically the teachings of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors and Saints.''

The Courses-and-Programs page has a cool picture of the old pope hunched over a laptop. (I mean ``old pope'' here not as opposed to ``new pope'' but as opposed to ``younger pope.'' In other words, the same old pope when he was new.) This picture reminds me of those tired old gag pictures of people holding up monuments. You know: someone stands in the foreground with arms raised and palms flattened under an imaginary weight, and in the background a mass of concrete or whatever, lined up by the photographer's angle to appear to be pressing down on those thumbs. I mean, the pope is always hunched over squinting at the floor a few feet away. Put an open laptop before him and it's a wrap! (The laptop is black. Unless you're going as a Cardinal or as one of those fruit-colored Swiss guards, black is the only fashionable color for Vatican City.)

Another thing that picture reminds me of is an early Saturday Night Live sketch in which President Ronald Reagan does a rap video. Whenever the old man has to move, a couple of Secret Service men pick him up by the shoulders like a talking prop. It had a catchy tune, too.

The ``Ronald Reagan'' in the preceding paragraph, by the way, was not the actual president. Ralph Nader and Al Gore have appeared on the program, and probably some others who were presidential candidates, but the closest they got to having Ronald Reagan on the show was when they got his son Michael Reagan on. Michael (a dancer at the time) did a skit in which he jumped around in his skivvies, and it was reported that his parents wondered why. (It was a parody of a scene in a popular movie of the time -- Tom Cruise in ``Risky Business''? I can't find it on the web, so I guess this didn't happen either.)

Along about this point, when I first wrote this entry, I thought it would be apposite to put in a link to wherever it was in the glossary that I told a related story about Benoit Mandelbrot, but I couldn't find it. Coming back now, I see that the story is in the glossary, so I can provide a link to it.

Benoit Mandelbrot was the fellow who gave the name fractal to geometric objects of noninteger dimension, and he promoted fractals so effectively that scientists actually recognized their value and fractals achieved a pop-culture vogue. Mandelbrot was a sort of scholar-in-residence at IBM's main research labs (I guess that would be in White Plains, NY), at least in the late seventies and eighties, and he was naturally part of a video that IBM made then to spread the gospel of fractal beauty. In the video, Mandelbrot does a little introduction, then turns to a desktop computer and watches as a fractal begins to fill the screen. The audience may be forgiven for assuming that Mandelbrot has pressed a key to launch the application. However, the story goes that Mandelbrot, who worked at IBM as a mathematician (other people did his programming), was so computer-phobic or -averse that he refused to so much as lower a finger onto the keyboard. The way the problem was eventually handled was that somebody crouched behind the chair while Mandelbrot talked, then with one finger on the keyboard launched the necessary application, all below the camera's view. I heard this at a seminar at Princeton Plasma Labs at Forrestal in about 1983, but I can't find this story on the web either.

Christlich-Demokratische Union. Main conservative party of Germany, `Christian Democratic Union.' The CDU and CSU form a single grouping in the federal parliament, and have an agreement not to run against each other: the CSU's turf is Bavaria, Germany's largest state, and the CDU's is the rest of the country. As you may have guessed without following the CSU link, the party names have in common the words translated `Christian' and `Union.' Neither party is particularly Christian these days, although the current CDU party leader is the daughter of a Lutheran minister of the old East Germany. A common way to refer to the CDU and CSU collectively in Germany is as die Union. Their frequent coalition partner has been the lone nationally significant small party of the right, the FDP. A color-code shorthand is also used (CDU/CSU black; FDU yellow; socialist parties red).

Under the leadership of CDU Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1998, after 16 years of rule, with continuing high unemployment and relatively slow economic growth, and in a continuing secret-campaign-funding scandal involving Mr. Kohl, the CDU suffered its worst electoral defeat since 1949. In the September 27 general elections, CDU/CSU won 35.2% of the vote, down from 41.4% in the 1994 elections, and ended up with 245 out of 669 Bundestag seats.

A red-green coalition (socialists and environmentalists) came to power, and Gerhard Schroeder, the new prime minister, promised to fix the economy. In a Nixon-goes-to-China sort of way (that is, with his solid leftist credentials to protect him), it was expected that he would be able to negotiate with the trade unions to reduce the job and unemployment benefits that make German labor expensive and German manufacture less competitive than it is regarded as needing to be. (Interestingly, however, one thing that Germany did not have as late as 2005 was a national minimum wage. One might reason that this is in the interests of the powerful industrial unions, which negotiate industry-wide minimum hourly wage agreements. Apart from this, however, the Sozialhilfe, which is more extensive than the social welfare available in the US, supplements the income of low-wage earners. Other EU nations without a statutory minimum-wage law are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Cyprus.)

Schroeder had no significant success solving Germany's economic problems, and by the Summer of 2002 he and his party were behind in the polls. By making opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq the main issue in the campaign, he was able to distract attention from the slow-growth economy and win.

In 2005, he again tried making an issue of US foreign policy, by insisting that Germany would not send troops to Iraq. It worked almost to the point of victory. He made up a substantial deficit in the polls, and the SPD forced the CDU into a tightly negotiated and greatly hamstrung red-black coalition.

Cell Delay Variation.

Computerized Disease Vector Identification Keys.

Cell Delay Variation Tolerance.

Charge Density Wave.

Proof here that people smart enough to describe condensed matter physics research are not too smart to write ``CDW wave'' (an acronym AAP). Cf. next entry.

Collision Damage Waiver. An automobile rental scam legal in many states and provinces. A CDW is not the renter's waiver of any rights, as the name implies. Instead, it is an agreement to pay an extra ten dollars or so per day so that the rental agency will not sue the renter to recover its losses if the vehicle is damaged or stolen (or otherwise lost, I suppose). If the rental agency is waiving it's rights, then its agent should be initialing the box. Anyway. The rate charged is normally so far in excess of normal insurance rates that many states have made it illegal or mandated a low rate. Your personal automobile insurance may cover it, but you forgot to check with your insurance agent before traveling, again.

Click here to see some instances of the ever-popular ``CDW waiver,'' an AAP pleonasm. (Of course, this may only apply to the principle driver. Click here for that. The two usages seem to occur with comparable frequency, although the second is occasionally correct.) Cf. preceding entry.

C&D waste
Construction and Demolition waste.

Cab-to-End (distance). The distance from the back of the truck cab to the rear end of the frame.

For more, see Chassis Dimensions in the NTEA's glossary of Truck Equipment Terms.

{ Cache | Chip | Convert } Enable (voltage level or strobe signal).

Capillary Electrophoresis.

Ceramic, Civil, Chemical, or Computer Engineer[ing] .

Cerium. Atomic number 58. A lanthanide (rare earth: RE).

Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Chief Engineer.


Common Entrance (and scholarship examinations to Senior Independent Schools in the UK).

Communauté Européenne. French for `European Community' (EC).

Common Emitter. A BJT configuration in which the emitter is connected to the common ground.

CE, C.E.
Common Era. A less religiously provocative term for the present era than A.D.

Consumer Electronics.

Continuing Education.

Counter Electrode.

CArcinoEmbryonic Agent.

Center for Extreme ultraviolet Astrophysics.

Colorado Education Association. One of the state affiliates of the NEA.

Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique. This page is written in a foreign language, as you can see from the filthy parasites infesting many of the vowels. There used to be an English version, but ``l'URL que vous avez saisie n'existe pas sur ce site.'' I don't know how they expect anyone to understand anything. For example: in the webpage title, following the mystifying organization name, it says ``Énergie nucléaire, défense, technologies, sciences.'' I don't even know how to pronounce those words. Well, I'll take a shot at translation, anyway. CEA is apparently the French national `Atomic Energy Commission.' As of 2003, CEA had ten research centers scattered around France. They are authorized to emit radioactive pollution in gas or liquid form or both. Unless it is absolutely certain that these effluents will only end up in the US, precautions are taken to assure that the amounts released are small. A local branch of the SPR (roughly `radiation protective services'; see French expansion at its entry) at each CEA center is charged with monitoring these emissions.

Connecticut Education Association. One of the state affiliates of the NEA.

Council of Economic Advisers [sic]. An organization that can be ignored in the formulation of future economic policy and blamed for past economic policy.

Centro de Apoyo al Desarrollo Local. `Center for support of local development,' an Argentine organization.

Center for Exposure Assessment Modeling. ``The EPA Center for Exposure Assessment Modeling (CEAM) was established in 1987 to meet the scientific and technical exposure assessment needs of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) as well as state environmental and resource management agencies. CEAM provides proven predictive exposure assessment techniques for aquatic, terrestrial, and multimedia pathways for organic chemicals and metals.''

Coordination Européenne des Associations de Maladies Rares. The old webpage for this entity is no longer hosted by Infobiogen, but maybe you can find what you want at AMR.

Comisión para el Estudio de las Actividades del Nazismo en la Argentina, 1997-1999. `Commission for the Study of Nazi Activities in Argentina, 1997-1999.'

One who stops. Cf. Caesar.

Continuing Education of the Bar. Dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers. Pretty sordid stuff, huh?

Continuous Electron-Beam Accelerator Facility. A facility that has been used for nuclear physics experiments since the 1990's. In 1996 the institution around the original linear accelerator became known as the ``Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab), though ``CEBAF'' continues to be used as the name for the linear accelerator. The distinction is a bit slippery. (E.g., the University of Virginia hosts a ``Governor's Distinguished CEBAF Professor'' position.)

Consumer Electronics BUS. CEBus is the registered trademark of EIA for its open standard for home automation. The standard is also known as IS-60 and EIS-600. The standard is promoted by CIC.

Central Educational Center. A vocational charter school in Coweta County, Georgia. It opened in 2000; read a news report on it in 2007, from CNN.

Central Election Commission (of the Palestinian Authority).

Commission for Environmental Cooperation. A trilateral organization created by the NAFTA countries under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The CEC was ``established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. The Agreement complements the environmental provisions of'' NAFTA.

Commission of the European Communities.

Council for Exceptional Children. [This implicitly excludes those children who are exceptional because they are gifted.]

Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board. Search for the acronym on this page.

Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire.

Cascode Emitter-Coupled Logic (ECL).

Chief Environmental Compliance Officer. ``Compliance'' -- that sounds a little reluctant. Better poke around among the other CXO's for a better one, like CGO

Communications and Electronics COMmand. Under the Department of the Army, which is part of the DOD.

Communications and Electronics COMmand - Acquisition Center.

Collins English Dictionary.

Committee for Economic Development.

Cross Examination Debate Association. An organization of college and university debate programs sponsoring a sweepstakes championship and national tournament each year. Affiliated with the AFA. There are other debating entries in this glossary.

Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition. They're not embarrassed by the name because their main customer is the government.

Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. A UN legal convention. In Spanish, it's la ``Convención Sobre la Eliminación de Todas las Formas de Discriminación Contra la Mujer (CEDAW).'' In French, it's la ``Convention sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes.'' This is the way that UN staff actually talk. You can rent UN personnel to perform at children's birthday parties -- they're like clowns, but more existentially surprising. And they're not funny, but -- it's the latest thing! All the Hollywood celebrities are doing it! (Okay -- actually, they don't exactly ``perform.'' They just mill around and disapprove.) Available in six official languages; blue helmets cost extra; will not go into bad neighborhoods. Not recommended for younger children. Warning: UN personnel should never be left alone unsupervised with older children.

(In Spanish, the use of the singular ``la mujer'' to stand for women in general is a standard usage.) There's also a Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación contra la Mujer; Comité pour l'élimination de la discrimination à l'égard des femmes). It is not abbreviated, as CEDAW or anything else, so far as I'm aware. This committee is ``a body [uh-huh] of 23 [what is this -- Sufi mysticism?] independent experts'' (oh sure) that ``receive[s] and consider[s] communications (petitions) from, or on behalf of, individuals or a group of individuals who claim to be victims of violations of the rights protected by the Convention.'' Rent by the hour; special rates for holidays and weekends.

Spanish, `you yield.'

Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad. Argentine `Center for Studies of State and Society' at UTDT.

Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Institucional. `Center of Studies for Institutional Development' based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. CEDI is part of the Fundación Gobierno y Sociedad.

County Economic Development Income Tax.

CANMET Energy Diversification Research Laboratory. A component lab of CANMET.

Courrier d'Entreprise à Distribution EXceptionnelle.

La Cour européenne des Droits de l'Homme. French: `the European court of the rights of man.' (Officially `European Court of Human Rights,' ECHR.) The court is housed in the Palais des Droits de l'Homme in Strasbourg. The building looks like a cross between an oil refinery and the futuristic circular residence in Woody Allen's movie Sleeper (mentioned at the electrical banana entry).

Commission on Engineering Education.

Communauté Économique Européenne. French for `European Economic Community' (EEC).

The Center for Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Kentucky.

College Entrance Examination Board. The stuff you are more likely to have come here to find out, if your mind isn't half as twisted as mine, is still a couple of paragraphs down.

The year 1899 was an interesting year in American college admissions. In June, Helen Keller passed the entrance examination of Radcliffe College, Harvard University. An ``Answers to Correspondents'' column in the August 19 New York Times reported that

Helen Keller, sometimes spelled Kellar, was born in Tuscambia, Ala., July 27, 1880. Her father was Arthur H. Keller, a Confederate officer, an editor, and at one time United States Marshal of Alabama. At the age of eighteen months, Helen, a bright and active child, was overcome by a disease which deprived her of sight, hearing, and the use of the organs of speech. At the age of seven years her parents began to educate her. In 1887 she was taken to Boston, where she became the pupil of Miss Sullivan, who remains with her to-day. Miss Sullivan was three years teaching the child lip reading. She will enter Radcliffe College, Harvard's Annex, in September. The girl is a relative of Robert E. Lee, and a great-great-granddaughter of Alexander Spottswood, the first Colonial Governor of Virginia. She is remarkably pretty, and has a lovable, poetic nature.

But the year's truly consequential event in college entrance exam history took place on December 1 in Trenton, New Jersey, at the 13th annual convention of the Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland. There before over 500 delegates, Prof. Nicholas Murray Butler (Dean of the School of Philosophy at Columbia University) read a paper urging the creation of a unified system for testing candidates for college admission. In a discussion following the paper, President Eliot of Harvard and President Low of Columbia pronounced themselves enthusiastically in favor of the proposal. President Patton of Princeton expressed reservations.

At the time, each college had its own set of requirements, with examinations in different sets of subjects, and different topics in the subjects they had in common. Each college offered examinations in various cities in areas of the country from which it expected to accept students. The chief selling point of Butler's proposal, however, was not the relief it would give the colleges from the burden of designing and administering all those exams. Rather, the advantage stressed was that standardization of entrance requirements would make it possible for secondary schools to know what to teach their students. (The discussion implicitly assumed that in the past, students had studied for only one exam.)

Under Butler's proposal, it was contemplated that tests would be created for each subject then currently part of the entrance examinations of two or more colleges, and that colleges could base their admissions on the students' performance on the subjects they chose to use as their basis for admission. (This information would be provided in certificates to be issued by the board administering the tests.)

The delegates at the Trenton meeting endorsed the plan. The proposed board was duly founded in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board of the Middle States and Maryland. Here is the list of chief examiners of the first Board of Examiners (along with the institutions where they were professors), announced on December 15, 1900, after their election by the College Board:

The following January 22, Prof. Butler of Columbia, in his capacity as Secretary of the College Board, released a list that included associate examiners. Each group of examiners consisted of one chief and two associate examiners. In each case, one associate was from a different college than the chief examiner, and the other associate was a secondary school teacher. (For Latin and mathematics groups they were high school principals.)

All of the schools represented on the Board of Examiners were in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, or (in the sole case of JHU) Maryland. I assume therefore that ``Middle States'' stood for the three northern Mid-Atlantic states.

In the January 22 announcement, Butler claimed that all colleges in the middle states and Maryland, as well as most colleges in the nation, would accept the College Board's certificates in lieu of their own exams.

N.V. Continentale d'Équipements Électriques de Protection et de Télécontrôle, s.a. (The N.V. ... s.a. construction is belt-and-suspenders. Something like `Co., Inc.,' or more like company ... incorporada. I plan not to worry about it.) The B is for Belgium.

Capillary Electrophoresis/ElectroChemistry.

Central and Eastern European Countries.

Central and East European Law Initiative.

Center for Electronic and Electro-optic Materials. An organization at UB that was incorporated-into/replaced-by CAPEM.

Centro de Estudos de Engenharia Mecanica.

Consortium for Environmental Education in Medicine.

Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Less common acronym than CEEMEA.

Central and Eastern European MANagement Development Association. Based mostly out of Slovenia, apparently.

Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. More common acronym than CEEMA, but less common than CEMEA.

Coalition for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.

Canadian Expeditionary Force. During WWI, Allied forces fighting in France included the Americans (AEF), British (BEF) and the Canadians (CEF).

Moving on up the alphabet, we notice that the Dutch sat out that war. It is commonly suggested that the German occupation of the Netherlands in WWII, which was mild compared to that of countries to the east, was resented more keenly by the Dutch because they hadn't suffered occupation in the previous war. Perhaps. As the war was ending and the Germans withdrew, there was famine in the cities; many people went into the countryside and dug up flower bulbs for food.

Not technically a part of the Canadian Forces were those of Newfoundland, mentioned at the Memorial entry.

Raymond Chandler, creator of Philip Marlowe and author of The Big Sleep and other works, was born in the US on July 23, 1888. After his parents' divorce, he moved to London with his mother in 1895 and was educated in England. He returned to the US in 1912, and in 1914 enlisted in the Canadian Army. (He joined the Canadian Army because they paid a dependent's allowance that he could send to his mother.) He served in the First Division of the CEF in France and became a platoon commander. In 1918 he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps (later the R.A.F.), but had not completed flight training when the Armistice came. He was demobilized in England; his mother returned with him to California.

Cable Entrance Facility.

Closed-End Fund.

Confederación Española de Gremios y Asociaciones de Libreros. `Spanish confederation of unions and associations of booksellers.'

Collège d'Enseignement Général Et Professionel. Québec's approximate equivalent of a ``community college'' or CAAT in the rest of Canada, or ``junior college'' in the US.

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. In Dorset, UK.

Comitato Elettrotecnico Italiano. The Italian member organization of the CEI.

Commission Electrotechnique Internationale. French name of IEC.

Communauté des États Indépendants. French for `Commonwealth of Independent States' (CIS).

Comparable Efficient Interconnection.

Competitive Enterprise Institute. Libertarian advocacy group.

Connection Endpoint Identifier.

Consulting Engineers of Indiana, Inc.

Centro de Estudios e Información Laboral. Argentine `Center for Labor Studies and Information' at UTDT.

ceiling fan
Check which way the steam rises from your corned-beef hash before you start with the pepper shaker.

Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. The US EPA, ``as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, through its interagency partner NSF[,] are [sic] seeking proposals to create a national Center [sic] to conduct fundamental research and education on the implications of nanotechnology for the environment and living systems at all scales. The Center will address interactions of naturally derived, incidental and engineered nanoparticles and nanostructured materials, devices and systems (herein called ``nanomaterials'') with the living world.'' When you're handing out the money, no one corrects your grammar.

A rare word, but all three major Scrabble dictionaries know it. According to the OSPD, it's a belt for the waist. In France it's one of two ring railways around Paris: the petite ceinture and the grande ceinture.

The Spanish cognate of ceinture is cintura. It means `waist' and the word's augmentative form cinturón means `belt' (the main sense of the French word). (Also, cinta is any ribbon. Estar en cinta, literally `to be on the ribbon,' is an old but still-used euphemism meaning `to be pregnant.' There's an American company called Cintas that sells and rents uniforms for all kinds of businesses.)

These words are derived from the nexus of Latin words connected with cingere, loosely `to encircle, gird.' The disused English word cingle comes via Old French (before they started writing it with an s) from the Latin diminutive form cingulum meaning `girdle.' The more general term cingula gave rise to Spanish cincha, referring among other things to barrel hoops and the girths of harnesses and saddles. In the last sense it was borrowed from Mexican Spanish into the American and general English cinch.

UNCommittee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Based in Geneva. When the name is given, ``the Exercise of'' is often elided, making the I in the acronym a bit mysterious.

CELluloid, or a sheet of transparent CElLuloid (or is that CElluLoid?) of the sort that used to be used in making animations.

The legendary cartoonist Chuck Jones (b. Sept. 21, 1912; d. Feb. 22, 2002) got his first regular job in 1932, washing cels. According to his grandson Craig Kausen, ``he thought he was going to be cleaning in a prison.''

If he had had a fast (superluminal) internet connection, he could have avoided confusion, unless it came from the Acme technology company.

Chuck Jones directed the first Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon (``Fast and Furry-ous,'' 1949) and had a hand in creating Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

Conferencia General del Episcopado Latinoamericano. `General Conference of Latin American Bishops.'

Someone famous for being famous. Visit Chat Soup for the ``best of celebrity chat on the net.''

Charge, ELement, and Isotope Analysis System.

Céline Dion
The name of Celine Dion, as spelled in her native Canadian language.

Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

If you didn't reach this entry by accident (it could happen), then you might be interested in this newsletter editors' resource guide.

Information in ATM is passed in 53-byte ``cells.'' These consist of 48 bytes of payload and five bytes of header. The process of dicing the data into 48-byte segments and of reassembling the data from these segments is performed in the SAR sublayer of the ATM adaptation layer (AAL).

The cell header holds addressee and flow-control information, in the form of values for six fields:

Generic Flow Control. A four-bit field for supporting multiplexing functions. The default value of zero means GFC protocol is ignored.
Virtual Path Identifier. An eight-bit field to identify the VP (duh).
Virtual Path Identifier. An eight-bit field to identify the VP (duh).

Computing Environment for Linguistic, Literary, and Anthropological Research.

cell phone
A portable wireless phone. The ``cell'' refers to the fact that the system it's part of divides (some of) the earth's surface into cells, each served by a transceiver that relays messages between phones in the cell and the wireline communication network.

Have you heard about this philosophy conference in Budapest, April 28-30, 2005? ``Seeing, Understanding, Learning in the Mobile Age.'' Contributions ``invited from philosophers, psychologists, education theorists, and other interested scholars [could this include electrical engineers? nah!] on the following and related topics:

You learn something new every day. I didn't realize that anyone considered ``education theorists'' to be scholars, interested or otherwise.

cell-phone violence
No, I'm not talking about grabbing the thing out of her hand and throwing or crushing it. That's as trite as sex; everyone has that fantasy at least weekly, and some people indulge the fantasy. Also, there are many reports of fans throwing cell phones at basketball players, though this is not common in the US.

Okay, enough about that poor, long-suffering supermodel. Here's a strange incident took place just before midnight, on April 23, 2005, along the possibly quite aptly named Savage-Guilford Road in Howard County, Md. Occupants of a vehicle shouted to a male pedestrian, who at first thought they were acquaintances. He approached the vehicle, and a male passenger appeared to point a weapon at him. Another passenger got out and ordered the pedestrian to empty his pockets. The other two occupants of the vehicle then got out. One grabbed the pedestrian around the throat, and the assailants rifled the pedestrian's pockets and took a cell phone. The assailants then drove away with the cell phone, made a U-turn and drove back. One of them threw the cell phone at the pedestrian and the robbers fled.

December 15, 2005, Council Bluffs, Iowa. A 48-year-old man rammed his pickup into the wooden deck in front of Chit Chat Wireless store at 2034 W. Broadway. The man, a Chit Chat subscriber who was clearly not well-gruntled by his cell-phone service, then got out of the truck and approached the front door of Chit Chat Wireless, evidently to have a chit chat. An employee inside the store judged that the man was ``up to no good,'' as he later told police, so he locked the door. The tough customer told the employee to open the door, but the employee accountably refused. (Well, unaccountably is a word....) The man then became upset (that's how the police report put it) and began punching and kicking at the glass door. He succeeded in shattering the glass, but didn't get in. (This would be the right time to cue the ``I hear you knockin' / But you can't come in'' ringtone.) He then threw his cell phone at the door and drove off. The customer was later arrested at a hospital where he sought treatment for the hand he hurt breaking the door.

Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. A test and curriculum designed and coordinated by Cambridge University ESOL. Given the provenance, it's not surprising that it is more commonly used in the Commonwealth. As of November 2003, the US has nine testing centers, Canada has eight, and Australia nineteen.

To be frank, they should have saved this acronym for teachers of Gaelic. (The Franks were speakers of a West Germanic language in the area of present-day northern France. Their language was influential in the development of the French language, and the name France is derived from the tribe's name.)

Communist Economic Mummble and Ahhh I don't know. I'll get back to you on that. Economic development assistance for the former Soviet Union, apparently.

Got it! It's:

Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.

To be frank, I think ``Communist Economic Mummble and Ahhh'' is more informmative.

Consumer Electronics Manufacturers' Association.

A childish misspelling of cementary (which see, for key info). We use childish missspellings as a sort of kindly, winking joke, whistfully sighing and thinkong how we were young and orthograhically chalenged once, two.

The title of that Steven King novel and Mary Lambert-directed horror movie is ``Pet Sematary.'' That's overkill.

Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. More common acronym than CEEMEA.

Centre de Mise en Forme des Matériaux. A research center in L'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

cementary, cementery
A place where the buried dead can be visited. From cement, in the transferred sense of emotional binding and also because people used to be buried in... oh wait -- that's not right! It's cemetery, and I pronounced it incorrectly for over forty years!

I suppose the reason for my error is that in my native Spanish, the word is cementerio. After I became aware of the difference, I noticed that my mom makes the same error in English. But the error may not be so rare -- I heard it in a radio ad in 2005. Another word whose spelling in Spanish can easily mislead one in English is substraer (`to subtract'). That is, I used to, uh, em, never mind.

A common misspelling of cemetery.

Graveyard. From Middle English cimitery (though MEng spelling wobbled quite a bit) < Middle French cimitere < Late Latin coemeteriumGreek koimêtêrion, `sleeping chamber,' already used euphemistically in the sense of `burial place.' No connection with scimitar, I'm reasonably sure. See the starve entry, however, for a semantic shift associated with mode of death.

The Spanish cognate is cementerio. Yes, that's with an en. Perhaps the en got in there via an assumed connection with entierro (`burial') and enterrar (`to inter'). I feel compelled to mention that the Spanish words for exhume, exhumation are constructed as something like ``unbury, unburial'' (desenterrar, desentierro).

Useful list of terms that sound utterly different in Spanish:
entrar -- to enter
enterrar -- to inter
enterar -- to let know
[enterarse -- to find out]
Also note:
entero -- entire, whole

A few miles east of Point Concepcion (probably Punto Concepción at some point in its history -- particularly the point of its first conception), there's a ``Canada Cementeria'' according to the map. That is, a Cañada Cementería. This is either the cement-mixing ravine or the burial gully. If it were in New Jersey instead of California, that wouldn't be ambiguous. (If you find the last comment confusing, see the teamster entry. If you haven't had enough of obfuscated interlingual puns, visit the faux ami entry. For another example of an unexpected en, see the gringo entry.) For an instance involving a similar pair of sounds in a pair of words having similar meanings, see the mujerengo and mujeriego entries.

What, still here? Don't you follow links? Try this one, for an epitaph.

Center for Electromagnetic Materials & Optical Systems at UMass Lowell.

Complementary Enhanced MOS. Vide CMOS.

Council of European Municipalities and Regions.

College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. UVM seems to have the only one. I guess there's no sense applying anywhere else, then.

Centaurus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Centaurus is the Latin name for what we call a `centaur'!

Chemical and Engineering News. Professional journal for members of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ISSN 0009-2347.

Comite Européen de Normalisation or Comite Européen des Normes. ``European Committee for Standardization.'' (Sic, with a z.)

CEN's mission is to promote voluntary technical harmonization in Europe in conjunction with worldwide bodies and its partners in Europe.

Harmonization diminishes trade barriers, promotes safety, allows interoperability of products, systems and services, and promotes common technical understanding.

In Europe, CEN works in partnership with CENELEC -- the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (www.cenelec.be) and ETSI -- the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (www.etsi.fr).

Latin (and various Romance languages) `dinner.'

Center for ENtrepreneurial Activities. An independent site, sponsored by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, is entreworld.org -- A World of Resources for Entrepreneurs.

Vide etiam SBA and NASE and AHBA.

Certification Examination in Nuclear Cardiology. Administered by the CBNC.

Comité Européen de Normalisation ELECtrotechnique or `European committee for electrotechnical standardization.' (Sometimes expanded Comité Européen des Normes ELECtrotechniques.)

Centre d'Énergétique. A research center in L'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

Centro de Estudios para una Nueva Mayoria. `Center for studies for a new majority,' an Argentine organization.

Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? and ain't that a big enough majority in any town?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ch. 26.

Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics.

The hundredth part of something, usually money. One US cent is one one-hundredth part of a US dollar.

In music, a cent is one one-hundredth of a half tone. Since music intervals are not absolute frequency differences but frequency ratios, this means more precisely that two notes differing by one cent have pitches (frequencies) in the ratio of 21/1200 (yes, the 1200th root of two). For example, in the usual tuning, the fifth string of a six-string guitar is an A with a frequency of 110 Hz. If you're sitting in my bedroom with the air conditioning roaring and you're tryin' to tune that string with one o'them newfangled eelectronic tuners, the 120 Hz component of the A/C vibration is going to spoof the tuner, to the tune of one or two half-steps (or half-tones -- we can do it both ways). Now you want to know,

``How much is that in cents?''

1200 log2(120/110) =  150.6 or so. (That is, about a quarter tone above A#.) Cf. decibels.

Noisy fluorescent lights hum at 120 Hz also, but with a tinnier timbre.

Centerfold Syndrome, The
A ``set of psychosexual attitudes and behaviors that is characteristic of most heterosexual men (some more than others) as well as reflective of the many ways in which normative male behavior is problematic.'' Defined by Gary R. Brooks at least as long ago as 1995, in his The Centerfold Syndrome: How Men Can Overcome Objectification and Achieve Intimacy With Women (San Francisco: Josey-Bass). It's decried in chapter 2 of Men and Sex, mentioned at the nonrelational sex entry.

Central American Northern Triangle
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Sorry, Belize; four is square.

Center for Equal Opportunity. ``[A] think tank devoted exclusively to the promotion of colorblind equal opportunity and racial harmony.''

Chief Executive Officer. In the US, it is very common for the offices of CEO and Chairman of the Board to be held by the same person. A notable exception occurred at GM during a period when stockholders were so distrustful of management that the chairman functioned effectively as an independent monitor of management for a vigilant board. (For an unusual and certifiably silly alternative expansion of CEO, in a case where the CEO fulfills the usual functions of a chief executive officer, see the bit on Walt Freese.)

This situation may be contrasted with that of the corresponding legislative authority of the federal government of the US: According to Art. I, Sec. 6 of the US constitution,

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Similarly, Art. II, Sec. 1 forbids members of the Electoral College to hold other federal office:

... no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
[The Electoral College was originally intended to select the President, but the twelfth amendment, court decisions and practical developments have turned it into a rubber stamp, conveying the decisions of the majorities of voters in the several states. There are persistent movements to abolish the Electoral College because of its nominal status, because of the possibility of mischief (electors' violation of their pledges to a candidate -- i.e. insubordination to the public will), and because of perceived problems with the coarse-graining procedure (winner-takes-whole-state) associated with the College.]

On the executive side, the restriction on multiple offices takes a weaker form:

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

European corporations are generally less likely to have the same person serve as CEO and Chairman. Also, many publicly held corporations in Europe -- particularly in Germany (.de) it seems -- have worker (viz. union) representation on the board.

The Chairman of the Board is not very often abbreviated as COB.

The late Frank Sinatra was also referred to as ``Ol' Blue Eyes'' and ``the Chairman of the Board.'' Another New Jersey (NJ) music icon, Bruce Springsteen, is known as ``the Boss.'' In 1984, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band had a hit with an album (and its title track) ``Born in the U.S.A.''

Yet another pop music icon with a rank appellation was Nat ``King'' Cole. He was born in the USA, but not in New Jersey. He was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17, 1917.

Coastal and Estuarine Oceanography Branch.

Committee On Earth Observation Satellites.

Cepheus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Circular Error Probable. As in bomb aiming.

During the Cold War, the USSR usually (from the late sixties or so) held an advantage in strategic missile throw weight. (The US usually led in SLBM's and bombers.) An important part of the argument in parity computations was the fact that more accurate missiles can kill a target using less megatonnage.

Council on Economic Priorities.

Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (slow link) in western New York (defined here).

Centro de Estudios y Promoción Agraria. `Center for the study and promotion of agriculture,' an Argentine organization. In Spanish as spoken in Argentina (as well as Andalusia in Spain and throughout Spanish America), cepa is a homonym of sepa (`that [the person] know'). This is probably as good a place as any to mention that Agricola was a great medieval metallurgist.

Centro de Estudios de la Participacón y Desarrollo. `Center for studies of participation and development,' an Argentine organization.

Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe. In any Latin American Spanish accent, this is pronounced indistinguishably from sepal.

The library has been trying to unload some back issues of Revista de la CEPAL on its dollar table, and I'm going to give them some free advertising. The journal seems to be a thrice-yearly (April, August, December) publication of the United Nations, ISSN 0251-0257, edited and printed in Santiago, Chile. For a dollar, that should be enough.

Centre d'Étude du Polymorphisme Humain. Since April 1993, it has been the Fondation Jean Dausset - CEPH. (CEPH ``is a research laboratory created in 1984 by Professor Jean Dausset (Nobel Prize, medicine and physiology, 1980). This laboratory constructs maps of the human genome. The original idea of Professor Dausset was to provide the scientific community with resources for the human genome mapping.'')

Centre d'Épidémiologie d'Intervention du Québec. A public health organization based in Laval that seems to have disappeared around 2001, although acronym dictionaries everywhere faithfully continue to expand its acronym. We do our part; if you want immunizations, that's your problem.

Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office. Part of the US EPA.

CEntro de PREparación para la Ciencia Y Tecnología. [`Peruvian (.pe) Center for Preparation for Science and Technology.']

Committee of European Postal & Telephone Authorities. Designates a European telecommunications standard at 2.048 MHz, corresponding to the US's T1.

CEnter for Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Science. Ought to rhyme with sepsis.

CEPTES has a regularly scheduled volleyball game with CAPTES (Center Against Philosophy of Technology or Engineering Science) on the fourth Thursday after the second Monday of each month.

(US) Council on Environmental Quality.

Cell Error Ratio. (That's ATM cells, in case you're not following the link.)

Centre for European Reform. ``The Centre for European Reform is a think-tank devoted to improving the quality of the debate on the European Union. It is a forum for people with ideas from Britain [where it's based] and across the continent to discuss the many political, economic and social challenges facing Europe. It seeks to work with similar bodies in other European countries, North America and elsewhere in the world.''

Why don't these ``think-tanks'' save us all some time by stating up front what their animating prejudices are? ``Centre'' hardly ever describes their political location. Well, I don't know when I harvested the self-description quoted above, but I checked back in March 2016 (the Brexit referendum is this coming June) and they're clear enough (that they're mainstream): ``The Centre for European Reform is an independent think-tank devoted to making the EU work better, and strengthening its role in the world. We are pro-European but not uncritical.'' I guess ``centre'' means ``in'' rather than `out'' -- that makes geometric sense to me.

Contact End Resistor. A two-dimensional Transmission Line Model (TLM). Cf. CBKR.

Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

Centre for Eye Research Australia.

Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

Centers of Excellence in Rural America. An initiative of the Western Governors' Association (WGA), or possibly only of Wyoming and North Dakota. Too bad -- I was hoping we could get one in Dogpatch.

(US) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Better known as Superfund.

[Image: Sidebraze cerdip: http://www.national.com/packaging/gifs/sb.gif]
Ceramic Dual-In-Line Package
A ceramic package for microelectronic chips, with vertical leads, for pin-through-hole mounting, which point down in two parallel rows along opposite sides of the package. They come in different styles, and the ``sidebraze'' type is illustrated above. For the more traditional type of package, see illustration at cerdip below. Specs for some are published on the web by National Semiconductor.

CERDIL, cerdil
CERamic Dual In-Line (microelectronics package).

CERDIP, cerdip
CERamic Dual In-line Package. Unfortunately, there is something in the nomenclature here that resembles the ROM/RAM situation. While ceramic dual-in-line packages come in different forms, the acronym cerdip refers implicitly to the traditional pressed ceramic package with glass seal, recognizable from the solder-dip leads that come out the sides of the package and bend down (figure below).

[Image: Cerdip from http://www.nsc.com/packaging/gifs/cerdip.gif]

CERamic Engineer[ing].

cereal box
According to the lyrics of Edie Brickell's ``What I Am,'' philosophy is talk on a cereal box. The following wordful thoughts are from The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought, by Dr. Werner Stark (New York: Fordham U.P., 1963, $5.50), p. 89.
... Now the copula `is' which Radcliffe-Brown himself uses here--`he is a biological organism': `he is a citizen of England'--is highly significant. He does not say: a man has a body or he plays a role. This form of words is avoided because it implies a third element, namely the true self, which neither is a body but has a body, nor is a role-complex but plays roles. Am I really no more than body on the one hand, actor on the social stage on the other? Am I not a substantive ego in the Cartesian sense....

Religion: a smile on a dog.

Yeah, yeah, I gotta add some stuff on President William Jefferson (``Bill'') Clinton, a former Rhodes scholar, who expounded on the copulative verb to a grand jury:

It depends upon what the meaning of the word ``is'' is.
(The wording of Clinton's testimony has been variously reported, by people who in many cases are only indifferently interested in accuracy. A more accuracy-oriented discussion of the quote occurred on the <alt.fan.cecil-adams> newsgroup, first threading at the end of December 2000. The version quoted above was transcribed by a newsgroup contributor from a video of the jury testimony.

The largest asteroid by far, accounting for about a third of the mass of the asteroid belt, Ceres was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi on the first day of the nineteenth century. It nicely filled the gap between Mars and Jupiter where the Titius-Bode rule predicted there ought to be a planet, and among the kinds of astronomical objects then known it seemed to fit in among the planets, so a planet it was declared to be. After other solar satellites began to be found with similar orbits, the category of asteroids was invented; Ceres was reclassified as an asteroid, and was no longer regarded as a planet. There matters stood for a century and a half.

In 2006 it was reclassified as a dwarf planet. For the time being, at least, it's clearly not a plutoid, because plutoids are trans-Neptunian by (current) definition, or at least sometimes trans-Neptunian. I've also read equivocal claims about whether Ceres ceased or did not cease to be an asteroid. I hereby issue a Stammtisch Beau Fleuve Directive recognizing Ceres as an asteroid. I can't be bothered to sort out the other stuff, because the boy who cried ``dwarf planet!'' (that's the IAU, for short) will scramble its definitions soon again anyway.

Okay! Alright already! In response to countless requests (that's right, I haven't counted them, or it, or whatever the pronoun[s] for nonpositive numbers is or are or whatever) to lift the confusion created by the IAU, I am issuing a new SBF Directive on dwarf planets. A dwarf planet is a planet whose humanoid inhabitants are mostly dwarves or seem to walk awkwardly but aren't obese. If the planet has no humanoids, it may qualify on the basis of bonsai trees.

You know, that long parenthetical in the last paragraph reminds me of the great French grammarian Dominique Bouhours, S.J.; when he died in 1702, his last words are reputed to have been:

Je vais ou je vas mourir, l'un et l'autre se dit ou se disent.
Loosely, this is `I am going to or I is going to die; either is said or are said.' The first clause of the original sounds at least as atrocious in Modern French as that of the translation does in English. (And for about the same reason: use of non-first-person verb with first-person subject. It's the second-person familiar form in French, but I used the third person in English since that's a recognizable nonstandard usage.) During Bouhours's lifetime, however, ``je vas'' was accepted usage.

Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System. A NASA project to study radiative energy transport in the Earth's atmosphere.

Bennett Alfred Cerf (1898-1971).

Collège des Enseignants en Radiologie de France. I'm not sure if an official translation exists or is needed, but let's say `French College of Radiology Instructors.'

Cytology Education and Research Forum. This likely acronym seems to occur only in acronym glossaries. Here ya go.

Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute.

Conseil Européenne pour le Recherche Nucléaire. The European Particle Physics Laboratory at the French/Swiss border. You don't need a visa to visit the CERN Document Server of physics preprints.

Commander's Emergency Response Program. A program of the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) that assists Iraqi citizens by supporting and developing local programs and institutions. The projects must not exceed $500,000 and must demonstrate an important public need. Examples of things funded include drainage and irrigation projects; building renovations, buses, and uniforms for schools; hospital equipment, and construction of a fine arts institute. Supplies and services are primarily purchased from local sources.

Cert., cert
Certif{ y | ie{d|s} | icat{e|ion} }. If that's hard to parse, read
certify, certifies, certified, certificate, or certification.

CERTiorari. An appeal to the US Supreme Court is a petition for a writ of certiorari. Thousands of such petitions are filed each year; the court hears only about a hundred cases per year. According to the rule of four, at least four of nine justices must agree to hear the case in order for the writ to be issued. Cf. cert. den.

Computer Emergency Response Team. Here are a few relevant sites/links:

Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at Carnegie-Mellon. See CERT above for other relevant organizations.

cert. den.
CERTiorari DENied. The Supreme Court refuses to take the case on appeal. This is not a decision on the merits of the case, and cannot be taken as indicating approval of the lower court's decision. Interesting. Cf. cert.

An over-the-counter breath medication. Active ingredient: retsin. (Follow that link!)

Computer Emergency Response Team (Utrecht University). See CERT for other relevant organizations.

Career Examination Series. A series of ``Passbooks'' (registered trademark) of the NLC. Exam cram. Here are some bulleted selling points of passbooks (R):

Centre for Educational Sociology.

7 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW.

Circuit Emulation Service.

Community Extension Service[s].

Consumer Electronics Show. In Las Vegas. Every Winter, they host the Annual Adult Video News Awards, but you won't see any of that in their web pages.

Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale.


Centre for European Studies and General Linguistics. The old Classics Department, and I-don't-know-what-other unsalable bits of academic pudding, were filling for this sausage at the University of Adelaide (in SA). This, according to a June 2001 newsletter of the ASCS, ``the spellchecker on computers insists on reading as `cesspool'.''

Cornell Electron-positron Storage Ring. I seem to recall that it was pronounced ``Caesar.'' So was CSSER.

Center for Electronic System Technology. At the University of Utah.

Center for the Exploitation of Science and Technology. Is that fair? Is it legal? Pity the poor little sciencelings and technologylings!

Well, relax; CEST is gone now. They did their deeds into the early 1990's, apparently, but by 2008 their homepage was a domainer's generic search form with no sign of a successor organization. All that's left is some technical reports and glossary entries.

It was based in London, so it was probably a ``Centre'' rather than a ``Center,'' but the text at vestigial dead links are equivocal on the question. For your convenience, however, and also to keep the next two entries together (entries with a common head term are ordered by alphabetizing by entry content), I won't update that.

Central European Summer Time. That's what it means most of the time. A few percent of the time, it means Central European Standard Time, just to screw me up. CEDT and CDT, with the obvious ``daylight'' expansions, are rare. Cf. CET infra.

Central European Time. (Sometimes ``Central European Standard Time''; see CEST just above.) The name suggests a central Europe that extends as far west as Spain. CET is standard time zone A (which see). It's one hour ahead of universal time. MEZ in German.

Cetus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Common External Tariffs (of CARICOM).

Continuing Education and Training.

There's an old children's song with the lines

No more pencils, no more bo-oks,
No more teachers' dirty lo-oks.
Alice Cooper quotes those lines in ``School's Out.''

School is never out forever, never out completely. ``The learning society,'' ugh.

Cf. CPD.

Conférence des Églises de Toute l'Afrique. For English, see AACC.

Confédération Européenne de Twirling Bâton. Translation? You figure it out. Plus d'associations twirling bâton: majorette.

Center for ExtraTerrestrial Engineering & Construction.


Cetedoc, CETEDOC
Le Centre de traitement électronique des documents. Based at UCL.

ceteris paribus
Latin loosely translated as `all other things being equal.' The favorite phrase of economists.

Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities. Located at Princeton.

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems.

Central European University. In Hungary. The homepage features a collage of eleven people with glum expressions.

Continuing Education Unit. An academic credit, not necessarily equal to one credit hour.

Controlled-Environment Vault.

Carbon-Enhanced Vapor Etching. Also called locally catalyzed oxide etching. Here's something.

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