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Call Reference.

Carriage Return. In old-style typewriters (manuals and the electrics that didn't use a type ball), typing would occur at a fixed impact point, and the paper would be moved from right to left (for characters to be typed left-to-right). When the end of a line was reached, the carriage that held the paper would be returned to the right so a new line could be begun. Carriage return was accomplished mechanically by a lever pushed from the left. In modern mechanical typewriters, there was a gear mechanism attached to the carriage-return lever which advanced the paper so that typing continued below the previously typed line. (By appropriate manipulation of the CR lever you could isolate only one kind of movement. Of course, you could also move the paper up or down by rolling the platen using the knob at its end, and the line separation connected with the carriage return was generally adjustable.) In electric typewriters, the paper advance and carriage return were actuated by a ``return'' key, but there was often a separate line-feed key that simply advanced the paper without changing the horizontal typing position.

When ASCII was created, the separate actions of carriage return and line feed were given separate codes, but their historic and natural connection led to conflicting conventions. Unix text files indicate the end of a line by a single <LF> (ASCII 10 or CTRL-J; indicated by the escape \n in many programming languages). MS-DOS and Windows indicate the end of a line by <CR><LF>. AIUI, these are the only two options approved by industry standards bodies. Apple text files indicate the end of a line with a single <CR> (ASCII 13 or CTRL-M; indicated by the escape \r in many programming languages).

Even before electronic keyboards, there were key-punch machines. These would perforate standardized data cards, using one column of hole positions per character. At the end of a line, or whenever one was done with data entry on a card, one did not ``return'' to the beginning -- at least not of the same card. The key that released the current card and loaded the next card for data entry was labeled by the word ``enter.'' In that position on the keyboard, it survived as the variously labeled ``return'' or ``enter'' key on electronic keyboards.

Chloroprene Rubber.

Chromium. Atomic number 24. In the first period of transition metals.

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


Classical Review. Published for the (British) Classical Association (CA) by OUP until 2005, by CUP after. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

``Founded in 1886, The Classical Review publishes reviews of new work with the literatures and civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. Over three hundred books are reviewed each year, the full-length reviews being followed by shorter notices of less important works. It can be regarded as a companion to The Classical Quarterly [CQ].'' The CA also publishes a journal abbreviated G&R that even peons such as yourself may aspire to comprehend.

Commercial Readiness or Commercially Ready.

ConductoR. Abbreviation used within the New York City transit system. It refers to -- wait a moment. Okay, an informant for our research states that it refers to a ``subway train conductor or `platform conductor,' which seems to mean someone who deals with people on busy station platforms (e.g., reminding them to use all the doors, not fall into the gap, etc.).'' There's a profile of one platform conductor in the April 23, 2002 New York Times (Section B; Page 3; Column 1; Metropolitan Desk). The platform conductor profiled points at her throat and says ``They tell me I'm the Ethel Merman of the subways.''

According to a 17 April 2002 article by Norman Lebrecht for This is London (possibly still available online), conductors of classical music have the most fulfilling sex lives.

I thought that maybe C/R referred to an electric power conductor, like a live rail or something. In any profession, people develop their own terminology. We try to bring it all together in one place to confuse you.

One of the courses I took in high school was auto shop. At the beginning of class for a while, the teacher would go around the room (didn't I tell you this story already?) and ask us to call out the next step in doing tune-up work on the distributor. Since we sat in assigned seats and since he always called us in the same order, each one of us always got called for the same step. It wasn't a very effective teaching method, I think. Teaching auto shop was the career fast track at our high school; the next promotion was to assistant principal for discipline. We had a couple of Ph.D. chemists who after many years retired in the position of chemistry teachers. Dr. Hoffman's chemistry classroom and laboratory was above the auto shop. In Dr. Hoffman's Chem II class, I learned, or tried to learn, the rudiments of thermodynamics, and inorganic and organic reactions. Downstairs in Mr. I-forget-his-name's class, I learned, or tried to learn, that the next step was removing the condenser.

I had great difficulty with this. Mr. future-assistant-principal-in-charge-of-discipline would race around the class and get to the guy (me) who was supposed to say ``condenser'' and who would say ``cap,'' and he would say ``CONDENSER!'' It was a regular routine, like an ``I Love Lucy'' rerun. After two years of electronics shop, I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea of calling a capacitor a ``condenser'' (a word that stopped being used in electric technology, by English speakers, not long after the invention of the gasoline-engine distributor). I guess the auto-shop teacher figured that I was just stupid enough to think that the third step after removing the distributor cap was to remove the distributor cap again. All my friends in Calculus class wondered why I didn't get into the National Honor Society (NHS).

A kid I know went to the same school a couple of years after I left; he told me that it had become dangerous to use the bathrooms (except perhaps for dealing drugs). I guess the auto shop teacher got promoted.

Congressional Record. It can be searched online at http://thomas.loc.gov/. (Possibly a sharper tool to use is the GPO form.)

Consumer Reports. Publication of Consumers Union (CU, q.v.).

Continuing Resolution. An act of Congress that authorizes spending to continue before a budget has been passed. Allows government agencies to continue operating while Congress does not.


Corner Reflector. Also CCR.

(Domain name code for) Costa Rica. In Central America. Not Croatia!

Cyclotron Resonance. The frequency at which a charged particle rotates in a magnetic field. A classical free particle of mass m and charge q in a magnetic induction B orbits with an angular frequency l.c. omegac = |qB/m|. Cf. Landau Levels.

Canada Revenue Agency. The name of what had been the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) before its customs responsibilities were transfered to the newly created CBSA. The French acronym corresponding to CRA is ARC.

Community Reinvestment Act.

Corona Austrina. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Crisp browned skin or rind of roast pork. Cf. cracklings. Crackling is unkosher skwarka or snibbles.

I seem to get into a lot of trouble trying to make fine distinctions or give precise definitions of cooked fatty products. For example, as I now explain at the Schmaltz entry, I originally defined that term too narrowly. Similarly, though I had been led to understand that there was some subtle distinction between the mass noun crackling and the plural-form mass noun cracklings, it seems I may have been misinformed. Anyway, read the cracklings entry.

Crisp residue of fat (esp. lard) rendering. Cf. crackling, skwarka and snibbles.

Here's what Snack Food Technology has to say (p. 223; bibl. details at snack food entry) first about POPPED PORK RINDS.

      Popped pork rinds, sometimes called bacon skins or ``skeens,'' have been popular as a between-meal snack in the [American] South for many years. They appear to have originated as an improvement on cracklings, or the crisp and somewhat expanded meaty tissue that is found in the kettle after lard has been rendered from pork fat. ``Cracklins'' have been used as a snack by farm people for hundreds of years, and also are used as adjuncts to give variety to corn bread and some other foods.

      Popped pork rinds represent a considerable technological advance over the very non-uniform, hard, and often distasteful predecessor snack. [I never imagined that I would live to see the day when the words predecessor and snack would appear together like that outside of a Dadaist restraurant review.] Distribution has spread to other parts of the country and the product can be found in most areas at the present time. In simplest terms, these products are pieces of pork skins that have been [coooooooked] so that they puff to many times their original volume lose most of their moisture. Their flavor is fairly bland and reflects the character of the fat in which they were cooked.

CRADA, crada
Cooperative Research And Development Agreement. (Examples: among different automobile manufacturers, to share the cost of developing a car that will meet stringent California emission limits; between NREL and industrial partners, to commercialize research developments).

Civil Reserve Air Fleet. (A direct link may not last; go to the US Air Force Fact Sheets page and follow the ``Civil Reserve Air Fleet'' link under ``Special Topics.'')

craft unions and industrial unions
An important distinction in American labor union history: craft unions are unions organized along the lines of a trade, profession or skill, across different companies. Industrial unions organize workers within an industry across lines of skill or task. Craft unionization is horizontal integration; industrial unionization is vertical.

The AFL was originally primarily a craft union organization, while the CIO was the quintessential (and eponymous) national organization for industrial unions.

Card Random Access Memory (RAM).

Council for Remote Area Nurses of Australia.

Crankshaft IE
Crankshaft Information Element.

Completely Ridiculous Anthropic Principle. See Martin Gardner: ``WAP, SAP, FAP, and PAP,'' New York Review of Books, May 8, 1987.

Cable Repair Administrative System.

Criminally Related ASBO.

Color, RAnk, SHape. A relatively obscure contract bridge bidding convention.

Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums.

A generalized necktie: a band or a scarf or necktie. The term has been in use since the mid-seventeenth century; if it had gone out of use faster, its meaning -- or at least the range of dimensions of the garment -- might be more circumscribed today. Of course it's useful to have general terms (see ascot, but it's also useful to avoid them when more specific terms apply.

In Spanish, a necktie is a corbata. That word and cravat come from the French cravate, from Crabate, Cravate, meaning `Croatian.'

Cray's Rule
For every floating-point instruction per second of performance you need two bytes of memory to hold the results and two memory accesses per second of I/O. Obviously the rule is adjusted for different FP sizes, etc., but it represents a point of view: thinking about computation as a plumbing problem -- data as an incompressible fluid and computers as data pumps. Cf. Seymour Cray's rule with Amdahl's Rule.

Commodities Research Board. Acronym also designates a monthly index of US commodity prices.

Corona Borealis. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Center for Resourceful Building Technology.

Camera-Ready Copy.

Capital Research Center. It was ``established in 1984 to study non-profit organizations, with a special focus on reviving the American traditions of charity, philanthropy, and voluntarism.

Since the launch of the Great Society programs by President Johnson and Congress in the 1960s, many thousands of nonprofit advocacy groups have emerged, often promoting more government welfare programs in areas once considered the domain of families, charities, neighborhood associations, and other voluntary organizations. The growth of government has increasingly supplanted the voluntary action and community-based problem solving that the great observer of early American society, Alexis de Toqueville, recognized as a defining feature of our country.

Capital Research Center is analyzing organizations that promote the growth of the welfare state - now almost universally recognized as a failure - and in identifying viable private alternatives to government welfare programs. Our research forms the basis for a variety of publications.''

It's an antifoundation!

Carlsberg Research Center. ``Carlsberg Research Center (CRC) shall integrate a broad range of natural sciences to create novel opportunities within brewing and biotechnology.''

Chemical Reaction in Colloidal solution.

Chemical Rubber Company (publisher of technical literature, including the famous CRC handbook). The official name is now ``CRC Press LLC'' and includes as subsidiaries Lewis Publishers, St. Lucie Press, and Food Chemical News. I have no idea what the ``LLC'' stands for.

Colo-Rectal Cancer.

Communications Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada. By some accident, they gave the organization French and English names that fit a common initialism (in French, Centre de recherches sur les communications) thereby losing an important opportunity to create another one of those unwieldy long abbreviations that remind us of how much everyone admires everyone else and respects their right to ignore the allophones.

Community Rights Counsel. ``Defending laws that make our communities livable, environmentally sound, and socially just.'' You know, this sounds so positive and unobjectionable that no one could possibly object. Therefore there is no opposition, so by now they've probably wrapped up operations and closed up shop.

Conservation and Research Center. A Virginia facility of the (US) National Zoo.

Consumer Research Center.

Cooperative Research Centre. The Australian government's Cooperative Research Centres Program ``was launched in May 1990, and was established to strengthen cooperative links between [sic, okay? we ain't gonna discuss it] industry, research organisations, educational institutions and government agencies.''

``The Cooperative Research Centres, generally known as CRCs, bring together researchers from universities, CSIRO and other government laboratories, and private industry or public sector agencies, in long-term collaborative arrangements which support research and development and education activities that achieve real outcomes of national economic and social significance.''

(As opposed to imaginary outcomes or real outcomes that have no economic or social significance. I'm glad they made that clear. There's more to say, or unsay, but bureaucratese is easy kills for a thinking reader.)

If they want to do something truly significant they should take the lead of the Carlsberg Research Center.

Back in 1985 or so, when I was working at NRL, I would remind people of our weekly beer meeting by posting a clipping from the Weekly World News, a periodical that I could still afford in those days. Often the clipping would suggest a topic of conversation, such as what we should do about the Martian invasion. One time I posted an item about golfer Greg Norman (at the top of the golf world in those days), who was diagnosed with an allergy to grass, of all things. As he told reporters, however, ``it could be worse -- I might be allergic to beer.''

I've been able to confirm this story on the internet, but I have no evidence that it is true. Here's something, though: on June 15, 1986, when the final round of the US Open began, Greg Norman was in the lead and Raymond Floyd was three strokes back, in a five-way tie for fifth place. At the end of the day (Father's Day, appropriately enough), Floyd had become the oldest player, at 43, ever to win the US Open. (Earlier that year, Jack Nicklaus won the Masters at 46, and Bill Shoemaker rode the Kentucky Derby winner at age 54. I became a ``senior research analyst.'') Here's part of the Thomas Boswell's report in the Washington Post the next day:

Almost nobody gets the sort of Open chance that Norman squandered. At the turn Friday, he led by five shots. Saturday at the turn, he had four in hand. Both times, he'd reached 3 under par. He ended the tournament tied for 12th (behind Nicklaus, whose 68 copped a share of eighth place) as he played the last 27 holes 8 over par.

"I couldn't get the flame going today," Norman said. "I did everything I could possibly do to fire myself up, but I couldn't light the wick . . . This has happened to me a few times, but never when I was in contention . . . all of a sudden, the party was over . . . I had a good margin both days and didn't really capitalize on it . . . There were no hecklers today. I might have done better if there had been . . . I don't know how much more determined I can get . . .

"I lost it and he won it."

Rumors of death threats against both Norman and Trevino buzzed around the course but were not confirmed. Norman heard them and asked Trevino about it, but finally assumed that the day's double security was standard Sunday practice at the Open. "No excuses," said Norman. "Gotta go get a beer."

On June 1, 1984, Boswell described Norman (the ``Great White Shark of Golf'') as ``an Australian who used to take rifle and beer to sea to hunt sharks as a lark...'' Everyone should have a Boswell.

Cyclic Redundancy Check[ ing | word].

Common Routing Connection Group.

Central Registration Depository. ``An on-line registration database and application-processing facility developed jointly by NASD and the North American Securities Administrators Association. CRD permits brokerage firms and their associated persons seeking to be registered with multiple organizations and states to do so by submitting a single form and a combined payment of fees to NASD. In addition to individual registration, CRD also processes the registration and withdrawal forms for brokerage firms.'' In operation since 1981. Both individual dealers and financial services companies are assigned CRD numbers.

Communication ReDirection.

Converging Runway Display Aid. Basically, when two airport runways intersect at an acute angle (``converge''), their separate traffic interferes. CRDA generates images of virtual traffic on the approach lane of one runway that takes up landing slots of that runway that should be avoided to keep out of the way of another runway's traffic.

Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay. Initialism used by the DFAS, at least.

Cavity Ring-Down (absorption) Spectroscopy.

Commercial Real Estate.

(UK) Commission for Racial Equality.

It's not an NGO; it's a government agency.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me. As first noted by the rappers Method Man and Wu-Tang Clan.

The fraction of whole milk that floats to the top. It's mostly butterfat.

What is the function of the crease in pants? Is it to cut down on air resistance? Does it provide a singularity that helps to sharpen one's aura or focus one's astral animal-magnetic force field? I don't know yet, but I am investigating the literature to find out. Preliminary evidence will accumulate below, between the decorative horizontal lines.

TNR published an article by Bruce Bliven for June 27, 1927, entitled ``In Dedham Jail: A Visit to Sacco and Vanzetti,'' based on an interview conducted four weeks before the men were to be executed. (Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were eventually executed on August 23, two days after Supreme Court Justice Brandeis refused to hear a request for a stay of execution, exhausting their appeals.) It's a rather atmospheric article, reflective almost to avoid sounding lugubrious. Bliven's description of the prisoners at Dedham includes the following: ``These men wear trousers of gray stuff, uncouthly cylindrical--since they never have been pressed and never will be--and gray-and-white-striped shirts, cheap and coarse.''

creat, creat()
A Unix command that creates a new file or rewrites an existing one. The C-language function that calls this system function (or the equivalent one in a non-Unix environment) is usually referred to in ordinary speech as ``creat().'' (The ``()'' is silent.) Ken Thompson was once asked what he would do differently if he were redesigning Unix. His reply: ``I'd spell creat with an e.'' (This is reportedly related in a footnote in The UNIX Programming Environment by Brian Kernighan and Robert Pike, which I have yet to check. Maybe he said ``extra e.'')

It isn't a typo for creatine, or it shouldn't be. It's creatine anhydride.

We should teach all scientific theories, not just creationism! For example, here is the gist of Joseph Brodsky's theory, in his 1989 poem ``Constancy'':
Evolution is not a species'
adjustment to a new environment but one's memories'
triumph over reality...

I wish this entry were more preposterous.

Centro Rosario de Estudios y Asesoramiento Tecníco para la Sociedad. `Rosario center for social studies and technical assessment.'

Rosario here is the name of an Argentine city. Generally, rosario means `rosary' and Rosario is a woman's name.

CRED Credit
Community Revitalization Enhancement District CREDIT.

CREE Research
They make SiC transistors. I don't know what else.

Committee to RE-Elect the President. Richard Nixon's 1972 campaign organization. What good could come out of an organization with a name like that? -- has been every pundit's hind-insight.

creep behavior

High stress and high-stress cycling are said to cause creep behavior even in high-temperature materials (HTM's). I can sympathize, but I don't think this justifies changing physical laws.

Consumer REFerence. A trade book category.

A Spanish noun that means
  1. cream, or
  2. dieresis (the cognate diéresis is probably more common than crema).

Corporation for Research and Education Network is the name for the merged computer networks, BITNET [still?] and Computer Science Network (CSNET). It supports electronic mail and file transfer. Gee whiz.

CREN supports ListProc, a mailing list program (and certifies that ListProc versions 7.2 and above are Y2K compliant).

[Completely gratuitous _King Creole_ poster image]

Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers at the University of Central Florida (in Florida).

FWIW, the King made a movie called King Creole in 1958. If you stare a while at the silhouette background of the poster at the right (i.e., at the r.h.s. of this browser window) you realize that it represents a close-up of crawdaddy.

Italian word meaning `growing.' Note carefully the present participle, which is used as a gerund. The word, well known to lovers (and masochistic, conscientious haters) of classical music, describes segments of music during which volume is increasing. Nota Bene: It does not refer to a climax which ends a crescendo.

By extension, crescendo is used to describe a process in which growth is perceived. Again please observe: a crescendo leads to a climax, a climax is the culmination of a crescendo. A crescendo and a climax are different things, and even you are capable of perceiving the distinction.

Thank you.

A plug-in for Netscape 2.0 browsers (and higher) that provides a music background.

Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.

Calcinosis; Raynaud's; Esophageal dysmotility; Sclerodactyly; Telangectasias. A set of symptoms often found together.

A toothpaste brand. I'm sure the Colgate-Palmolive company appreciates my placing this entry right here.

Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. They mean Washington, D.C., but they're not so concerned about the municipal government.

Chronic Renal Failure.

Classic Rock Forums.

Connection-Related Function, Virtual Channel.

Connection-Related Function, Virtual Path.

Corticotropin Releasing Hormone. (Also called a ``factor.'') Stimulates ACTH release by the pituitary gland.

Cray Research, Inc. Visit. Note that there has been a sequence of companies centered on Seymour Cray (1925-1996), the quintessential tall, thin man. (Cf. CDC). This is the one that still dominates the Supercomputer market; founded in 1972 and based in Eagan, MN. Their homepage features current machines: T3D (an MPP machine), the M90, C90, and T90 machines (parallelized vector supercomputers, at least C90 and T90), and the J916 and J932 and a few others.

According to Archbishop William Temple,
Cricket is best described as organised loafing.

How better to loaf than browsing the internet? Cricket is played on and around a pitch. Or maybe just on and over the pitch. I really don't have the time to find out.

cricket bat
Sounds like a cross between an insect that hops and a mammal that flies. Most of the latter will eat the former.

A cricket bat doesn't makes as good of a shovel as an oar does, but why waste a good oar? (Then again, there are the events of 1919.)

For an interesting discussion on cricket, search on the word in this corner of the archives of the classics list, naturally.

Centro Rosario de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales. `Rosario center for social science research.'

Rosario here is the name of an Argentine city. Generally, rosario means `rosary' and Rosario is a woman's name. Oh wait, I didn't have to mention that -- you already learned it when you read the CREATS entry. Sorry, please unread it. Also, see the LONERS entry to understand why this is a slightly counterintuitive woman's name.

cri de coeur
French, loosely translated and best understood as `cry from the heart.' An impassioned cry. Plural form, pronounced identically, is written cris de coeur. Cri is cognate with Spanish grito and English cry.

Comité Représentatif des Institutions juives en France. It's a good thing that juives is an adjective here and hence not capitalized. Otherwise, they might've been tempted to make the acronym an unpronounceable CRIJF.

CRIminal Behaviour Order. A proposed replacement for the UK's ASBO.

criminal justice system
An apt epithet.

``Crime does not pay!''
A frequent complaint of criminals. It's true: crime is really a form of philanthropy. Long-term (``hardened'') criminals have to take second and third day jobs to support their activities, and the equipment is expensive too.

Card Reader IN Dispenser. Charge card swipe built into gas pump. Reportedly, this word has entered speech and is pronounced to rhyme with ``grinned.''

Complex Reduced Instruction Set Computer.

Capital Region Information Service of New York.

Complex Reduced Instruction Set Processor.

Council of Regional IT Associations. ``[A]n association of associations, delivering networking opportunities, programs and services to a vast array local IT companies. Learn about CRITA initiatives or locate the regional IT association in your area...'' from membership list maintained by ITAA.

critical dialogue
A form of communication between a financially and militarily weak terrorist state and a morally weak European state. Appeasement. A special case of constructive engagement.

critical thinking
This isn't just some faddish vacuous term, some bubble of warm air emitted by educrats. It's much more: it's the sad centerpiece of a desperate defense strategy mounted by humanities faculties.

Oh wait, I've got it: it's ostentatious chin-scratching.

In archy does his part (1935), Don Marquis transcribes `pride':
too many creatures
both insects and humans
estimate their own value
by the amount of minor irritation
thay are able to cause
to greater personalities than themselves

Center for Research Libraries. As a digital museum display, we preserve the original (telnet) version of this entry.

Center for Research Libraries. [Remember: to quit (Q) you have to return to the new search screen.] Based in Chicago.

Center for Reproductive Law and Policy. The name, when it was founded in 1992, of what is now (at least as of 2006) the Center for Reproductive Rights. Cf. NARAL.

``Reproductive rights'' are the rights to prevent oneself from reproducing, and ``reproduction rights'' are the rights to prevent others from reproducing. There ought to be a Center for Abortion and Copyright Law (CACL).

Certified Reference Material[s].

Citizens' Rights Movement. An Israeli political party founded in 1973 by Shulamit Aloni, a former Labor Party MK.

Conseil de Recherches Médicales du Canada. Seems to be related to the MRC.

Cultural Resource Management.

Customer Relations[hip] Management.

Cultural Resource Management Plan.

College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. The new name of MARN.

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner.

CaRuO3. A material used in high-Tc superconductor research.

Chief Risk Officer. You really ought to know the difference between this and a chief security officer. Fortunately, I needn't. (I think the distinction parallels that between strengthening the levee and cleaning up after it breaks. But do you want to believe me and chance being wrong?)

Hindi word for 10,000,000 used in English in India (.in). A billion (in the US sense) rupees -- a thousand million -- is ``Rs. 100 crores.'' One crore equals one hundred lakhs, q.v.

CROSS-BODY. Crossing, or running across, the torso. A fashion term applied to straps, belts, sashes, and articles that incorporate them. The compound adjective is often written as two words even in attributive contexts (i.e., directly modifying a noun, rather than as a predicate). This confuses non-initiates. A startling example is ``Red Cross Body Bag.''

We have some entries for crossings scattered around various parts of the glossary, and this is where we really should bring all that together. If we were to do that, we would have a special subcategory for bird crossings -- goose, pelican, puffin, and toucan crossings, at least. But we haven't yet put in entries for most of those.

At the ragtop entry, I describe an incident that took place on the westbound side of the intersection of Douglas Road and Route 23, back in 1999, I think. That's not a good place to cross anything. Anyway, just a few hundred feet southwest (along 23) there's a goose crossing. It's sort of disused (by geese). It's at the same latitude as the goose crossing on Main Street in Mishawaka, just a couple of miles east. (More to the point, these crossings are near Juday Creek, a tributary to the St. Joseph River.)

You'd think it wouldn't be so much trouble, they could fly, but I've had to stop for geese a few times there. They looked Canadian; maybe it's a diplomatic immunity thing. (See also the weather entry.) You'd figure that would be an unusual collocation -- ``they-looked-Canadian'' -- and I'd guess you'd be right. As recently as May 2007, we owned the first ghit for the phrase. Weirdly enough, the phrase seems to be catching on. August 2009 we're down to third, and there are 465 ghits, including a 2002 book.

We also have a zebra stripes entry, but the zebra entry is more interesting. The crossing information at Berlin's entry (BE) is perhaps nicht so vernützlich as it once was.

cross over, crossover
An interconnect below or above the level of other connects, placed to avoid contacting a nonparallel connection on the same level. In plumbing, a U-shaped pipe (called a crossover) is often used for this purpose. In integrated circuits (IC's) with multiple metalization levels, one way to do this is to use vias and a segment of interconnect on a different level. More convenient, if you can manage it, is to reorganize the wiring so fewer such crossings are necessary.

What is really clever, however, is the exploitation of multiple connections to a single region of a device in the silicon. This can increase propagation delays, and take up some extra real estate, but if handled properly it can make tremendous short-cuts. An example of this would occur if contact needed to be made to the base of a BJT transistor and to a terminal beyond it. One way to complete these connects would be to put a trace to the base contact, and make a cross over to get past the transistor. A better way is often to make two base contacts, one on the near and one on the far side of the transistor. The trace extends as before to the base on the near side, but instead of a cross over to get around the transistor, the base material itself, within the transistor, makes a contact to the other side of the BJT, and a trace is continued to the further terminal.

In speaker systems, it's the filtering that sends lows to a woofer and highs to a tweeter.

crossover cable
Cable with connector leads wired in a kind of inversion of the wiring of straight-through cable.

Data cables carry data along multiple channels. For long-distance communication, it is most efficient to encode these channels as multiplexed signals on single physical media. For connecting to in-office peripheral devices, and over longer but still-short distances (as in LAN's) the mux/demux overhead is not worth the cost compared to using multiwire cables with parallel connectors. These cables are available with a range of (male) connectors, identical on each end.

Depending on the way the connectors are wired, the cables are designated ``crossover'' cables or ``straight-through'' cables. In a straight-through cable, the connectors are wired so that lead #1 on one end is connected through the cable to lead #1 on the other end. Lead #2 goes to lead #2, and, well, you probably get the idea. In a crossover cable, the connections cross over: the first lead on one connector is wired to the last lead on the connector at the other end, the second lead is wired to the last but one, etc.

Which kind of connector is used depends on the kind of devices being connected. These also fall into two categories:

  1. DCE's (hubs, switches, modems)
  2. DTE's (PC's and various input and output devices -- terminals and printers, keyboards)

Crossover connectors are used to connect ``like to like'' -- that is, one DTE to another DTE, or one DCE to another DCE. Straight-through cables connect unlike -- DTE and DCE on opposite ends. The only exception to this rule is that straight-through cables when connecting like devices through an uplink port.

One person's signal is another person's noise; wanted signal in an unwanted place. ``Intelligible'' and ``unintelligible'' (typically frequency-shifted) are distinguished in telephony. For privacy reasons, control of the former is more critical. Also, limits on allowable intelligible crosstalk are lower (more stringent) for subscriber loops than on inter-LATA trunks, because crosstalking speakers are less likely to be known, and therefore identified, in the larger group of customers served by a trunk.

Strictly speaking, and even in ordinary speech among engineers, the word noise above is incorrect; it is interference. See the noise entry.

crosstalk index
A theoretical measure of intelligible crosstalk: percent probability that a word of crosstalk or more will be understood in the course of an average telephone call. Difficult to measure in practice, so alternative measures exist.

cross training, cross-training
This term originally referred to muscle growth stimulated by contralateral exercise -- i.e., left leg strengthened by right-leg exercise, lifting weights with the left arm to build muscle in the right arm, etc. I don't know if clinical studies have demonstrated a similar effect in the ear-wiggling muscles of the head. A fundamental mechanism for this effect appears to be neurological, as there are some connections between the nerves of left and right limbs, and as feedback mechanisms in the nerves play a role in muscle tone. (For a cockroach-leg effect that demonstrates the general principle, although it's cross-training in a more literal sense of ``training,'' see this BBL entry.)

Because of the cross-training effect (in humans), it is believed to be possible to accelerate healing of a sports injury -- without straining the injured limb -- by exercising healthy limbs.

Moreover, exercises that strengthen muscles not used in a sport have a spill-over effect on muscles that are used in the sport. Too-frequent exercise is known to be counterproductive in strength training, and this effect is seen as a way to circumvent the problem. Because of this application, the term cross training has increasingly come to refer simply to working out with exercises that work muscles not used in one's primary sport. By a false etymology, ``cross'' is understood to refer to different sports rather than different sides of the body, and cross training is understood as training for one sport by practicing another. Even more loosely, the term is used in business for the practice of training employees for more than one job.

Old British coin worth five shillings.

Continuous RePlenishment.

C-Reactive Protein.

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Formerly the APA.

California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race.

The second annual conference was held on September 23-24, 2005, at Cal State Northridge. ``The purpose of the roundtable is to bring together philosophers of race [Thales: ``the principle of all race is water''], and those working in related fields, in California, and throughout the nation, in a small and congenial setting to share their work and to help further this sub-discipline.''

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. A Toronto ``research centre with a library devoted to the study of the period from approximately 1350 to 1700.''

Certified Residential Referral Specialist.

California Radiological Society.

Carroll Rating Scale (for Depression).

Catholic Relief Services.

Cell Relay Service.

Congressional Research Service (of the Library of Congress). ``The Congressional Research Service is where Members of Congress turn for the nonpartisan research, analysis, and information they need to make informed decisions on behalf of the American people.'' Huh, and I thought they turned to K street.

Combat-Related Special Compensation. Handled by DFAS.

Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Humaines du Canada. Same as the SSHRCC.

Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Naturelles et en Génie du Canada. The English acronym is NSERC, but it's more amusing to pronounce the French acronym in English.

Critical Resolved Shear Stress.

Totally unrelated to the psychosocial comment: ``critical, resolved: sheer stress.''

Cathode Ray Tube. Despite the somewhat general name, the term refers specifically to video-screen tubes. The name reflects history: Edison discovered that a hot filament in an evacuated bulb could cause a current to flow (the ``Edison effect'' which we recognize as thermionic emission of electrons). Since the Edison effect current was a flow of electrons, it could only flow from the cathode to the anode, and not in reverse -- thus ``cathode rays'' and the first vacuum tube diode. Application of a magnetic field demonstrated that various beams that could be produced were positively charged (alpha rays), negatively charged (beta rays), or neutral (gamma rays, X-rays). Beta rays could be detected by the phosphorescence of certain coatings on the inside of a tube, and a beta beam could be focused and directed electrostatically, so: oscilloscopes! And eventually, alas, oscilloscopes remotely controlled by AM radio signals, raster-scanned to produce images, and, alas, TV.

Charitable Remainder Trust.

Crater. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes.

Ensuring that Canadians get enough of Canada even when Céline Dion is away singing the US national anthem.

Central Research Unit (of the Scottish Executive). Formerly SOCRU.

Certification Renewal Unit. The measurement unit for later stages of the Indiana teacher certification treadmill.

Certification Renewal Units are credits which may be applied toward license renewal only after earning a Master's degree, or after completion of thirty-six semester hours beyond the Bachelor's Degree of approved academic credit. Fifteen CRU's are considered equivalent to one semester hour, and any combination totalling six semester hours (90 CRU's) satisfies the requirement for renewal. A standard license for teaching, school administration, or school services (I don't know what sort of services) must be renewed every five years. A professional license is initially valid for ten years, but afterwards must be renewed every five years (90 CRU's a pop).

There's an exception to this: you can obtain a professional license valid for life (your life). To do this you must complete the requirements to obtain a professional license before September 1, 1990. I guess it's too late.

I'm not going to look up the details for California, but my cousin Vicky, who teaches in the public schools there, tells a similar story: get yourself grandfathered in, or you'll be on a Sisyphean treadmill for life. All so you can accept low wages to teach the stupid children of irresponsible, ungrateful parents. (Not her precise words.)

Oh yeah, back in Indiana -- CRU-land -- if you want the credits to be valid the program had better be pre-approved by the Division of Induction and Continuing Education. ``Induction''?

Crux. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation popularly known as the Southern Cross. There is no constellation known as the Northern Cross, but just calling Crux ``the Cross'' would evidently be ambiguous in many contexts. Consider how the lyrics of a well-known CSN song would go in the alternative: ``Somebody fine / Will come along / Make me forget about loving you / At the Cross.'' This would be ambiguous, instead of unambiguous and meaningless, as originally intended. Crosby, Stills, and Nash can thank their lucky stars that Crux has a distinctive name in English.

The Southern Cross is probably the best-known constellation of the far south. Later in the entry, there's more about the constellation proper, but first I want to record some substellar facts. Some signal facts, in fact. More or less stylized versions of the Southern Cross appear on the national flags of Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia. Likewise the flags of the Australian state of Victoria and of some of the Australian territories that have their own flag.

The Federated States of Micronesia has a flag comprising four five-pointed stars on a light blue background. The four stars are located on the corners of a diamond (an imaginary diamond -- the flag is just white stars and the background), and that diamond, taller than it is wide, looks like it represents the Southern Cross. (The FSM is at a latitude of about 5 degrees north, and the Southern Cross is at a declination of about minus 60 degrees, and so is about 25 degrees above the horizon at its zenith.) Officially, in any case, the four stars of the flag represent only the four states of the federation, and when the FSM had six states its flag bore six stars arranged on the corners of a hexagon.

[The precise interpretation of the stars has varied. The current Micronesia is a rump of the earlier (UN) Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (administered by the US), which also included the Northern Marianas, Palau, and the Marshall Islands in addition to the territory of the current federated states. If you do the math, as they say, it doesn't add up, as they say. What happened was that after the Northern Marianas seceded from the federation, a new state was carved out of one of the remaining states, restoring the number to six. Specifically, the Northern Marianas achieved commonwealth status outside the federation on April 1, 1976, leaving five states. In January 1977, the new state of Kosrae was formed from the eastern islands of Ponape. Maybe they decided that creating a new state was cheaper than printing new official stationery and replacing the flags. Palau and the Marshall Islands became independent of the FSM in 1978, and the four-star flag was adopted by 1980.]

The four brightest stars of Crux occur at the four points of the cross in clockwise order, starting from the southern point. The brightest is officially Alpha Crucis, of course, and also is known as Acrux for short. The name Gacrux is also sometimes used for Gamma Crucis (at the top of the cross). A ray from Gacrux through Acrux points approximately to the South Celestial Pole.

Epsilon Crucis is southwest from the center of the cross (i.e., in the lower right to an observer who is not too far south and is not bending over backwards to see it). It's within the diamond defined by the four brighter stars, and makes sort of an attractive dimple on the face of the constellation. Flag representations of the Southern Cross typically show five stars, although a few other stars of the constellation have apparent magnitudes not much less than Epsilon Crucis. The large sixth star of the Australian national flag, centered below the quarter-size Union Jack, is called the Federation Star and is meant to represent the federation of the colonies of Australia on January 1, 1901.

Customer-Replaceable Unit. A system component that can be replaced by the customer. Batteries, in most cases, are CRU's. CRU's are a species of FRU.

Call Reference Value.

Certificate of Reasonable Value. An appraisal required by the Veterans Administration before it will guarantee a loan. It's called a ``VA appraisal'' for short.

Controlled Remote Viewing. Clairvoyance, as marketed by Problems>Solutions>Innovations of Alamogordo, New Mexico as a sort of military-research spin-off (civilian application). The CRV home page (``founded by and ... a service of'' P>S>I) says that my ``questions and comments are encouraged!''

COMMENT: The FAQ reads like an ISO-9000 application that still needs work. ``2. A much-debated source of psychic information - defined as various things. ... Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) is a very highly controlled set of physical/mental protocols which allow a person to bring something which lies hidden within the subconscious mind to the surface, and objectify it.'' This could give psychoanalysis a bad name.

COMMENT: I agree that ``[t]his is far from being as easy as it sounds.''

Corvus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Central Retinal-Vein Occlusion.

Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases.

Centre for Research in Women's Health.

This is an honest-to-God (or at least honest to all three major Scrabble dictionaries) five-letter word with no more of a vowel than w. A six-letter plural! Who cares what it means?!? You do? Okay, it's an ancient Celtic instrument, an early sort of fiddle. Crwth is the Welsh name, still used dialectally for a fiddle; the English name is crowd. It seems to be attested in a late Latin text: circa 600, Venantius Fortunatus mentioned a British (that was Celtic, then) musical instrument he called a crotta.

The early forms had three strings. Interestingly, it evolved into a six-string version in which four strings were bowed and two were plucked.

Slang for CRYPTOsporidiosis, a GI-tract infection (main symptoms diarrhea and abdominal cramps) common in AIDS patients.

Good crystal isn't good crystals.

There's a newsgroup.

Crystallography World Wide
Part of the Worldwide Virtual Library.

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