(Click here for bottom)

Calvin and Hobbes.


(Domain code for) Switzerland. Because the country has three official languages (plus Romansch), they used the Latin name, Confoederatio Helvetica. Famous for its prized neutrality and its fierce commitment to defend its independence by small arms fire and by making profitable secret deals with any belligerent neighbor, it naturally has not joined the EU, to say nothing of NATO. For a long time, it was reluctant to join the UN; it had observer status. (English is not officially an official language of Switzerland; I guess they have voyeur status.) Heck, I've observed the UN myself. Various UN organizations are headquartered in Geneva (contributing an estimated $1.8 billion to the economy). I guess the organizations are there because it makes the exchange of multilingual memoranda more efficient, and not because it's a nice place to be. On March 3, 2002, Switzerland finally decided, in a close vote, to join the UN. On September 10 of the same year its admission was approved!!! (We were all holding our breaths in excited anticipation.) It became the 190th member.

Switzerland was belittled for its cuckoo clocks in the movie ``The Third Man.'' One of the things that my mother brought with her as a refugee to Bolivia in 1938 was her cuckoo clock. Her family set up a tailor shop in La Paz, and many of the customers would bring their children along so they could watch the cuckoo clock tweet the hour or half hour.

There's a cleverly named sear.ch engine.

Here's the Swiss page of an X.500 directory.

Here's something: since 1945, Swiss mothers have been required to take eight weeks off work after childbirth, but in 1999 a measure to require and fund maternity leave again failed to pass.

Generic chemical symbol for a chalcogen. The chalcogens are oxygen-group elements (i.e., elements in group VIA in traditional US labeling of the periodic table; VIB European; group 16 IUPAC). The term chalcogen apparently arose from an erroneous understanding of the Greek chalkos (`copper, brass, bronze') caused by the fact that in German, a single word Erz is the standard word for `ore' and can also mean `bronze.' Details on the etymology at chalcogen.

The terms chalcogen and chalcogenide are used for three nested sets of elements. Here they are described in order of decreasing set size:

  1. Loosely, chalcogen (or ``the chalcogens'') is used synonymously with ``any element (or all elements) of the oxygen group.'' To wit, oxygen (O), sulfur (S), selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), and polonium (Po). This represents a common trend in chemical nomenclature: terms originally introduced to mark a physical or chemical distinction often evolve to mark an underlying distinction. Typically, the underlying distinction concerns the outer electronic structure of an isolated atom, or equivalently the group it occupies in the periodic table. (For a very similar example of this kind of semantic shift, see the alkaline earths entry. For an example in which the term was not originally restricted to atomic species, see the halogen entry.)
    An isolated atom of any oxygen-group element has an electronic configuration that ends in np5 (where the principal quantum number n equals the period of the element in the periodic table).
  2. The original definition of the term chalcogen did not include polonium. This is not so surprising: Po is so hot (i.e., radioactive) that it ionizes the air around it into a pretty blue glow -- who cares about the chemistry?
    Okay: for those of you who do care, polonium is a metal. This implies that it is electropositive. [Electropositive elements readily give up their outer, or ``valence'' electrons. Thus, when the pure element is in a condensed phase, the valence electrons are likely to become delocalized and participate in a metallic bond. Electronegative elements don't form this kind of bond and are not metals.]
    Atoms of an electropositive element tend to form positive ions (``cations''), while atoms of an electronegative element tend to form negative ions (``anions''). Hence, the chemistry of electropositive and electronegative elements is qualitatively very different. A category chalcogen that includes both a metal and oxygen is not very useful for making general statements about chemical reactions.
  3. In certain situations it is useful to have a term meaning ``chalcogens other than oxygen.'' The term that is used in these situations is ``chalcogens.'' The particular instance I am most familiar with is ``chalcogenide glasses.'' The most common glasses (heck, the most common materials in the earth's crust) are silicates (various compounds of silicon dioxide). ``Chalcogenide glasses'' are distinguished from these as nonsilicate glasses.


Cosmos and History. A new journal in 2005. I suppose that people's mental bodily functions also generate waste products unavoidably, so giving them a place to relieve themselves of their philosophy doesn't count as incitement.

Chamaeleon. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

If this was spelled out, perhaps you heard `CAJ.'

Pronunciation of the word for tea in almost all Chinese languages. The drinking and cultivation of tea originated in China, perhaps sometime in the last centuries BCE, and with many written references surviving from as early as the third century CE. The word cha did not become the common word for tea until the Tang Dynasty (618CE-906). From China it was spread to Japan and India by Buddhist priests. In Japanese the word for tea (vide navel-exercises) is written with the same logograph used in Chinese, and -- almost surprisingly -- the symbol has the same pronunciation cha. In India the name is chai, as in Russian. (Although tea-drinking was long known in India, it was popularized by the British, whose regular drinking of it identified tea-drinking with advanced civilization.)

The important exception to the cha pronunciation is Fujian Province (Fuchien and similar in earlier transliterations), across the Taiwan Strait (Formosa Straits) from Taiwan. There the name is pronounced te. Because this was the most important source of tea for Europe, early on, variants of te were adopted in most Western European languages. (Portuguese is an exception, using both te and chá.)

Computer History Association of California. From there, you're virtually a hop, click, and jump away from New Mexico's Chaco Canyon.

`Alive' in Hebrew. The related noun is chaim, q.v.

The cee-aitch in the standard transliteration reflects German orthography, it represents the /x/ sound in German Bach and ach, Scottish loch, and Spanish ajo. (But not the /ç/ sound of German ich.) If you're not particular about your aitches, then chai sounds like the English interjection ``hi'' (but without the palatal glide at the end) or the Japanese word hai.

Hebrew noun meaning `life.' The standard drinking toast in Hebrew is ``l'chaim,'' literally meaning `to life.' The word is also a boy's given name. Probably the best-known person of that name was Chaim Weizman, a chemist and the first president of Israel.

The English spelling used here (chaim) is traditional, and is explained at the chai entry. When Modern Hebrew is transliterated into English, the most common scheme tends to hew more closely to letter-by-letter correspondence. For instance, an Israeli moshav named in honor of Chaim Weizman has a name meaning `Chaim Garden,' which is transliterated Gan Hayyim.

The transcription hayyim corresponds to the Hebrew het-(patah)-yod-(hiriq)-yod-mem. The vowels, in parenthesis, are (mostly, as in this case) written beneath the consonants, and (almost always, as here) pronounced after the consonants below which they're written. So you're wondering why the transcription isn't ``hayiym.'' One reason is that consonantal wye followed by em is hard to pronounce. That's related to the real reason, which is that the yod following the hiriq is obviously mater lectionis; it's used to indicate that the hiriq vowel preceding it is long. The double wye in the transliteration corresponds to the fact that the first yod has a dagesh. The dagesh indicates consonant ``hardening,'' which can mean many things (usually indicated by replacement of one transcription consonant by another), or consonant doubling. Consonant doubling doesn't mean anything in Modern Hebrew (it doesn't affect the pronunciation), but there you are.

Incidentally, in the transliterations above, there's a little dot under the aitches in hayyim, het, patah, and hiriq. (You can't see them because I didn't insert them.) This indicates that the h represents a letter het rather than a letter heh.

The -im ending of chaim indicates that the word is a masculine plural. It is easy enough to reconstruct a singular form by removing the -im suffix, but that putative singular form is not used. Instead, the same form is used for singular and plural. (That's life.) Only the context may indicate the number. Another word without a singular is panim (`face'). Syntactically, these words are construed singular. Close English parallels of this grammatical situation are possible in principle, but precise ones are hard to find.

Examples that come immediately to mind are natural duals like trousers, pants, (swimming) trunks, tweezers, pliers, and scissors. These nouns have more or less common singular forms that are used attributively (i.e., adjectivally, as in ``trouser leg'' or ``scissor kick''), so it is fair to regard their final esses as plural inflection. Moreover, the limited number agreement that occurs in English indicates that they are countable nouns construed plural (``these scissors have'' equivalent to ``this pair of scissors''). These exceptional words fit a bit awkwardly into the language, evidently causing some juxtapositions to be avoided. Thus, the answer to the question ``do you have tweezers?'' is affirmative with even one, but that is more likely to be described as ``one pair of tweezers'' than as ``one tweezers.'' In contrast with the Hebrew comparands, then, these words could almost be regarded defective nouns, missing their singular forms (for which a circumlocution with ``pair of'' is substituted). In the case of some of the words, the formal singular is used or is coming to be used as an equivalent, thus regularizing the usage: the singular pant, originally meaning what the current pantleg or trouser leg does now, went out of use in this sense and has reappeared as an equivalent of pants. The word tweezer (with regularly formed plural tweezers) exists alongside the word tweezers that has limited application as a singular.

Etymological accident provides a closer fit to the situation of chaim. The words species (definitely see sp. entry), series, and congeries each have identical plural and singular forms in English, essentially because their spellings are unchanged from the nominative forms of the original Latin nouns (which also had identical singular and plural forms).

Words that look like plurals, and whose use is typically ambiguous as to number, can lead to confusion and anomalous usage. (Did I just write ``ambiguous as to number''? Is my CSP simply draining through my ventricles onto the floor?) Kudos is an example that comes to mind. The anomaly, however, occurs primarily between different users. Those like you, my dear ``intelligent general reader,'' realize that this is just a singular Greek noun, and don't bother to use a plural form because kudos (like nous) is uncountable. Other people try to construct a singular kudo. (Smile superciliously. Or just sneer, if you prefer.) Either way, however, original-flavor or regularized, any individual's usage is likely to be consistent with itself. The word agenda, a plural in Latin, is now an ordinary singular in English, with regularly formed plural agendas. (The Latin agendum gave rise to an English singular agend, now obsolete.) Let's leave discussion of data for some other entry or entries. A relevant contrasting example is provided by the Middle English word peases; that's discussed at the pea entry.

For other grammatical-number weirdness in Hebrew, see the agricola entry. In the indefinite future, when I return to lengthen this entry, I will survey words like depths, sports and funds, and a few related words like monies, in legalese, and means.

Transliteration of the word for `tea' in Russian and in many subcontinent Indian languages. See cha.

Every so often, Gary has to search on his name through this glossary to see if I've slandered him yet. I've just added this entry to jerk his chain.

This is a generic term for elements of the oxygen group and, conventionally, of certain subsets of that group. That's described at the Ch entry. Here we explore the etymology of the word, which was proposed by Werner Fischer in about 1932, and first appeared in print in 1934. We can be reasonably certain of this because details of the early history of the term were published in the Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 78, p. 1333 by the same Werner Fischer, then aged 99. Fischer's note was entitled ``A Second Note on the Term `Chalcogen','' and followed up a similarly named earlier note, also in JCE, by William B. Jensen.

Jensen had noted that the word chalcogen has become common but that ``the origins of the term remain obscure.'' He examined a number of introductory chemistry textbooks (most in English, apparently) and found that most glossed the term as `chalk former,' though other etymologies were offered. He rejected `chalk former' and concurred with Gunnar Hägg's suggestion of `ore maker.' Hägg suggested (p. 93 of General and Inorganic Chemistry) that the word chalkós meant ``copper and later also generally metal and ore''). That this was the intended derivation was eventually confirmed by Fischer: `` `chalcogens' (`ore formers' from chalcos old Greek for `ore').'' The only problem with this etymology is that chalkos did not in fact mean `ore.' To be a little less categorical: the LSJ Greek-English Lexicon has a bit over two pages of definitions for words beginning chalk-, and it is clear that in all compounds, this lexeme has meanings closely related to copper and to its colored alloys brass and bronze. Examples include

The word chalkos alone usually meant bronze in Homer, and might mean anything made of metal in poetry, but even poetic licenciates did not stretch the meaning to ore. The closest one comes to ore is with líthos chalkîtis, almost literally `copper-containing stone.' This can certainly be translated `copper ore,' but the notion of ore is essentially in the word líthos. This term, and perhaps the adjective alone, was also applied to rock alum. Alum was not in fact an ore. If it had been, aluminum might have been discovered a few thousand years before it actually was. The fact that chalkîtis might refer to one ore and one dye mordant does not justify using chalko- as a root for `ore,' any more than the fact that chalkidîtis meant `penny prostitute' justifies using the same root as equivalent to porn-.

For kicks, I have also checked ten other Greek dictionaries, some of them dismayingly ``exhaustive,'' covering Archaic, Classical, Septuagint, Patristic, Byzantine, and Modern Greek. No dice, no `ore.' So it seems there are two possibilities: one is that Fischer was aware of a sense development of this lexeme that has escaped the notice of the most respected lexicographers, and the other is that he was wrong. My guess is that he assumed, perhaps unconsciously, that the Greek word chalkos has the same semantic range as the German word Erz. The latter word, possibly related to the Sumerian (!) urud, originally meant `copper,' but at one time had its meaning stretched metonymically to cover weapons and other objects made of (any) metal. (The same things happened in Greek, though to a lesser extent.) However, since the eighteenth century, Erz has also meant `ore,' and that sense is now predominant. Where it does not mean `ore,' it now usually means `bronze,' though the more common German word for that is Bronze.

Jensen, attempting to support Hägg's suggestion and evidently lacking the luxury of a Greek reference that would back him up, adduced the facts that German inorganic texts translate chalcogen as Erzbilder, and that the geochemical term chalcophile, with the sense of `ore-loving,' was coined by Victor Goldschmidt (who was born in Zurich in 1888). I think these examples do not corroborate the etymology so much as demonstrate that Fischer's was a common error. Chalcogen was part of Goldschmidt's classification of the elements, introduced by him in 1922 and still part of any elementary geochemistry course. It may be that Fischer's misunderstanding was derived from Goldschmidt's.

This is a generic term for compounds formed with (and ions of) elements of the oxygen group. That's described at the Ch entry. This entry is just about the form of the adjective (which forms part of the compound nouns for chalcogenide compounds). Note that, whereas chalcogen is pronounced with primary and secondary stresses on first and third syllables respectively, the stress shifts in the adjective: chalcogenide has primary and secondary stresses on second and fourth syllables.

The word chalcogen was coined by Werner Fischer. In an article claiming credit or blame for the neologism, he wrote that the terms chalcogen for the elements and chalcogenides for their compounds ``quickly became popular in the work group of Hannover because they were analogous to the well-known terms `halogens' (`salt formers') and `halogenides' for the neighboring elements in the periodic table, the majority of halogenides being salts and chalcogenides being ores.'' Fischer's word halogenide is practically an adaptation of the German word Halogenid (plural form Halogenide). In English, the overwhelmingly standard form of the adjective is halide. This is consistent with the pattern of hydride, nitride, oxide, and cyanide, corresponding to hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and cyanogen. German has related adjectives hydrid, nitrid, oxid, and cyanid, but as the corresponding nouns are Wasserstoff, Stickstoff, Sauerstoff, and Cyan, there is no established pattern of removing the -gen before adding the -id[e]. Hence there is no inconsistency in using words like halogenid and chalcogenid.

(To give a devilish morphology its due, there is a logical argument for keeping the -gen-: if a halogen is a `salt maker,' as its etymology implies, then by the same token perhaps a halide ought to mean `salted,' while halogenide might mean `combined with halogen.' But this is no way to reason in chemical nomenclature. The morphology of chemical terms already has enough to do to describe the morphology of chemical compounds.)

The word chalcogen and its congeners became official with the Report of the Committee of the International Union of Chemistry for the Reform of Inorganic Chemical Nomenclature, 1940. (The International Union of Chemistry was the predecessor of IUPAC.) Section B of that report deals with the nomenclature of binary compounds, and subsection V is on group names. In the American version (Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 63, pp. 889-897), this subsection begins with the following paragraph:

Compounds of the halogens are to be called halogenides (not haloids nor halides), while the elements oxygen, sulfur, selenium and tellurium may be called chalcogens and their compounds chalcogenides.

The etymologically creditable but otherwise inane recommendation to call halides ``halogenides'' was understandably ignored by English-speaking chemists. The term chalcogenide caught on. Presumably the absence of an established form chalcide was part of the reason why this -genide recommendation ``took.'' Another reason may be that the second letter c in chacide becomes soft (that means it's pronounced like an s, you dunderhead) before an i, making its association with chalcogen less clear. (I should probably mention, along about here, that some people actually pronounce the initial ch like an ordinary chastity-chalk-chapstick-champion-cha-cha-cha cee-aitch. Don't.) A third reason may be that, for good reasons adumbrated in the chalcogen entry, people were confused about how chalc- should be understood. (The article by Jensen mentioned in that previous entry attests the erroneous ch pronunciation.) Whatever the reasons, the word chalcogenide has often seemed inappropriate or flawed to linguistically alert chemists. Jensen, in the abstract of the article referred to, wrote thus: ``It is further suggested that the term chalcogenide should be replaced with the term chalcide in order to maintain a parallelism with the terms halogen and halide.''

So much for how the recommendation was received. The question occurs, why was the recommendation of ``chalcogenide'' made in the first place? The obvious guess is a disproportionate German influence on the committee. That committee (``for the Reform of Inorganic Nomenclature'') met in Berlin in January 1938, and in Rome the following May. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland and WWII began. This doubtless complicated any subsequent interactions of the committee. In 1940, the German version of the report was published in Chemische Berichte (vol. 73A, pp. 56ff., estimated) and the British version was published in Journal of the Chemical Society (pp. 1404ff, estimated). It is true that the committee chair was Prof. W.P. Jorissen of Leyden (that's in Massachusetts -- man, don't you know anything?!), and various countries were represented [the four other members were from Reading (England, not West Virginia), Paris (no, not Texas), Basel, and Hamburg (south of Buffalo)]. By the way, Leyden is in the Netherlands. But German chemistry was better-represented than that suggests. First, because the prestige and dominance of German chemical research and industry meant that opinions representing German chemistry carried greater weight. Second, the editor of the Gmelin, a German chemical publication, attended the Berlin meetings in an advisory capacity by invitation of the committee. Finally, the final report was drawn up by Prof. H. Rémy (Hamburg) on behalf of the German Chemical Society and in collaboration with some of its members. I figure that Prof. H. Bassett (of Reading), who did the English translation, happened not to consider the chalcogenide name question adequately.

Chalk is not chalk. Chalkboard chalks are traditionally made of gypsum, and the mineral chalk is very pure limestone (hence very white) that is highly porous (and hence soft). But limestone is mostly calcite, and calcite is just calcium carbonate. It's birefringent; not that you could tell from chalk.

Chaminade University of Honolulu. Hawaii's only Catholic University. (It has five masters programs, so it has to be a university.) Yawn.

The Life at Chaminade page demonstrates that the school has some or a very cute, tanned student body. Did I mention that the school is located in Honolulu? ``Relevant Links'' include ``Student Affairs,'' but it's not interactive enough. The important stuff about Chaminade is at our Tempe entry. Nowadays the Chaminade Swordsmen, or ``Swords,'' are an NCAA Division II team.

No, it's not a misspelling of chemise. It's a flowering shrub of the Scrabble tablelands, also spelled chamiso, so you lose your challenge and a turn. (Chamisoes is not an accepted plural.)

Many years ago, I visited Taylor Wineries in central New York State. They were not ashamed to demonstrate how they made ``champagne'' -- supercooling wine and injecting carbon dioxide. (The temperature dependence of the solubility of gases in liquids is dominated by the entropy factor, so solubility increases with decreasing temperature.)

Taylor Wineries is no longer in business.

Civilian Health And Medical Program (of the US DoD). A program to provide medical care to active-duty members of the military, military retirees, and their eligible dependents. That slightly confused old name for the program has been retired and replaced by ``TRICARE.''

Japanese postfix particle that functions like Mr./Ms., but more familiar or affectionate than -san. Cf. -samao.

A Spanish word which has gone through similar meanings that were etymologically unrelated. The most obvious meaning is `sow,' the female of chancho, `hog.' The more common Iberian word for hog, also used in America, is cerdo. The word chancho is a Latin American variant of sancho, now primarily a dialectal term in Aragon and La Mancha, derived from ``sanch,'' a hog call. This points to yet another sly reference to pork in Cervantes. (In Castilian of Galicia, sancho and sanchino are used as rabbit calls. What rabbits they must have!) The widely used cochino (also cocho) is similarly derived from widely used hog calls (coch, coche, cocho). Originally, cochino referred to unweaned pigs, but the meaning became generalized to any hog. The same thing happened with pig in English, which originally referred only to young swine. To this day, farm folk insist on the difference, but city folk -- and we're almost all city folk now -- are indifferent to the difference. Frankly, I rarely encounter either of the words cochino or pig in any but a metaphorical sense, to say nothing of the animals the words represent.

All the more common words for hog have derived terms. In Latin America, for example, chanchero (or chanchera) is someone working in the pork business (anything from `hog farmer' to `pork butcher'), and chanchería is a `shop that sells pork or sausage.' Chancho and chancha are used figuratively in the sense of `filthy person.' Also, a chancho in chess (ajedrez) is a `blocked pawn.' I don't know why; possibly this has to do with the use of chancho in the specialized sense of a hog fattened and destined for slaughter. At least cochino is used this way. Cochino is also used for various contemptible or pitiable types -- the miserly, crass, slovenly, fat, filthy, or poor.

From these extensions of meaning one would not be too surprised to find chancha also meaning a `lie' or `cheating trick.' It once had these meanings as well, but the etymology is elsewhere completely. The word was a seventeenth century or earlier borrowing of the Italian ciancie, and the ci's were properly transliterated as ch in Spanish. The Italian word could also be used with the more innocent connotation of `joke, jest.' This sense is either preserved or re-evolved in the word txantxa of western Basque dialects. (See also the chiste entry.) Within Spanish, the emphasis of the word quickly shifted to subtility and graciousness. The pronunciation (now chanza) has also shifted over the years. The Italian word is not supposed to have anything do with the French word chance. It has intriguing similarities to German words like zenzeln (`caress, fondle') and Modern Greek tzátzala (`gossip').

Somehow, no matter where they come from, words associated with irregularity of some sort seem to congregate in the cham/chan section of the Spanish dictionary. There's chancar (considered of American Indian origin) meaning `beat, `break,' or `grind,' changar (considered onomatopoeic, God help me) meaning `destroy,' and chantaje (from French chantage), meaning `blackmail.' Various words for old-fashioned or ill-fitting things begin in cham. Even an exception to this pattern, the Indian-origin word chancaca, meaning a dough prepared with sugar or honey, includes the unfortunately suggestive ``caca.''

CHANneling and Diffusion in Ion Damage. CHANDID, pronounced `candid,' is a simulation program developed in Evelyn Hu's group at UCSB, based on SCHLEICH but incorporating simultaneous diffusion. It's described in C.-H. Chen, et al. (details below). CHANDID accounted for discrepancies between experimental results and SCHLEICH simulations. Some results, such as increased penetration of damage for lower-intensity, longer exposure ion bombardment (at fixed fluence) could not be explained simply in terms of channeling, but are qualitatively consistent with diffusion. For GaAs, a rather large best-fit diffusivity of was found (see below), which it was proposed may be due to electron-hole generation (an argument supported by ion bombardment with simultaneous laser illumination).

The article cited above is ``Diffusion and channeling of low-energy ions: The mechanism of ion damage,'' by Ching-Hui Chen, Debora L. Green, and Evelyn L. Hu in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology, B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 2355-59 (1995). Here's the abstract:

A simple model, including both channeling and diffusion effects, was developed for the understanding of the mechanism of low-energy ion-induced damage. This model provided much better agreement with the authors' exptl. data, and yields a value for the effective diffusivity of defects during ion bombardment as ~3 × 10-15 cm2/s. The numerical results support the authors' exptl. data that diffusion of defects, even at room temperature, plays an important role in determining the profile of ion-induced damage and suggests that some enhancement of defect diffusion occurs during ion bombardment. Since the majority of defects are located in the near-surface region (within ~50 Å of the surface), even modest etch removal of the surface can dramatically alter the damage profile. Therefore, surface removal also was considered in the authors' model to find the influence of etch rate on the ion damage profile.


The ancient Greek word ``chaos,'' which described a view of what preceded the world, did not mean disorder, it meant something like gap. Both disorder and emptiness characterize a gas, although this was not known by the fellow who invented the word gas from the word chaos.

If you have to climb over anything to get between the kitchen and a bathroom, or if you have to enter the living room sideways, then your abode may need tidying up.

Chargaff's Law
In DNA, the concentrations of adenine (A) and thymine (T) are equal, as are the concentrations of guanine (G) and cytosine (C). The conclusion of experiments in 1951. Almost immediately superseded by a more complete understanding that it contributed to the development of (Watson and Crick, 1953) that those bases paired in the double-helix structure of DNA.

An ancient mode of transportation. That is, a mode of transportation for ancients. For example, on August 1, 2004, seventy-year-old Thomas Scarrow of Arcola, Sask., died during a Ben Hur contest about 50 km west of Portage la Prairie, Man. Police were trying to determine whether the death was accidental or from a natural cause such as a heart attack.

Charles's Law
Usually written Charles' Law. What the hell, the name is French, just pronouncing one ess is making a possessive inflection.

The law named after Charles (but first discovered by Dalton): that the volume of a (rarefied, or ideal) gas under constant pressure is proportional to temperature.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A children's book by Roald Dahl (1964). (It's not a typo! His name is not ``Ronald'', okay?)

Choice quotes:

I'd like to point out that chapter 17 [``Augustus Gloop Goes Up the Pipe''] is improbable on physical grounds. In the room where chocolate is mixed by waterfall, the downstream product is suctioned off in big pipes. Since the room contains trees, it appears that the pipes must raise the liquid a distance a great deal higher than 34 feet, which is about the limit that can be achieved for water at sea level (under a cold front).

[Reminder: much as ``nature abhors a vacuum,'' it is the pressure outside that raises a fluid to fill a vacuum above it, so a fluid can be raised no higher ``by'' a vacuum than atmospheric pressure divided by the fluid mass density, divided by the acceleration of gravity. A pressure of 76 cm of mercury (760 torr) is equivalent to 10.3m of water, or 33'9''.]

In the present case, the factory is deep underground, so atmospheric pressure may be higher by a bit. Not much, though, because Charlie, Grandpa Joe and Mr. Wonka don't suffer the bends when they exit through the roof. In any case, the greater density of the chocolate more than compensates. The effect of changes in gravitational acceleration should also be small: the acceleration of gravity inside a sphere of uniform density decreases linearly with radius, so a significant change in gravitational acceleration would require significant penetration of the earth, and the crust itself is everywhere less than one percent of the earth's radius thick. Not to mention that in fact, the earth's density increases with depth, diminishing the magnitude of the decrease in gravitational acceleration.

(Seven centuries ago, the question whether the force of gravity increased or decreased as one approached the center of the earth was a debated topic. Dante took the view that it increased, which is why Virgil had such a hard time turning to face upward again upon crossing the center of the earth. More about this at the BUR entry.)

Oh, now I get it! The waterfall makes the chocolate frothy! That's how it's made light enough to go up the pipe!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of a small number of oeuvres that constitute the food science fiction genre. As in general science fiction, science has been catching up, and Nestlé now markets WONKA Chewy CENTERED GOBSTOPPER -- ``jawbreakers that change colors and flavors with a Chewy Center,'' 50 grams in a regular package. Here's a hint for Grandpa Joe: this will break your dentures, dad gum it!

Another title that mentions chocolate is discussed at this P entry, but it's in the foodie subgenre of Magical Realism.

Charlie's Angels
It is too soon to tell whether this will be the Gilligan's Island of the seventies, but of course there's a homepage.

The Stammtisch banjo authority claims that the preceding statement somehow dates me. I should probably point out that, except for this sentence, this entire glossary entry was written before the revival (remortal?) of Charlie's Angels as one -- no two -- stupid movies.

The late Doris Duke owned a complete set of tapes of the series, but when you're a billionaire you can afford to make risky investments. She also helped out Imelda Marcos when the latter was just about literally down at the heels.

Kate Jackson, when she was on ``The Rookies,'' was apparently promised the star slot on a future show, and this would account for her outranking the other angels. Either that, or they figured that she had to be the one with personality. When I was in college, we studied this program with the sound off. Hypothesis: the show was a parody of its future imitators. Conclusion: Preemptive parody successful. No imitators. Just sequels.

I noticed that UB's chapter of Delta Xi Omega printed its rush calendar on stock with the well-known three-angels-attacking silhouette from that show. Tomorrow Wednesday there's 70's Training at 8 pm. These kids today don't know how hard it was, back when we had to endure the seventies for the first time, with no one around who had any more relevant experience than 1949. Now they get a free ride from the Student Union. Bids go out a week from tomorrow! ``Good luck!''

Marx wrote somewhere that `Hegel wrote somewhere' that historical events occur twice. Marx remarked that Hegel had neglected to note that the first time was tragedy, the second time farce. Perhaps in the current circumstance the order has been reversed.

[Later] I saw a Charlie's Angels Sticker on a superannuated Buick Skylark. The other bumpersticker said ``Mean People Suck.'' The driver was smoking, I don't know what.

We have another entry on angels.

Because this glossary has been under construction for years, the thought may have occurred to you, dear reader, that the ``tomorrow Wednesday'' mentioned above is now past. The odds may seem strong for that conclusion, even if today is Tuesday. If so, dear reader, you are mistaken. There is a place in the heart where it is always Tuesday, that Tuesday. Delta Xi Omega held Charlie's-Angels-themed rushes in the mid-nineties, and had a revival in 1999. How about a Brigadoon-themed rush!?!?

Hmm. Mock sentiment doesn't always go over well in serious information resources like this experimental theater of the acronym, but you can't be sure if you don't try. That's why it's necessary for you to read this trash.

After wearing my fingers to the bone, writing and rewriting this entry for your maximum enjoyment, I heard that there is in fact a Charlie's Angels parody, called VIP, on the WB channel. It apparently stars Pamela Anderson in the Kate Jackson role. Well, I'm sorry, but after all that work I'm not going to change the entry for the sake of mere accuracy. You'll just have to go without learning this more recent information. Someone else who hasn't seen it wonders whether it's really a parody. Maybe it's an homage.

Oh, while flipping channels one day the program befell me. Turns out I was right in the first place. Look, Charlie's Angels was a show about three private investigators who just happened to be model-beautiful. VIP is about a Baywatch babe who just happens to be a private investigator. This is totally different. VIP is a parody, really of the entire private investigator TV series genre, but it is not specifically modeled on Charlie's Angels.

Charnel House Publishing
I just tapped this in to the search form thinking it was a cute punny name. Imagine my horror on learning that it existed! ``Limited editions of books by Dean Koontz & other horror & dark fantasy writers, signed by the authors,'' many of whom probably belong to HWA. (Koontz belongs -- shouldn't you? Consider the dire consequences if you don't! Brrrrr!)

Among the items of advice in The Rules (in the book and in the abridged tape version read by the authors) is the following:
You have to trust that if you relax and let him explore your body like unchartered territory, you'll have fun and be satisfied.

Another book in this genre is Desirable Men.

Charter 77
A call to implement the human rights embodied in the Helsinki Accords of 1975, and the coalition of Czechoslovakians -- intellectuals, purged Communists, and church representatives -- who issued it on January 1, 1977. The five authors of the charter were arrested and their homes ransacked within 24 hours of the call's announcement. See also OLCC.

Charles. However, Chas Chandler used it as all of his first name. Chas Chandler, bass, was a member of the Animals, founded when Eric Burdon joined the Alan Price Trio he played in. (I think the group was also called `Eric Burdon and the Animals.') Their monster hit ``(House of the) Rising Sun'' put them on an intense touring schedule for three years, but in a 1994 interview for the Independent he said they made little money off of it. Chandler went on to become a rock manager and producer; he ``discovered'' Jimi Hendrix, creating the Jimi Hendrix Experience around Jimi and producing that group's first two albums. He died in 1996 at age 57, at which time obituaries appeared. You think I researched this stuff myself?

One of my college roommates used Chas. as an abbreviation of his name. He decided to become a Chemical Engineer (ChemE) after seeing ``The Great Escape'' with Steve McQueen. (He didn't actually go with McQueen to see it; McQueen had a rôle in the movie.) I call him Chuck.

Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

chaste passion
Palpitating fear of discovery.

Codes for the Human Analysis of Transcripts.

Conversation Hypertext Access Technology. A natural-language query language. Here's a CHAT demo via telnet.

Chlorinated { HydroCarbon | Hydrocarbon Contaminant }.

Community Health Center.

Certification for Home Care and Hospice Executives.

The Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute.

Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

CHilD. Airline fare abbreviation. Adult is ADT. INF under two years of age (what's that in metric units anyway?) is often no charge if it sits on an ADT's lap and screams.

Congenital Hip Dislocation.

Coronary Heart Disease.

An Argentine expression meaning roughly `Hey you!' It's just a convenient interjection for attracting someone's attention. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, the communist revolutionary hero, was an Argentine among Cubans; he got his nickname ``Che'' by a kind of metonymy.

Certified Healthcare Executive. The certification is awarded by the ACHE, which describes it as a ``Symbol of Credibility.'' Please wait for the gravitas reverberations to die down before proceeding to the next paragraph.

Che Guevara studied medicine for a few years, completing his coursework (in 1953) but not his clinical training. He first signed on with Fidel Castro's revolutionary movement as a medic. He also killed a lot of people; you could say he was always involved in health issues.

Chronicle of Higher Education. Some people call it the ``Comical of Higher Education.'' I guess they think that's clever. Ha. Ha. I call it the ``Chronic Embarrassment to Higher Education.''

Council for Higher Education Accreditation. ``[A] non-profit organization of colleges and universities serving as the national [US] advocate for voluntary self-regulation through accreditation.''

Seen on the cover of Teen People magazine, on the rack in September 2003:
250+ Rock Star Looks (Cheap!)

Cheaper by the Dozen
A biography of the Gilbreth family (the family of the pioneering motion-study expert Frank Gilbreth), written by two of the twelve children -- Frank Butler Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. It was made into a movie in 1950, with the beautiful Myrna Loy costarring as Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth. A 2003 movie starring Steve Martin has the same title and gives Frank and Ernestine pride of place among ten with writing credit, presumably for coming up with the title. Casablanca had a lot of writers too (see WGA), but the 2003 movie is not a classic. It is just a demonstration that Steve Martin was not paid well enough for his good movies to be able to resist demeaning himself in shlock.

The events covered in the original book took place mostly in 1920's. In those days the a family with twelve children was unusual, but not nearly as rare as today. In that decade automobile ownership took off, and some manufacturers began to introduce annual model changes. While the number of children was still increasing, Frank, Sr., used to refer jokingly to the current youngest child as ``this year's model.'' That's what I remember, anyway; I'm not going to go check. (Cf. Jon 2.0, at the downtown Holland entry.)

cheater cord
Televisions, and other consumer electronics equipment that run off of line current, usually have a primitive sort of safety interlock system: the power cable that is connected to the wall outlet connects on the other end to a male jack that is part of the equipment case rather than the equipment innards. On the inside of the case, the jack has a female connector that mates rigidly with a matching male plug affixed to the chassis of the equipment. (Electronics is sexy, baby. And shocking, too!) When the case is opened, the connection is safely broken, without exposing any live leads, even if the power cord is still plugged into the wall. This is necessary because idiots are allowed to own televisions. (Indeed, I think it may be a requirement.) [Consider this related fact about bears.]

The interlock poses a slight problem for the repairman or repairperson, since it's at best inconvenient to diagnose equipment with either the power off or the case closed. It even poses a slight impediment to that most ingenious of characters, the enterprising idiot. The solution is a separate cable that's called a ``cheater cord,'' because it bypasses the safety interlock. This has an ordinary male plug for the wall socket, and a female end to attach to the exposed equipment (male). I'm workin' up a sweat just writin' about it.

Televisions pose a special danger because the CRT has a DC voltage between anode and cathode of at least 10 kilovolts. Nowadays, of course, TV's are in the disposable category of electronic equipment. You save the power cable, write ``WORKS. NEEDS CORD'' on a post-it note, and sell it at the flea market to someone who will throw it away after giving you ten dollars. In the olden times, however, we'd actually ``fix'' it, which meant replacing the burnt-out parts -- a 12AU6 audio amplifier tube or something of that sort. In the stories I heard, people who accidentally brushed the aquadag usually survived. However, they were usually thrown across the room, had a little burn, and felt sore. It wasn't the sort of ride you'd stay on for another round.

Plagiarism is cheating. You know, this month the crawler for <turnitin.com> dropped by this web site and picked up 188 files.

The preceding paragraph was written in 2003 or earlier. It's now 2006, and more and more students are heard to complain that not getting caught cheating is almost as hard as honest work. And the fear of getting caught is almost as stressful as studying. If these injustices concern you, perhaps you should consider Mount Saint Vincent University, in the provincial capital of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In March 2006, the university's board of governors banned the use of turnitin.com ``and any other plagiarism detection software that requires that students' work become part of an external database where other parties might have access to it.'' The decision takes effect in May (final exams for the Winter term end on April 21, surprisingly). Read more about it in the Chronicle Herald.

Central Hudson Enterprises Corporation. CHEC ``has operated as a comprehensive energy services company since 1982[,] providing energy cost savings through innovative engineering, financing and construction management for industrial, commercial and municipal customers throughout the Northeastern United States.

Christian Home Educators of Colorado.

check that you've got your keys
When you check for your keys before you lock the door, you've always got them, but when you don't check, you're locked out. That's not fate, that's physics.

It's based on wave-function collapse. Before you go outside, the keys are in an ``indoors'' sector of Hilbert space. When you check for them, you project the density operator into the pocket sector. If you don't, the probability that the keys will still be with you outside is less than 10-100.

So basically, this key thing is a macroscopic quantum effect. Other macroscopic manifestations of quantum mechanics are superconductors (e.g., Toscanini) and clothes-dryer sock annihilation.

check valve
A diode for fluid flow. Lets fluid flow in only one direction unless it's broken. Your heart valves (bicuspid and tricuspid) are essentially check valves that prevent backflow to the atria from the ventricles, forcing the fluid (that's blood) to circulate.

Also called chutzpah, gall, etc. Here's an email that the instructors of one team-taught course received today (during the break between semesters).

I'm registered for your class, [course name] next semester.  I'm
trying to finalize my plans for spring break, so I'd like to know if you
intend to have a midterm exam on the friday beforehand (March 5).  Thanks,
-[student name]

The Latin word for cheek is buca. This is the etymon of the Spanish word boca, meaning `mouth.'

Jerome K. Jerome's 1889 story, Three Men in a Boat, subtitled ``To say nothing of the Dog!'' has a section in chapter four on the ``Advantages of cheese as a traveling companion.'' He focuses on the odor, but neglects to mention the conversation. Cf. WI.

Current research indicates that the bacteria that age cheeses and give them their distinctive odors are related to the bacteria that give feet and some other moist portions of the human epithelium their odors. Although the carbon-dioxide-rich plume rising from stationary animals is one of the main beacons used by mosquitos to locate blood donors, particular odors have been demonstrated to have significant effects as well. This was reported in the August 1997 issue of Discover magazine.

Clifton Fadiman wrote [in Any Number Can Play (World, 1957)]

Cheese -- milk's leap toward immortality.

Oops -- missed.

It's the new religion. Everywhere I hear people exclaim ``Holy Cheeses! Oh dear Cheeses! Sweet Cheeses! Soft Cheeses!'' And they're proselytizing: they want you to ``Say Cheese!'' They wonder, ``What would Cheeses do?'' They can't make a move until they get the okay from ``the Big Cheese.'' They buy Praise Cheeses! tee shirts. (For twenty-five dollars!)

``It's-a religion of-a peess,'' I've heard them say. (At least it's not a religion of peas. See what future Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to say about that at the pea entry.) On the other hand, I've also heard them say ``Cheese it -- the cops!'' Well, I suppose every religion has its fundies, its extremist fanatics, its people with big headgear issues. So heed this simple poem:

[Football icon] Stay away
From Green Bay.

(Incidentally, on the subject of packers or packing, and of staying away, see the new material at the skosh entry.)

Of course, religion is intimately connected with football (when they aren't the same thing). The pro football franchise in New Orleans is called ``The Saints.'' One of the most popular hymns (more generally -- i.e., among, say, small-ess-saints fans) is Paul Kraft's ``Dropkick Me Cheeses (Through the Goalposts of Life).'' Here's a 1976 recording of it by Bobby Bare. Also, many religious icons are represented in classic football poses. See, for example, the entry on Touchdown Cheeses.

A good layman's introduction to cheesology (the theology of cheesolatry) is Who Moved My Cheese? (Available in a new Chineese translation.) You'll want to study this before you make your first pilgrimage to France (the Holy Land) or Wisconsin or even Switzerland (the Holey Land).

CHemical EnGineer[ing]. Abbreviation used at Notre Dame (ND). I've actually heard it pronounced as a word, to the rhyme of ``dreg,'' even in the presence of one.

(MOSFET) Channel Hot Electron (HE) Injection.

Center for Health, Environment and Justice. ``CHEJ believes in environmental justice, the principle that people have the right to a clean and healthy environment regardless of their race or economic standing.'' Various studies have demonstrated that, contrary to activist claims during the 1990's, toxic sites are not disproportionately located on the basis of race. CHEJ was originally CCHW.

Ancient tortoise-shell lyre. And you thought Jules Verne was being creative there, having Captain Nemo play a stringed instrument with a sea-turtle sound box (in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea). The Mycaeneans had a jump on him.

I called the gym to see if I left my glasses lying on one of the machines.

Well, what color is the frame?

It's got a wire frame, but the ear things are like mixed browns.

[A minute later...] They're here.

When I came to pick them up, she pointedly told me: it's called tortoise-shell.

Studies have shown that women tend to use more specific words than men do. If you show a man a picture of a pair of jeans and ask, ``what's this a picture of?'' he'll answer ``pants,'' whereas a woman would identify the style and maybe the brand. Similarly, a picture of an ordinary flower will elicit answers like ``flower'' from him and ``daisy'' from her.

These are just general patterns, okay? If you deviate from them in any way you can consider yourself superior. I explained to the proprietor at Mendoza's Guitars that I wanted a Fender pick, medium thickness, normal size, dark colored; he'd only had other thicknesses and sizes when I looked before. Sure enough, when I pointed to what I wanted (but thinner), he said ``Oh, you want tortoise-shell.'' Was I out sick the day they covered this stuff in school?

I'd also like to know what the ear thingies are called.

CHEMistry. Here's a little program to balance equations. It's from the Colorado School of Mines, but it balances chemical equations from anywhere in the universe. It's amazing if you think hard about it (though not that hard), yet it's all in a day's work for chemistry. Science is like that.

One of the most famous professors the University of Notre Dame ever had taught chemistry: Knute Rockne. He also coached -- varsity football, I think it was. Before he began his coaching career, Vince Lombardi taught Latin and chemistry at a New Jersey high school. Classicists like to brag that studying Latin ups your SAT score (and, sotte voce, your general intelligence), but I believe it was the intensive familiarity with chemistry that made Lombardi such a memorable quotesmith.

Many of the leaders of the US Civil Rights movement in the 1960's were chemists. Well, okay, one that I know of. Hosea Williams had been a chemist with the US Department of Agriculture when he quit to join the SCLC staff as a voter-registration organizer and coordinator. Andrew Young explains in An Easy Burden, p. 281, that therefore he ``was used to making a very good salary, more than any of us, so I had persuaded Gayraud Wilmore of the Presbyterian Church national staff to pay Hosea, as the UCC had done with me. The Presbyterians paid Hosea twelve thousand dollars a year, which made him the highest-paid person at SCLC.'' George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1864 and grew up to become an agricultural chemist, yet he worked for peanuts. (Also in 1864, physostigmine was first isolated from the calabar bean. At this point I should probably say something about Percy L. Julian, but I'd only be cribbing from websites you can visit directly.)

Andrew Young got his BA at Howard majoring in biology, but decided to enter the ministry. Back in the 90's (the 1790's), young Jöns Berzelius planned to become a clergyman. To escape family quarrels, however, he took a job tutoring on a nearby farm. There he became very interested in collecting and classifying flowers and insects. (It must be a Swedish thing. Normal people in such situations become very interested in farmers' sons or daughters.) Berzelius decided to develop his interest in natural science and pursued a medical education. By the 1820's, he had become the preeminent authority (in Europe, and thus in the world) on chemical questions. (As soon as I find a movement leader who majored in chemistry before deciding to enter the ministry, Young is out.)

An excellent quick resource for chemical information is <ChemFinder.Com>.

Personals ads often mention chemistry as an important determinant of whether a relationship will succeed. What about biology?

John Louis (``Johnny'') von Neumann and Eugen Wigner both received their first post-secondary degrees in Chemical Engineering. Apparently, this information cannot be found at a page entitled The History of Chemical Engineering. You might browse this list of online resources or the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) site. LookSmart has a page of ChemE links. Through some grievous oversight, it does not include the SBF glossary.

Another site of interest to ChemE's, less amusing than this but possibly of some other use, is Chemical Online.

A computer program that ESTimates the physical and chemical properties of organical CHEMicals. Developed by Arthur D. Little, Inc., of Cambridge, MA, it was first released in 1985 or so, available as a user-hosted package or via a dial-up service. A couple of performance evaluations were published in the chemical literature (1988 and 1991), by which time later versions were reportedly available (an improved version called TSTCHEM, and an automated version AUTOCHEM -- CHEMEST was interactive). I don't know what ultimately superseded CHEMEST but something must have: in the US, the Toxic Substances Control Act requires the submission of premanufacture notices, and CHEMEST was used, for ``new'' chemicals, to estimate properties relevant to environmental fate assessment.

CHEMically sensitive Field-Effect Transistor (FET).

chemical notation of Berzelius
The earliest widely-used systems of chemical nomenclature were those of the alchemists. Alchemists often tried to associate pure substances with astronomical bodies. Their notational systems often assigned astrological symbols to individual substances, but the assignments were not consistent among different alchemists' systems, and were mnemonic only to a point. And what the alchemists thought were pure substances were often mixes. (This was almost always the case for gases, known as ``airs,'' but air was typically ignored anyway.) In any case, clarity was not always a goal of alchemical writers. Later, as chemistry developed, various new and more abstract systems developed, but the symbols were rather arbitrary and nonmnemonic.

The system of symbols we use today to represent elements and compounds is based on, and still looks a lot like, the system developed by Jöns Jakob Berzelius and first published in a French brochure in 1811.

The feature of Berzelius' system that is most recognizable today was his use of one- and two-letter element symbols, first letter capitalized. The idea of using letters to represent chemical elements and compounds was not entirely original. But the system of Berzelius was the first such suggestion to be successful -- overwhelmingly successful, in fact. The summary below is based on a multi-part paper he published during 1813 and 1814 in Annals of Philosophy, which described his system in the course of reporting other research. There is an online excerpt of relevant portions of the article. (The funny spelling of radical used below is taken from there.)

Chemistry by that time had advanced to the point that every substance that chemists thought (or at least that Berzelius thought) was as an element is still regarded as an element today. Most of the 47 substance symbols Berzelius used in this paper (three were for elements he did not yet concede were elements) are still identified by symbols that he gave them. These include the following 38:
B, C, N, O, F,
Al, Si, P, S,
Ca, Ti, (Mn), Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As,
Sr, Y, Zr, Mo, (Rh), Ag, (Sn), (Sb), Te,
Ba, Ce, (W), Os, Pt, Au, (Hg), (Pb), Bi,

The preceding list is in order of increasing atomic number (which was unknown at the time). This makes it easy to recognize by inspection which elements are missing. (If not, learn the mnemonic that begins Hard Hearted Little Beggar Boys....) Successive lines above correspond to successive periods of the modern periodic table; the first version of a periodic table was not created until 1860.

The symbols in parentheses were used by Berzelius, but not consistently or exclusively. For manganese (Mn) he also used Ma, for rhodium (Rh) also R, for both tin (Sn) and antimony (Sb) he also used St, for tungsten (W) also Tn, for mercury (Hg) also Hy, and for lead (Pb) also P (which he also used as the unique symbol for phosphorous, as indicated above). In addition, for columbium he used both Cl and Cb. The latter symbol was accepted, but eventually the element name was changed to niobium and the symbol changed to Nb.

Element symbols that Berzelius introduced but that have not survived: For beryllium he used Gl, representing ``glucinum.'' (The name is discussed at the entry for its current symbol: Be.) For sodium (now Na): So. For magnesium (now Mg): Ms. For potassium (now K): Po. For chromium (now Cr): Ch. For palladium (now Pd): Pa. For iridium (now Ir): I.

The article used one other element symbol not listed above: for chlorine (our Cl), Berzelius wrote M (``muriatic radicle''), so that hydrochloric acid would be HM (originally written ``H + M,'' see below). For Berzelius, however, M was not the symbol for an element. Following Lavoisier, he believed that the muriatic radical was the oxide of another element not yet isolated. (For the back-story, see the remarks on oxygen in the technical misnomenclature entry.) Sir Humphrey Davy, whom Berzelius admired, isolated, named, and claimed element status for chlorine in 1810, but Berzelius only conceded that chlorine was an element in 1818.

There were two other symbols listed above that Berzelius regarded as representing the oxide of some undiscovered element: his N stood for ``nitric radicle'' and F for ``fluoric radicle.'' (He finally agreed that nitrogen was an element in 1824; I don't know about fluorine.)

I have read that the notational system of Berzelius was not the first to use alphabetic symbols. Certainly Dalton's rather graphical representation used alphabetic symbols, almost haphazardly: an atom of hydrogen was represented by a circle with a centered dot, carbon by filled circle, copper and lead by circles with the letters C and L inside. If there was a compact and consistent alphanumeric system before that of Berzelius, I'm not aware of it.

In any case, the scheme of Berzelius was the first to catch on in a big way. It may be that the moment for such a system had arrived or it may be that Berzelius's prestige and extensive publication popularized it, or maybe it was as it still seems: a major improvement on previous notations. One thing that certainly promoted its adoption was that Berzelius based a system of compound symbols on it. This system incorporated the assumptions of his own ``dualistic'' theory of bonding -- essentially a theory of ionic and polar bonds.

The system posited that atoms had a net charge and formed a succession of combinations to neutralize successively finer charge imbalances. The bonding of ``first-order compounds'' was represented by a plus sign between positive and negative ions (calcium oxide was ``Ca + O'') and relative proportions were indicated by prefixed numbers (sulfur trioxide was ``S + 3O'').

``Second-order compounds'' were represented in a similar way, as binomials of first-order compounds. In the representation of second-order compounds, if the hierarchy of compoundings had any meaning, one had to distinguish the numerical factors from first- and second-order combinations. This could be done with parentheses (and nested parentheses for higher-order compounds), but instead Berzelius used a superscript notation. Thus, for example, sulfur trioxide, when participating in a second-order compound, was written as SO3. This is almost the modern notation, but for two things. (1) We use subscripts instead of superscripts. In fact, the superscript style was popular for many years in France, before they conformed to majority usage. (2) Although most references show the numerical superscripts as I have, above and to the right of the element symbol, it seems Berzelius (at least in 1813) wrote the numbers centered above the element symbols. I have yet to check this with a facsimile of an original. Berzelius identified compounds up to fourth-order. The fourth-order compounds were constructed of third-order compounds with water -- essentially hydrations. Something of that notation seems to survive today in the notation for hydrated ionic and polar compounds, which uses a centered dot (instead of a plus sign) followed by the water-molecule symbol (with a prefixed number as necessary).

chemin de fer
French for `railroad.' Literally `iron road.' Also the name of a kind of baccarat. For examples of usage, see the SNCB entry.

chemistry books
In recent years I have accumulated a small collection of chemistry books, particularly introductory textbooks. I can't explain why, because if you knew you'd laugh so hard you'd hurt yourself. However, I can list some of them (along with the odd library loan) for your convenience.

Textbook authorship was a frequent source of inspiration to nineteenth-century chemists. When I get around to filling in the details, chemists I mention will include Prout, Berzelius, Cannizzaro, and Mendeleev.

chemistry, I just don't feel we have the right
Brush-off lie that likely dissimulates this fact: your mouth chemistry produces bad breath. Wait a sec -- sniff, sniff -- that might not be the only source of odor... have you checked the expiration date on that ``recent photograph''?

Cf. LDR.

Chemistry Servers
List maintained at UCLA. Mirror in Berlin.

CHEMOtherapy. A treatment for cancer that consists of poisons that are a little bit more lethal to the cancer than to the rest of the patient.

The Spanish translation of chemo is quimio (short for quimio-terapia). It's natural to guess that chemo might be translated quimo. That faux ami (which corresponds to the English chyme) is discussed at the SABI entry.

CHEM Study
CHemical Educational Material STUDY. A US program to produce modern educational materials, spurred in part by Sputnik. The name was also applied to the resulting materials. Glenn T. Seaborg served as chairman of the steering committee of the CHEM Study in the early 1960's. Seaborg has written:
    However, after Neil Armstrong's dramatic moon landing on July 20, 1969, a sense of ``mission accomplished'' infused the country; and the nation began to turn its attention to other issues: the Vietnam War, the domestic social unrest and student protests, Watergate, and the oil crisis and economic downturn of the 1970s. Public education was pushed off center stage of the national agenda. The years of neglect exacted a heavy toll.

This is quoted (I don't entirely agree with the way the chronological development is worded) from Seaborg's A Chemist in the White House: From the Manhattan Project to the End of the Cold War (American Chemical Society, 1998), p. 272. The book describes his personal interactions with the US presidents (all of them) from FDR to Bill Clinton. (That's while they were in office; he also knew Hoover after he retired.) According to the book, ``[a]t present, 24 audiovisual productions in the CHEM Study series are available as films and as VHS and PAL videos. These were last revised in 1989. Millions of copies of the textbook and lab manual have been sold around the world. The books have been translated into 17 languages and the films into 8 languages.

When I was a senior in high school, I was one of three students who happened to be enrolled in both Chemistry II (an AP course, in fact though not in name until some years later) and an English course called Modern Satire. The three of us (Mark Tomalonis, Claude von Roesgen, and I) created a COME'n'Study film about deterium, a substance that prevents things from happening. Tom Sullebarger and Laurel Bloecher also contributed. I have thought that it's amusing how movie folks obsess over film credits (see, for example, the Alan Smithee and second second entries). But now with the shoe on the other foot, I wish we had written out formal credits to save me the worry of unfairly slighting someone's contribution.

``Rocks are a major source of deterium.'' In a white lab coat, I dipped a chunk of granite in a beaker of water to see if it would dissolve, and I tried to coax an irregular rock to roll across a lab bench. Afterwards, the camera panned left, where Claude and (if Mark's memory serves) Laurel held up Olympic-style judges'-scores signs.

It's not surprising to remember one's own bit best. The theory that this is a general phenomenon has been used to try to deduce facts about William Shakespeare. The approach assumes that words or phrases spoken by a character the bard acted in one play would sort of ring in his head and appear with higher-than-average frequency in his next play. This has been used in arguments over the order in which the plays were written. Don't laugh -- Shakespeare makes critics think even crazier things, such as that he didn't exist.

Anyway, our sound track was on a cassette, but synchronization wasn't too much of a problem because the sound was mostly voice-over narration. I heard they showed the film at our school for a few years after we left. We used Mark's camera equipment, but Claude is the one who eventually went into the film business in any way. I also acted in (and co-produced, etc.) a video for my Current American Problems course that year, and filmed excerpts from Airport (Sophomore English group book report), so I guess I must have gotten that out of my system, but sometimes I wonder if it hasn't all gone downhill since high school. I also wondered what ever happened to our film. Then in April 2009 Mark found this entry and contacted me. It turns out that the 16mm video component has survived. Maybe we'll do something with it.

CHEMical TRansportation Emergency Center. They have a 24-hour toll-free number for information on chemical emergencies (leaks, spills, fires and other accidents): 1-800-424-9300.

Chem 7
A standard battery of blood-chemistry tests, which measure
  1. sodium,
  2. potassium,
  3. chloride,
  4. bicarbonate,
  5. blood urea nitrogen (BUN),
  6. creatinine, and
  7. glucose (blood sugar).

Cherenkov Radiation
Light emitted by a particle moving faster than the local speed of light. Note that causality only forbids particle velocities or information transfer faster than the vacuum speed of light (written c). The speed of light in a refractive medium is c' = c/n, where n is the index of refraction. In the light equivalent of a sonic boom, the radiation forms a cone with opening angle theta away from the backward-pointing vector, given by sin(theta/2) = c'/v, where v is the particle speed.

(The opening angle of a cone is the maximum angle made at its vertex between two segments along the side. That is, it is twice the angle between the cone axis and its side. By ``cone'' I mean what is technically a ``right cone.'')

Cherenkov counters are devices which detect the presence of very rapid particles by measuring the Cherenkov radiation. Most ordinary solids and liquids have dielectric constants n not very close to unity, and most gases have dielectric constants between 1 and 1.001. The need to detect particles moving within a few per cent of the speed of light led to the development of aerosil.

Cherenkov's name should really be written Cerenkov, with a hachek on the cee, but that's hard to do with only ISO Latin-1.

Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source.

The percentage of packets eaten by a network connection.

A business entity created by Enron to make its debts magically disappear.

Children's Health Fund. I think this may once have been the ``National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition.'' I'm glad they changed their name, if that's what happened, because it would have been too much to type.

Congestive Heart Failure. For a drug therapy, see ACE.

CHanGe. Abbreviation used, for example, to obfuscate the terms of airline fares. The more heavily discounted the TKT, the likelier you are to incur a penalty (used to be as little as $50 or $75, $100 on international TRVL) if you make a change. If a medical emergency prevents you from traveling, a note from a doctor can save you a chunk of change.

Conference-Hopping Grant-Mongering Networking Bourgeoise Academics. Pejorative.

Chapters. Old-fashioned plural of ch. I've seen it in a book written as recently as 1920.

Computer-Human Interaction. Don't flatter yourself; even the computer closest to you spends only a tiny fraction of its cycles actually paying direct attention to your input.

A literary or rhetorical figure in the form of a cross, from the Greek letter chi, which has that shape. That is, two similar clauses, with two elements of one clause interchanged in the second. There's a domain chiasmus.com devoted to the subject.

Many proverbs are in chiastic form. For example: ``you can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy.''

Extra credit for apposite name:

We didn't land on Plymouth Rock;
Plymouth Rock landed on us.

Malcolm X

(Born Malcolm Little. Eventually changed his name to Malcolm El Shabazz or something like that. He also was the first major figure to advocate replacing ``negro'' with ``black.'' Seems to have had a thing about names.)

Malcolm X had some ideas about religion. I think I'll just leave it at that for now.

Chiasmus is very popular in early Christian work. In Matthew 10:39, for example:

He who FINDS his life will LOSE it
and he who LOSES his life [for my sake] will FIND it.
Three centuries later, one finds chiasmus and chiastic structures very common in Augustine's sermons.

The meaning of the term chiasmus is frequently stretched to cover a number of other rhetorical figures and literary structures that have any sort of ``geometric structure.'' (Such is the terminology for rhetorical structure best described in geometric terms.) This is the case, for example, in the discussion notes for Catallus in the A.P. edition published by Bolchazy-Carducci Press.

(I probably shouldn't neglect to mention the five-member soft-rock group that called itself The Fifth Dimension. Despite the name, neither their music nor lyrics had any unusual geometry that I ever noticed, but they did have a hit with the song ``Love's Lines, Angles & Rhymes,'' title track of an LP they released in 1971. The song was also released as a single that year, b/w ``The Singer.'')

The looser category of ``chiasmus'' typically involves symmetric organization around a central event or episode, and has been called Ringstruktur by German philologists and later pedimental structure by John Linton Myres, in his Herodotus, Father of History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953).

Calvert Watkins, in his How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), assembles extensive evidence of ring composition in a variety of Indo-European poetic traditions.

For an elaborate structural analysis of the Iliad, see Cedric Hubbell Whitman: Homer and the Heroic Tradition (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), including chapters entitled ``Homer and Geometric Art,'' and ``The Geometric Structure of the Iliad.'' See also André Weil's contribution ``Sur quelques symétries dans l'Iliade,'' pp. 305-309 of Miscellanea Mathematica, ed. Peter Hilton, Friedrich Hirzebruch, and Reinhold Remmert (Springer-Verlag, 1991).

Elaborate geometric structure can also be found in, for example, Plato's dialogues and Aeschylus's plays. It continues in the Hellenistic period, at least in Jewish writing (in Koine).

One finds ring structure very frequently in Vedic poetry, though generally it is compressed within individual stanzas. On a larger and more intricate scale, one finds it in Avestan and in the Gathas of Zarathustra.

Saussure noticed the phenomenon nearly a hundred years ago. Roman Jakobson explored it as well, both in Slavic and on an abstract theoretical plane, in his discussions of the poetic function. David Weir is apparently another language professor who got the chiasmus bug (see decadence).

Much of the preceding stuff was patched together from material posted by Owen Cramer, Jim Helm, Steve Mason, and George Thompson during a thread on the classics list in April 1999.

John F. Kennedy used chiasmus in his inaugural address: ``...ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.''

This echoed a famous speech Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., made on Memorial Day 1884:

For, stripped of the temporary associations which gave rise to it, it [the Fourth of July] is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.

At the time, Holmes was a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. He went on to become a justice of the US Supreme Court. Theodore Roosevelt, who appointed him to the position, came to regret it. His original choice had been William Howard Taft, but Taft turned the position down to continue governing the Philippines. (The story seems to be that Taft's ambitious wife wanted him to wait and be president instead.) As it turned out, Teddy Roosevelt also hand-picked his own successor as president: in 1908 he pushed through the nomination of his Secretary of War, who was none other than Taft, now home from the Philippines. By 1912, Roosevelt again decided that he had made a mistake, and when the Republican Party nominated Taft for candidacy to a second term, TR formed a third party called the National Progressive Party (the ``Bull Moose'' party). I seem to have gotten off on a tangent, and the TR situations are really parallel rather than chiastic or in some complementary relation. All this geometry! Look, here's what we'll do: from here on this entry is retasked to the Holmes quote, and we'll start another entry that you can go to immediately if you're still interested in chiasmus, okay? (I'll finish this entry later, and mention Harding.)

chiasmus, more on
Okay, everybody here? Good, we're going to try to get back to a discussion of chiasmus, which sort of got derailed back there. If you're coming fresh to the discussion, you should read the preceding entry until you see the name of Theodore Roosevelt (it's spelled ``Theodore Roosevelt''). Just don't anybody interrupt me this time!

(Isn't hypertext great? It allows so much greater flexibility in organizing reference information!)

A reference dedicated to chaismus is Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You: Chiasmus and a World of Quotations That Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say, by Dr. Mardy Grothe. It's recommended by X. J. Kennedy, which ought to count for something. I suppose X stands for Xavier, but I don't know.

As the earlier examples suggest, the typical chiasmus involves interchange of words or phrases. Interchanging parts of words makes possible a class of puns that has been called phonetic chiasmus (I think ``phonemic chiasmus'' would have been a better term):

Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

The second pun occurs in Randy Hanzlick's song ``I'd Rather Have A Bottle In Front Of Me,'' which explores the relative merits of these alternative ways to ``kill the pain.'' Hanzlick, an Atlanta physician, got the idea from a graffito scrawled on a bathroom wall in a VA hospital in the early 1970's. That said ``I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy.'' This story is reported on the phonetic chiasmus page at chiasmus.com. (Another doctor -- Demento -- has played that song on his program.) I'd always heard the pun credited to Groucho Marx, but then it probably would be even if he didn't come up with it originally or even say it. Pending more substantive information, I would note that the popularity of frontal lobotomy as a procedure peaked in the 1950's, when Groucho hosted ``You Bet Your Life,'' and was largely the stuff of folklore and sad survivors by the 1970's.

Exhibiting chiasmus of one sort or another, or perhaps just reminiscent of it.

During the Prohibition Era (roughly the 1920's in the US and Finland), one element in the war on alcohol was (in the US) a sort of Lysistrata approach. It was encapsulated in the following:

Lips that touch liquor will never touch mine.

It's got a beat! Four-three time. Carrie Nation could march to it. (Eight six if she'd had soul.) And its structure is distantly reminiscent of this old saw:

Anyone who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

There must be a name for this figure, but I don't know it. And no, it's not very chiastic, but I had to put it in somewhere. I think I first read the lips and liquor ditty in Cheaper by the Dozen.

Here's a good phrase that I found in an article on the unsolved 1919 disappearance of the despised millionaire Ambrose Small. It's not chiastic, but I couldn't think where else to put it. Let's just pretend that it's a useful exercise for distinguishing chiasmus from other figures, okay?

Just one thing seems certain. For decades, Ambrose Small got away with murder. In 1919, someone else did.
(Penned, for all I know completely originally, by Garnet Fraser, writing in the Nov. 30, 2003, Toronto Star.)

Oh, alright, let's do have some real chiastic stuff. (Hint: more chiasmus at that link.)

If a man will begin in certainties he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin in doubts he shall end in certainties.

Bacon, Advancement of Learning, bk. I, v., 8.

Chicago Homer
Is there hope for our Cubbies!?!? Nah.
``The Chicago Homer is a multilingual database that uses the search and display capabilities of electronic texts to make the distinctive features of Early Greek epic accessible to readers with and without Greek.''

chicken wings, the sublimity of
Adelina Patty (1843-1919) was a child singing prodigy who went on to become one of the most celebrated coloratura sopranos of the nineteenth century. Rossini rewrote the role of Rosina in The Barber of Seville specifically for her. He once said to the diva, ``Madam, I have cried only twice in my life. Once when I dropped a wing of truffled chicken into Lake Como, and once when for the first time I heard you sing.'' This was a compliment. Oh, and her name was Adelina Patti, not Patty. Sorry about that, chief.

chick lit
A genre of fiction aimed at women at the beginning of their professional lives, depicting women at the beginning of their professional lives. (That's typically women in their twenties and thirties. If you want depictions of women entering professional life at a later point in their earthly sojourn, perhaps you want to look at what is known by the name of ``matron lit,'' or by the clever neologism of ``hen lit.'')

Gee, sounds a bit censorious. Centre for the HIstory Of Defence Electronics. A special project of HisTRU.

Cherokee Heritage Indian Education Foundation. CHIEF has produced educational materials on Cherokee history and language in various media (audio books, cassettes, flash cards, videos, and texts). The website has been unreachable since at least October 2003, but materials produced by CHIEF are still being distributed by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, at least. I do hope that CHIEF itself is still available, even if not virtually, because it would be shame if such a backronym were to-- but wait! It's been saved! See

Christian Hope Indian Eskimo Fellowship. You can read an ``and'' between Indian and Eskimo; the organization serves ``55 Million people and 1,200 Native Tribes in North, Central, and South America.''

Computer-Human Interaction Forum Of Oregon. Gesundheit!

Current-Hogging Injection Logic. A variant of integrated injection logic (I²L, q.v.).

CHIld Language Data Exchange System.

child labor, future entry for
I occasionally come across stuff that would be appropriate for a child-labor entry. Until I figure out what exactly I want to write on the subject, I'll lay up reference materials here as I reencounter them. So far, I just have Bill Kauffman: With Good Intentions? Reflections on the Myth of Progress in America (Praeger, 1998). Here's a quote from page x (in the preface):
  ``You can't turn back the clock,'' expostulate those who mistake weariness for wisdom. Yet these believers in history, foreordained, never seem to consider the possibility that their watches show the wrong time.
  This book examines--sympathetically--the people, movements, and arguments of six hopelessly (or so it might seem) ``lost causes'': opposition to school consolidation, the Interstate Highway System, woman suffrage, and the maintenance of a large standing army; and the defense of child labor and the back-to-the-land movement of the Great Depression.

Miniature idiots.

Children's Hard Cover Story Books
Standard, official if there's an office of such things, title of the genre known as picture books.

CCITT HIgh-Level Language (HLL).

Chinese and a movie
Jewish Christmas tradition in North America. Oriental restaurants are usually the only ones open on Xmas, and back in the day, most Oriental restaurants were Chinese.

Chinese gooseberry
Around 1963, New Zealand started exporting these in high volume to North America, where they were called ``kiwi fruit'' and ``[giant] kiwi berry,'' after the association of kiwi with New Zealand (see apteryx entry). Now the berry terms have pretty much gone out of use, and they're called either ``kiwi fruit'' or just (in the US) ``kiwi.''

I remember reading that New Zealand's experience with kiwi fruit turned out to be a cautionary tale of agricultural development. Once New Zealand exporters had done all the spadework, opening up the market against resistance to the fuzzy brown fruit that tastes a lot like a tart strawberry, other lower-cost or closer (which can be the same thing) competitors dove in and ate their dessert, so to speak.

Anyway, that's what I read a bunch of years ago in an article about economic development planning for the Isle of Jersey, but things can't be entirely bad. I was shopping at Meijer's a couple of days ago and all three varieties of kiwi were ``Product of New Zealand.'' Kiwi trees are thirsty. For California growers, that meant daily irrigation. In the early eighties, kiwi were fetching a dollar a pound for the growers. When that came down to pennies a pound, most California producers got out of the business. According to an IHT article of September 22, 2008, Italy had become the world's leading producer.

This is not like Spanglish. Spanglish is interwoven English and Spanish, typically fairly grammatical in one language and often in both, with words drawn from both languages. Chinglish is English words with Chinese grammar. Since Chinese is an isolating language with even less inflection than English, the inflections are chosen more or less randomly. For example, here's part of a standard list from a frequent spammer (some Chinese manufacturer):
A     wearing and accouterment
A01   man garment
A02   lady garment
A03   children garment
A04   silk dress
A05   leather/fur dress
A06   knitting dress
A07   full dress

CHarge INjection Transistor. Same device as a NERFET, operating in a different mode.

A piece of silicon wafer with a circuit fabricated on it.

Children's Health-Insurance Program. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created Title XXI of the Social Security Act, the ``State Children's Health Insurance Program.'' Twenty-four billion dollars was set aside for the initial five years of the program. Interesting -- I always thought of an act as the passage of a law, so you could amend a law with an act, but amending an act effectively meant passing another act. I was wrong.

Anyway, CHIP is one of those federal-state partnerships that are so popular in the US. Like Medicaid, it's ``administered by the states under broad federal guidelines.'' CHIP is meant to provide health care coverage for poor children who don't qualify for Medicaid. I suppose that in practice, ``low-income'' may be more accurate than ``poor,'' but gratuitous accuracy is not a reflex I associate with bureaucracies, and I suspect it's not the reason that the word poor doesn't appear in the literature.

One thing about federal-state partnerships is that it takes two to tango. If a state doesn't implement the kind of program the feds want, the feds can refuse to fund the state's program, but they can't force the state directly to change the program or even to implement one. And they don't offer to pay all the expenses, either (see FMAP).

Some NGO's, at least, prefer to refer to CHIP as SCHIP (oh yeah, there's a ``State'' there), but that looks like it ought to be pronounced ``skip'' in English. The federal organizations that administer the programs (I'm sorry, that set the rules by which the states administer them) use ``CHIP.''

Ala	ALL Kids
Az	KidsCare
Ark	ARKinds First
Ca	Healthy Families
Co	Family Health Line
Co.	CHP+
Conn	HUSKY Plan
DC	DC Healthy Families
Fla	Florida Kid Care
Ga	GA Peach Care for Kids
Ill	KidCare
Ind	Hoosier Healthwise
Iowa	Hawk I
Ks	Health Wave
Me	not available
Md	Maryland's Children's Health Program
Mass	MassHealth
Mich	MIChild
Minn	Minnesota Care
Miss	MS's Children's Health Insurance Program
Mo	MC+
Mont.	MT Kids
Ne.	Kids Connection
Nev.	Nevada Check Up
NH	Healthy Kids - Gold
NJ	New Jersey KidCare
NY	Child Health Plus
NCar	NC Health Choice
Oh	Healthy Start
OK	Sooner Care
OR	Oregon Health Plan
Pa	PA Children's Health Insurance
RI	RiteCare
SCar	Partners for Healthy Children
Tenn	TennCare
Tx	Texas CHIP
Utah	CHIP, Utah's Children's Health Insurance Program
Va	VA Children's Medical Security Plan

Constraint-Handl{er|ing} In PROLOG.

Chip Express
``Charter: A complete Time-to-market solution featuring smooth transfer from rapid prototyping to high volume production.'' Homepage has reasonable turnaround time.

chip graffiti
Nonfunctional artwork visible (under the microscope) on the surface of an integrated circuit. Typically a logo or something along the lines of ``Kilroy was here.''

A species of rodent less unpleasant than a rat that sings Christmas carols in a nasal voice less unpleasant than a kazoo. Here's a picture from the Washington University picture archive. Probably from shame at the infamous exploits of Alvin and the others, these have been christened (or registered at the local county courthouse or whatever) ``chipmonks'' (as in ``http://wuarchive.wustl.edu/multimedia/images/gif/c/chipmonk.gif''), suggesting cloistered beavers.

Cave HIll Philosophy Symposium. Conducted at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, in Barbados.

A chirp is a sequence of short pulses with smoothly decreasing (red chirp) or increasing (blue chirp) instantaneous frequency.

And now chirplets!

Spanish noun meaning `joke.' Cognate with French geste, jeste, and English gest, jest, all from Latin gesta.

The Spanish chiste was adopted with the same meaning and pronunciation into some western Basque dialects (those of Biscay and Guipuzcoa), with the transliterated spelling txiste. A synonym in the same dialectal regions is txantxa, from Spanish chancha, q.v.

French name for a basket used to play jai alai. The basket is elongated and curved, strapped to the hand and used to catch and hurl the ball. The same word is used in the language of the eastern Basque country (Labourd, Basse Navarre, and Soule), which is to say the Basque provinces that are partly in France. The word is pronounced as in French but spelled xistera (i.e., phonetically in Basque). Cf. chistera.

The word is ultimately from the Latin, cistella (`small basket'), through cistere, the form of the word in the French dialect of Gascony. This is probably a good place to point out that Gascon is derived from the Latin Vascones, Latin word for `Basques.' The region got the name when the Basques invaded in the sixth century. The shift from the Latin -ll- to Gascon -r- is regular, as is the shift from ci- to chi- in Basque.

Spanish name for a basket used to play jai alai. The basket is elongated and curved, strapped to the hand and used to catch and hurl the ball. The same word is used in the language of the western Basque country (Biscay and Guipuzcoa), which is to say the Basque provinces that are completely in Spain. The word is pronounced as in Spanish but spelled txistera (i.e., phonetically in Basque). Cf. chistera.

To be honest, there seem to be a number of slight variations, particularly on the initial consonant or consonant cluster. In Spanish the more common word for the same equipment is cesta, and versions of this word also occur in Basque (xisto in, uh, Baja Navarra, for example). The Spanish word cesta is derived from the Latin cista, and thus cognate with English chest. Corominas y Pascual (1984) criticize the Real Academia for supposing that cesta in the particular acception used in jai alai has some different etymology, and to jusdge from the 21st edition (1992) of its dictionary, the Academy has come around.

I heard an advertisement on the radio, for a product called ``Fat-Absorb,'' which you take with meals to absorb fat while it's still in your GI tract, so you lose weight. (That's the theory, anyway. One way this might fail to work is if you get too many of your excess calories from excess protein and carbohydrates, which your body converts to fat after absorption.) They said it contains chitin. I thought: `` `chitin,' isn't that the stuff of insect exoskeletons? Ewww!'' I called their toll-free number (1-800-552-0928) and a nice lady explained that it's shellfish chitin, ``extracted from the shells of crabs, shrimp and lobster.'' She sounded a bit disappointed that I only called because I wanted to find out. What, they answer phones on a commission basis? Now the radio ads explain right off the bat what the stuff comes from.

You know, certain kinds of grasshopper or locust are technically kosher. However, the specification of which are kosher and which treif is considered too vague to allow of certainty, so to be on the safe side all are proscribed (does this predicate dangle?). I have never found this proscription to be a significant burden. For more treif food, see the next entry.


Chitterlings, but no one who would call them that would eat them. Fried pork entrails.

According to Cicero, Cato was well-known to have wondered

... quod non rideret haruspex haruspicem cum vidisset.
`...how two entrail-readers [prophesiers] could keep from laughing when they saw each other.'

Cicero is a town in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New York, Washington and Wisconsin. For more about entrail-reading, see the insurance agents entry. The word haruspex is originally Etruscan (Etr.).

It is reliably reported [New York Times, p. 10, 1996.11.10] that you can get chitlins at any of eight outlets around Atlanta owned by Shelley Anthony, who is 44 and hasn't had even one heart attack yet. He's got a drive-through-only outlet on Ponce de Leon. My grandmother used to live on Ponce de Leon; there's a science sort-of-museum to the North before you reach Decatur.

I've noticed that increasingly, late at night when only the drive-through is open, people are walking through the drive-through service at Burger King restaurants. It's one of the few places where pedestrians and vehicles obey identical rules. Try to imagine the Staten Island ferry on a similar regime. I read once that half the people who commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge have crossed another bridge that day to get there. Sure, but the Golden Gate has a pedestrian walkway. You don't want to get run over on your way to commit suicide -- you could get killed!

Once, driving through Pecos, Texas, I stopped at an authentic Mexican restaurant, the kind where no se habla inglés. I saw something on the menu that I didn't recognize -- menudos. It was explained to me that this was carne, `meat,' so I tried the sopa de menudos, which turned out to be soup with boiled-tripe flotsam. As neither Cicero nor Cato was first to have said,

De gustibus non est disputandum,
or, `there's no arguing taste.'

Cicero means `small pea.'

Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

Central Hockey League. A minor league, okay, but ``Central'' what -- Indiana, Psychodelia? In 2002, the Indianapolis Ice of the CHL hired 7-foot-7 basketball player and sideshow exhibit Manute Bol for a single game, but he never got on the ice because his feet swelled inside his custom-made skate shoes. Why doesn't the Ice just hire all-new players and reposition itself as a baseball team? They could call themselves the Grass. The league can be called Bush.

On March 12, 2004, Tonya Harding made an appearance at an Ice home game against the Colorado Eagles (who won 2-1 in an overtime shoot-out). She didn't skate either! She did a little exhibition boxing between periods, sparring with her trainer. To keep up with Tonya's periodically newsworthy (or at least News-Of-The-Worldly) career, save a link to the degradation entry.

Oh wait -- I forgot! Fighting is a part of hockey! How could I forget? As Ice General Manager Larry Linde explained in a press release, ``[s]ome people have questioned our toughness this season and I intend to put an end to that this Friday [March 12].'' Of course, this makes perfect sense. ``She certainly gives new meaning to the [team's slogan] `Are You Tough Enough?' '' Hmmm. ``Harding.'' Almost worth a nomen est omen entry.


Concealed Handgun License.

Not precisely to the point, but relevant, are some numbers published in Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000 (US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2001). Table 2.77 lists the results of a survey question asked of Americans by the Gallup Organization in surveys since 1959: ``Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by the police and other authorized persons?'' In 1959, 60% responded that there should, 36% that there should not (4% no opinion). The number favoring such a law declined, steadily, so far as two intervening surveys suggest, until in January 1980 31% favored such a law and 65% were opposed. That was the low point in measured popularity for handgun prohibition. In eleven polls between December 1980 and 2000, the percentage favoring has fluctuated between 34 and 43. In 2000, 36% favored and 62% opposed handgun prohibition. (Although survey sample sizes have varied, the 2000 sample numbered 1012.)

Current-Hogging Logic. I think it's a variant of integrated injection logic, but I didn't look too closely. See Heinz Lehning: ``Current Hogging Logic (CHL) -- A New Bipolar Logic for LSI,'' IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. SC-9, #5, pp. 228-233 (October 1974). I don't think it caught on.

Customs-House License. Not their license to operate. The license they issue.

Cultural Heritage Language Technologies. ``A Collaborative Project to Create Computational Tools For The Study of Ancient Greek, Early Modern Latin, and Old Norse In A Network of Affiliated Digital Libraries.''

Commission on the History of Modern Chemistry.

Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease. A ``University [of Durham]-approved Research Centre that provides a focus for research and postgraduate education in the history of medicine, health, disease, and medical ethics. It unites staff and postgraduates from the [uh-oh] Department of Philosophy and the School for Health and has links to several other departments with interests in history of medicine, including Archaeology, Geography [see CAAP if you think this odd], and Modern European Languages. Together with the medical historians at the University of Newcastle, it forms the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine (NCHM). Within the University of Durham, the CHMD constitutes[,] together with the Centre for Arts and Humanities in Health and Medicine[,] the Medical Humanities Research Group.''

Complementary High-performance Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (MOS). New improved CMOS.

CHOline. Productive abbreviation.

Credit Hire Organisation. It's both a generic term (in England, at least) and the name of a trade organization that represents all of the largest CHO's in the UK, representing 90% of the credit hire and credit repair market.

``Credit hire/credit repair became a significant customer service in the late 1980's. Back in the 1980's or earlier, if you wanted to hire a car and recover the cost from a negligent driver's insurer you had to pay for it up front, obtain a receipt and then spend weeks, if not months waiting to get your money back. That led to credit hire firms being established enabling innocent motorists involved in an accident to obtain a car on credit.''

Spanish verb with the meaning `collide, crash,' primarily in the intransitive but also in the transitive sense. Other meanings include `fight,' `astound,' and `clink [wineglasses].' Chocar is probably cognate with the English word shock, and both may be derived from the French choquer, which may in turn be borrowed from a Germanic language, but etymologists are reluctant to rule out the possibility that one or another of the apparent cognates may be an independent onomatopeic development.

I only put this entry in because it occurred to me that choque and coche form a cute Spoonerized pair. They have the same stress and vowel patterns, with only the consonants switched. Choque, related to chocar, is the countable noun for `crash, collision.' Coche is `car.' [The latter is cognate with English coach, as discussed at the coach entry.]

The perfect diet food: tastes so good that you won't need to fill yourself up trying vainly to satisfy your hunger with endless quantities of high-sugar fruit.

There is a particular chemical compound called cholesterol (an alcohol; the commonest sterol), and there is a set of blood solutes called lipoproteins associated with the alcohol cholesterol (they can transport it), which are collectively called ``cholesterol'' in the medical field. The alcohol cholesterol has chemical formula C27H45OH. It's got a bunch of nonaromatic rings, and if you're lucky, the following ASCII picture represents it:
                                      /    \
                                 ____/      \
                                /¯¯¯¯\      /
                               /      \____/
                               \      /\
                                \____/  \
                                /    \
                            ___/      \
                           /   \      /
                          /     \____/
                          \     /\
                           \   /  \
                            \ /
               \             |
                \____        |
                /    \      / \
               /      \____/   \

[column] Cholesterol was first extracted from bile, and the name is constructed using the Greek word (khole) for bile.

There is a set of blood solutes called lipoproteins associated with the alcohol cholesterol (they can transport it), which are collectively called ``cholesterol'' in the medical field. The only thing certain about ``cholesterol'' numbers is that the units on the numbers that come back from the laboratory, results from your blood tests, are milligrams per deciliter. And that's not an international standard. (At least in Canada since metrification and also in Denmark, I've heard of some other unit.) Vide liter.

Trimethyl (2-hydroxyethyl) ammonium hydroxide. [That is: start with ammonia (NH3) and dissolve in water--you get ammonium (NH4+) hydroxide (OH-), replace three of the hydrogens on N with methyl (CH3) groups, and replace the fourth H with a hydroxyethyl group (C2H5OH: i.e. the organic radical that you get when you tear one H off of the carbon in ethanol that isn't bonded to the alcohol (OH) group). Done. N.B.: This is not intended as a synthesis scheme, but just as a mental construction!]

Syrupy. Famous stuff because acetyl choline [esterize the alcohol group with acetic acid] turns out to be essential for communication between nerves.

Choline treatment
Choline : H2O2 : H2O (3:1:95 parts by volume) at 50°C ± 5°, 10 min., ultrasound. DI water rinse for 10 min, spin dry. [See Electrochemical Society Extended Abstracts 81-2, 1981.] Good for organics and some heavy metals.

CERN Hybrid Oscillation Research apparatUS.

Collaborative Hypertext of Radiology.

Multiple voices performing. Almost all the standard senses of the word chorus a specific cases of this general meaning.
Yiddish, `knick-knacks.' Useless, kitchily decorative things. You want to know the singular form? You don't get it.

chow mein
A dish with vegetables served with fried noodles on top. The dish is not Chinese but ``Chinese-style.'' Anyway, the etymology is Chinese enough: chow mein means `fried [i.e. stir-fried] noodles.' Cf. lo mein.

There seems to be a lot of variation in what goes in besides fried noodles and some common Western vegetables. Helpfully, chow mein dishes usually include the main non-veggie ingredient in the name (``chicken chow mein,'' ``pork chow mein,'' etc.).

California Highway Patrol.

CHannel Path.

Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi. `Republican People's Party' of Turkey. Kemal Atatürk's party, and the only legal political party in Turkey for many years. The first time that free elections were allowed, in 1950, the Demokrat Parti (DP) won 53% of the vote and 408 of 487 seats in the national assembly.

CHannel Path (CHP) IDentifier.

Center for Health Policy Research. Now known as the Center for Health Services Research and Policy (CHSRP).

Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.

This course in chemical separations covers a number of chromatographies. So does this one.

A medical term meaning of long duration. Even if the symptoms are only sporadically recurring, the condition itself is persistent, and thus described as chronic. Typically one begins applying this word after one to three months, depending to some extent on the condition. The precise application of the term depends on subtle scientific questions such as who is paying for the treatment. At the opposite extreme from chronic is acute. The term subacute has been introduced to describe that awkward interval between acute and chronic, but we're not going to give that term an entry because people would think we're not serious.

Chronicle of Higher Education
Trade weekly for college and university educators and misadministrators. Subscribers can read the current issue here or search back issues here.

Scientific or technical news articles appearing in its pages are required to contain at least one major foolish blunder. Opinion pieces don't need logic howlers if they are otherwise without intellectual merit.

Abbreviated CHE.

California Historical Society.


Center for Hellenic Studies. It has a ``45,000-volume specialized library and serene wooded campus in Washington, D.C.,'' and is operated by Harvard University. Look under Woods-Bliss for more detail.

Chinese Historical Society of America.

Community Health Service Organization.

Center for Health Services Research and Policy. Formerly known as the Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR).

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. The link is to one at the ``The University, Manchester'' (UK).

Certified Hyperbaric Technologist.


Chthonios Books
UK distributor, founded by Stephen Ronan, of scholarly titles from publishers worldwide which deal with Esoteric Studies. The most recent catalogue has a list of 342 books with detailed descriptions divided into sections on Ancient Religion and the Mysteries; Neoplatonism and Ancient Philosophy; Hermetica, Alchemy and Emblemata; Gnosticism and Early Christianity; Judaism and Kabbalah; Magick, Witchcraft and Demonology; Medieval, Renaissance and beyond. Chthonios also has a list of second-hand books.

Send for a catalogue to:

Chthonios Books
7 Tamarisk Steps
TN34 3DN
Telephone /fax 01424 433302 (+44 1424 433302 internationally)

Canadian version of WWV, reporting the time on 3330, 7335, and 14670 kHz. Use it to learn how to count to fifty-nine in French and English!

Japanese: `loyalty to authority.' A fundamental moral principle of Confucianism.

The same principle is even more important in the American civil religion, where each person is an authority unto him- or herself.

CHUKS, Chuks
Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom, and Sweden. Nickname for the four EU countries that opted out of a closer federal fiscal union in December 2011.

The American Indian tribe that inhabited the Lompoc Valley. The name is pronounced ``SHOE mosh.'' I have no idea why or since when. In particular, I can't understand why the initial ch is pronounced as in French and why the same sound at the end is spelled in English.

The word has an etymology that you could look up on the internet. UCSB has a Chumash Room or Chumash Auditorium or something in the student center (UCen).

A Hebrew study bible -- traditionally a single volume for the first five books. With a little effort, I suppose I could work the phrase ``Hebrew tribe'' into that description, but parallelism isn't everything. The name is pronounced ``WHO mosh.'' The ch is pronounced as in German because when transliteration of Hebrew into Roman characters became common in the nineteenth century, it was principally done into German.

The word chumash is based on the Hebrew word hameish, `five.'

Cheekiness, shameless presumptious gall. The standard ``definition'' of chutzpah is a man who, about to be sentenced for murdering his parents, asks the court to show leniency to an orphan. This joke just isn't quite as funny since the the Menendez brothers deployed the ``abuse defense.''

For your convenience, we've centralized the chyme information, sort of, at the SABI entry.

(Click here for top) Previous section: Cf (top) to CGW (bottom)

Next section: CI (top) to CLWR (bottom)

[ Thumb tabs and search tool] [ SBF Homepage ]

If your browser has brought you directly to this message, you have followed an outdated link. Click here now and we will try to direct you to the appropriate file.

Space above was intentionally left free of glossary definitions so that links to bottom of document can appear at the top of the screen display.

© Alfred M. Kriman 1995-2013 (c)