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Deciduous Teeth. A/k/a primary teeth. A/k/a milk teeth, baby teeth, puppy teeth, kitten teeth, etc., as appropriate. Losses may be redeemed by the tooth fairy. DT can also stand for deciduous tooth, but I didn't want to type ``t{ee|oo}th.''

Deep Thought. Nothing of the sort: humorous contemplations of Jack Handy.

[Football icon]

Defensive Tackle. A position in American football. Defensive linemen who play ``inside.''


DT, the DT's
Shaking, chills, nausea, hallucinations, disorientation and other agony experienced in withdrawal from a chemical one is physically addicted to, such as Jolt Cola. [Abbreviation for Latin: Delirium Tremens.]

Deutsche Telekom.

Deferred Tax Asset. A loss that can be deducted from future profit in a future tax computation.

Differential Thermal Analysis. Torquemada used autos da fe. Other methods are favored today.

Okay, seriously: measurement of the difference in temperature between a sample and a reference as both are heated. The reference is a way of subtracting out the secular effect of simple heat capacity.

[Phone icon]

Digital Telephone Answering Device.

Diphtheria, Tetanus toxoids, and Acellular Pertussis. Three vaccinations in one. The DTaP vaccine, or just DTaP for short, is meant for children under age 7. Td boosters (for tetanus and diphtheria) are given to children aged 11 and up, and to adults every ten years.

Digital Test Access Unit.

Data Transfer Bus.

Down The Back.

Artie Shaw, the clarinetist and band leader, was almost better known at the height of his fame for having married many times (eight). Eventually, he started touring the college circuit with a lecture advertised as `` `Consecutive Monogamy & Ideal Divorce' by an `ex-husband of love godesses.' '' He also had some affairs.

There's a pop song from the 1970's by Jim Stafford and David Bellamy, called ``Spiders And Snakes.'' You know, it's downright painful to remember some of those lyrics. Anyway, one of the lines in this song went ``Still looking for something to slip down her dress.'' I just wanted to make clear that that's not where we're going with this entry. It's not that kind of down-the-back.

One thing that probably made it easy for Artie Shaw to get all those divorces in a timely fashion was that he was rather acerbic. Not bitter, just acerbic. And as honest as Molière's misanthrope Alcest. In a word: captious. One thing that would set him off was a toilet paper roll hung so as to unwind down the back. One of his wives was the actress Evelyn Keyes. Years after their divorce, she said ``Every time I change a toilet roll, I think of Artie Shaw.''

Pshawwww... isn't that sweet? No?

Let's retask this entry -- or reorient, let's say. Here's a page dedicated to the pinup girls of YANK, ``a weekly magazine written by and for ordinary soldiers.'' Evelyn Keyes was featured in the March 4, 1944, edition, bikini-clad but looking a bit frowzy. During her first marriage, she had an abortion just before Gone with the Wind was to begin filming in 1939, so she could play Scarlett O'Hara's younger sister Suellen; it left her unable to have children. Wow, the magic of Hollywood! She was married four times. The longest-lasting marriage was to Artie Shaw (1957-1985); none of the others lasted five years. Her first husband was Barton Bainbridge. That sounds like an actor's name, but he seems to be famous only for having been her husband. They were married in 1938 and he died in 1940.

Deposit-Taking Company.



Document Type Definition. Definitions of domain-specific languages within XML or SGML.

Data Terminal Equipment. Equipment that would like to send or receive data, as opposed to DCE, which is just pleased to pass the data along. DTE includes computers, data storage devices, data input and data output devices (dumb terminals, keyboards, printers, mice, tracking balls, speakers and mikes, early-model holodecks, tape and disk drives, CD units, etc.).

Dial Tone First. Payphone type friendlier than CF.

Digital Transmission Facility.

Distance To Fault. In a T-line, typically.

Down The Front. TP jargon.

Direct-To-Home. As in `DTH TV satellite transmission.' Vide DBS and MPS. Here's a nice DTH faq.

Debt-To-Income. As in ``DTI ratio.''

(UK gov't) Department for Trade and Industry.

Digital Trunk Interface.

Defense Technical Information Center.

Diode Transistor Logic. Term actually refers to two distinct logic families.
  1. The earliest ``DTL'' is also (and perhaps more often) simply called ``diode logic.'' It was a discrete-component bipolar logic that succeeded discrete-resistor-based TRL. Discrete-component was made obsolete in the early sixties by the earliest SSI digital chips [i.e. integrated circuits] ...
  2. Another ``DTL'' is an integrated-circuit diode-transistor logic, using somewhat different circuit designs than ``diode logic,'' that succeeded RTL, [note the letter order carefully] which was first generation of integrated-circuit logics.

The basic DTL gate is an input stage, followed by a transistor serving as an inverting amplifier (diode logic) or a slightly more involved transistor circuit accomplishing essentially the same thing [in integrated DTL; the elaborations improve (shrink) power-delay product]. The earliest TTL gate is made by replacing the diode input stage in DTL with a multiple-emitter transistor.

Deutschen Tourenwagen Masters. Roughly, `German stock car championship.' (Formula 3.)

Display Technology and Manufacturing.

Distinguished ToastMaster. The highest level of achievement in the Toastmasters.

[Phone icon]

Dual-Tone MultiFrequency. Touchtones. Each key is represented by a pair of tones, one for the row and one for the column. It's fundamentally designed for a sixteen-key pad, with the following frequency correspondences:
                            Column Frequencies (Hz)

          |            |            |            |             |
          |    1209    |    1336    |    1447    |    1633     |
          |            |            |            |             |
R         |            |            |            |             |
o   697   |      1     |      2     |      3     |      A      |
w         |            |            |            |             |
F         |            |            |            |             |
r   770   |      4     |      5     |      6     |      B      |
e         |            |            |            |             |
q   -----------------------------------------------------------|
u         |            |            |            |             |
e   852   |      7     |      8     |      9     |      C      |
n         |            |            |            |             |
c   -----------------------------------------------------------|
i         |            |            |            |             |
e   941   |      *     |      0     |      #     |      D      |
s         |            |            |            |             |
Thus, for example, pressing ``7'' on your phone keypad causes an 852 Hz signal (row 3) and a 1209 Hz signal (column 1) to be transmitted. Most phones, of course, don't use column 4, but with it, one can conveniently transmit hexadecimal digits (bytes). The A-B-C-D column is a common hidden feature of DAM's. (Example here.)

The frequencies are evidently chosen with somewhat uneven spacing, to satisfy a kind of Diophantine inequality. No first-order harmonics ( |f1 ± f2| ) coincide with a fundamental tone. Neither do any second- or third-order harmonics coincide with a fundamental tone. [This is considerably more robust without the 1633 Hz column: 1633 - ( 697 or 941 ) = ( 936 or 692 ) appears to impose some constraint on discrimination, but the harmonic will also be a relatively weaker signal.]

For more, especially on encoder/decoder chips, see an faq. For some free (FSF) DTMF software, see ftp://ftp.parallaxinc.com/pub/picsrc/dtmf.asm.

Delay-Tolerant Network[ing].

5,5'-DiThiobis (2-NitroBenzoic acid).

Drug Trafficking Organization.

DeskTop Publishing.

DiethyleneTriaminePentaacetic Acid.

Data Terminal Ready. Hayes modemese.

Data {Transfer|Transmission|Transport} System.

Digital {Telemetry|Terrain|Tracking} System.

DownTown South Bend. A booster website for the City of South Bend, Indiana.


(Std.) Deviation in Time To Failure (TTF).

Data Terminal Unit. Countable form of DTE.

DeskTop Video.

Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag. The company is a, and the name means `German Paperback Publisher.' The initialism, always in lower case, serve as a logo and the usual short form of the name (with the German letter names, of course, so it sounds like ``day tay fow'' in English). The use of lower-case initials came into fashion ``recently,'' from my perspective (post-WWII sometime, or whenever the ties [neckwear] were loosened).

Dtv also publishes hardcover books, including atlases.

Digital TeleVision. Here's a page from the FCC.

DeTroit-Wayne County International Airport.

Discontinuous Transmission (TX). Useful in duplex systems like voice communication: since each person typically speaks during less than 40% of the connect time, shutting down transmission during silences saves a factor of two in both bandwidth and energy consumption. Implemented in GSM.

The tricky thing is to detect ``silence'' reliably. The phenomenon of having your phone cut you off (because its ``voice activity detection'' interprets your voice as noise) is called ``clipping.''

In order to assure the listener on the other end that the connection is still live, GSM tries to reproduce a quasinoise matching what would come through if you were transmitting.

Apparently this is already used on intercontinental phone calls.

Depleted Uranium.

Dobson Unit. A unit of the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere, integrated vertically, so it has units of inverse area. (This quantity is a lot like the ``Gummel number'' defined in the charge-control model of a BJT.)
1 DU = 2.7 × 1016 cm2

It was defined so that a concentration of 1 DU corresponds to a depth of ten microns of pure ozone at atmospheric pressure and 0 °C. You can learn a lot more about it in this Ozone Depletion FAQ Part I: Introduction to the Ozone Layer. There's a nice illustration of the concept here.

Dob and Hob are archaic nicknames for Robert. Those two and Rob have all given rise to common surnames, but Bob hasn't.

Ducks Unlimited. A large non-profit organization involved in the preservation of millions of acres of wetland across the United States and Canada.

University of Denver. A private university with a United Methodist affiliation. It began as the Colorado Seminary which opened at 14th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver. This was founded in 1864 by a group headed by territorial governor John Evans (vide infra). [Today DU maintains Meyer-Womble Observatory on Mount Evans (peak at 14,330 feet).] The seminary closed after three years, but was reorganized and reopened in 1880, with Colorado Seminary as the property-owning institution and the University of Denver as the degree-granting institution.

So far as I have been able to determine, from the time that ``University'' was part of its name, the institution was officially the ``University of Denver.'' That is how the school itself is uniformly called today, although ``Denver University'' is occasionally used as the attributive form in subsidiary names. This might sometimes be for reasons of euphony (e.g., Denver University Department of Physics and Astronomy), but in some cases it might be for historical reasons (possibly the case with the Denver University Law Review of the University of Denver College of Law; the law school began classes in 1892).

The earliest instance I have found of the abbreviation D.U. dates back to 1941, but does not appear to reflect any change in the school's name. I guess ``dee yoo'' just sounded better. I'm starting to collect information on these transposed-U abbreviations at this U entry.

The earliest reference I can readily find is the eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1910, as you know). According to the Denver entry, ``Denver is the seat of the Jesuit college of the Sacred Heart (1888; in the suburbs); and the university of Denver (Methodist, 1889 [sic]).'' The common-noun capitalizations suggest a lax attitude to the distinction between fixed name and variable description; that attitude probably would not have caviled at ``Denver University.''

[Appendix on John Evans: Born in Ohio (March 9, 1814, at Waynesville), he was a physician who practiced in Indiana, became rich investing in railroads, and got into politics in Chicago. There he became friends with Abraham Lincoln, who eventually appointed him governor of the Colorado territory. He was removed from that office in 1865 for his part in the Sand Creek massacre, and in after years dedicated himself to railroad development. He was in on the founding of a number of institutions. He co-founded Indiana's first insane asylum and served as its first superintendent; with Orrington Lunt he founded Northwestern University (in Evanston, Illinois; the Evanston in Wyoming is also named after him). I'm not sure what it is about insane asylums, but they were a popular institution to found in the middle of the nineteenth century. There's one near Ohio's first university, Ohio University (in Athens), that was founded for Civil War vets. Indiana's Evansville, incidentally, was founded in 1812, long before the insane asylum craze. It was named after Robert M. Evans; no relation to John, afaik.]

Directory User Agent. Software that accesses X.500 directory service.

Diffusing Update ALgorithm.

A town in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. There's also a famous fictional Dublin created by James Joyce, that appears to bear some minute similarities to a municipality in Ireland.

Pronunciation in Texan and other languages of the name of the letter w, a form of ``double-yoo.''

Capitalized or not, it's also the political nickname of George W. Bush, distinguishing him from his father George H. W. Bush. In 1994, political neophyte George W. Bush became governor of Texas by defeating incumbent governor Ann Richards, a woman perhaps best known nationally for mocking H.W. when she delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention.

At the change of administrations in 2001, when William Jefferson Clinton was succeeded by dubya, White House staffers removed the W keys from typewriters there. More on dubya at the 86 and dynasty entries. See also U dub.

Downstairs, Under Cover, Keep away from windows. A mnemonic for where to go in case of tornadoes.

Duckworth's. A publisher. By snail:

due at midnight
Due the next morning by the time the office opens, or by the time someone from the office goes to collect checks or books or whatever from the lockbox, usually.

dueling time zones
International conflicts and competition sometimes find expression in time zones. It all gives horology a bad name, as if it didn't already have one. You'll want to know about the two regions that regularly keep time differing by a noninteger multiple of 30 minutes from GMT.

Some years ago, the Nepalese government wanted to buy some fighter planes from the US. When the Indian government got wind of it, they closed the borders with Nepal, effectively laying seige to that country. After the Nepalese ran out of fuel, they relented and cancelled the fighter-plane order. However, they moved their clocks ahead fifteen minutes, so they no longer keep Indian Standard Time (IST = GMT+5:30). Pakistan and Bangladesh, by the way, keep GMT+5 and GMT+6, respectively. Bhutan, east of Nepal (i.e., between Nepal and Bangladesh), keeps the same standard time as Bangladesh.

Perhaps you're wondering, given the level of seriousness of this reference work, whether this is one of the ``serious'' items. You want to know: would the glossarist (I) make something like this up? No. You have my word. Life is stranger than I can imagine -- at least ahead of time.

The Chatham Islands are a bunch of volcanic bumps that rise above the surface of a submarine ridge known as the Chatham Rise. The three principal bumps (not a technical term, afaik) are Chatham, Pitt, and South East Islands. These islands are a remote part of New Zealand. The main islands of New Zealand, like the extreme eastern end of Siberia, keep GMT+12. The Chatham Islands are 800 km east of Christchurch, and actually have longitude more than 180 degrees east of the Prime Meridian. The International Date Line, however, deviates from the 180-degree meridian, so that most of the time it is the same day on the Chatham Islands as on the rest of New Zealand. (A deviation in the opposite direction in northern lattitudes similarly makes the date be the same throughout the Aleutian Islands and the rest of the state of Alaska.)

However, the Chatham Islands keep Chatham Time, which is GMT+12:45. This allows them to claim to be the first inhabited land to greet each new day. For all I know, the chance to make this boast was one of the motives for having a different zone. However, eastern Siberia keeps daylight saving time (as does New Zealand), so during Northern Hemisphere Summer the claim is not true. They should have gone with GMT+13.

Driving Under the Influence. (That the `influence' is that of alcohol is usually implicit; in some jurisdictions driving under the influence of other mind-altering drugs is a distinct crime. Cf. MC.) More common term: DWI.

The RIA publishes summaries of its work, see Drinking, Drugs, and Driving. (Psychology-Today-grade discussion.)

I just saw a web ad that exclaims ``IF YOU HAVENT HAD A DUI YOU ARE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR AUTO INSURANCE.'' So I guesh I should get sloshed right now, careen past a police cruiser, and lower my premiums jush like that. The implications, as they say, are staggering.

Dumb UTP { Multiport repeater | Mini-hub }.

The original dumbbells were training equipment for ringing bells: they were like the bell handles, but since there were no bells attached they were silent -- ``dumb.'' The word has also been used as a synonym for ``stupid person,'' but not because muscleheads are stupid, no sir, no sireee! When weight-training equipment started being made in the form of longer bars with weights attached at the ends, these were called bar-bells and eventually (mostly) barbells by analogy with the earlier word. Subsequently, clubbell and kettlebell have been coined.

dumb down
People say to me ``Alfred -- is it alright if I call you Al? Al -- can you explain this `dumb down' thing to me? I just don't get it. Don't give me any complicated details or anything, just show me the big picture.''

Yes, it's like this: to ``dumb down'' is to simplify.

``Well in that case, why don't they just say `simplify' and leave it at that?''

It sounds like you really do want details after all.

``Yeah, like, whatever. I don't get it.''

The reason you don't get it is that ``simplify'' is a dumbed-down explanation of ``dumb down.'' In fact, to dumb down is more than to simplify; to dumb down is to simplify too much, so that something important is lost, such as the meaning.

Okay, there's some important material that has to go here from a dumbed-down edition of Talcott Parsons's work, but I can't find the book right now. Later on just to show what a big-hearted guy I am, and how I understand about how sometimes there are details that can be left out, I'll quote from Desmond Paul Henry's The De Grammatico of St. Anselm: The Theory of Paronymy (Notre Dame, IN: Un. of Notre Dame Pr., 1964). The second sentence of the fifth chapter runs thus:

However, for the purpose of providing an easily assimilable account of that doctrine,
[sc. that of De grammatico]
the present section attempts an exposition of its central thesis in a simple, informal, manner, underpinned by cross-reference to the matter of previous sections as well as to the ampler details given in section 6; the defects of informal exposition will thus be compensated for by the unitary presentation of much material the interrelationship of which might not otherwise have been apparent.

Get ON with it, man!

(And yes, the comma after informal is sic in the text.)

Okay now, I found that Parsons book. It's called The Evolution of Societies (1977), and it's ``edited and with an introduction by Jackson Toby.'' As it happens, Talcott Parsons never wrote a book by that title. He wrote Societies (1966) and The System of Modern Societies (1971). These were combined and edited (using gasoline-powered shoe-horn and chain saw) into the 1977 book by Toby, who ended his preface with this thought:

Although not an easy task, editing a masterpiece brings its own reward: the satisfaction.
(He says a little more, but I've simplified it.)

``Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler'' is widely attributed to Albert Einstein. A source for the quote is rarely given, even when it is part of a partly sourced quote collection, but I think he actually may have said something like this anyway.

Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass. A neighborhood on the Brooklyn (NY) waterfront.


Demand repayment of debt.

Dial-Up Networking.

Data Universal Number System.

Demands repayment of debt.

Alternating monologues counterfeiting a dialogue.

Democratic Unionist Party. The hard-line unionist (q.v.) party formed by the Rev. Ian Paisley in 1971. It held 20 seats in the first Northern Ireland Assembly; in the elections of 2003 it increased its showing to 30 and became the largest party in that body.

durable goods
Nominally, goods expected to last three years. The volume of durable goods orders is a very rough financial indicator of consumer confidence and of capital investment.

I bought a Munro muffler for my ungaraged Honda, and the shell of it rusted apart in one year. This was not durable or good.

Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. Each major service has its separate DURIP: Army (ARO), Navy (ONR) and Air Force (AFOSR).

A lot of the dust in habitations is flaked-off dried dead skin. So I've read, but I haven't tracked down the scientific studies. That's what I should really be writing about here, but I needed to establish the entry because it's the obvious place to go off on a ``tangent'' about Mars.

No skin yet, but Mars is dusty too. D. Crisp, A. Pathare, and R.C. Ewell considered, inter alia, how this would affect photovoltaic (PV) power sources there. [``The performance of gallium arsenide/germanium solar cells at the Martian surface,'' in Acta Astronautica, vol. 54 #2, pp. 83-101 (2004).] According to their theoretical model (validated by data from the Pathfinder Lander), ``[d]ust accumulation reduced the power output by 0.4 to 0.5% [per] Martian day during the first 20 days of the mission, but the power loss rate fell to ~0.1%/day after that. If these power loss rates are typical, solar power provides a viable option for long-lived stations on the Martian surface.'' That analysis, like this paragraph, is very incomplete.

A Martian day is about 1.027 Earth days, so to the accuracy of these estimates, there's little point in distinguishing between Martian and Earth days. Now, 20 days of 0.4% and 0.5% power losses add up to 7.7% and 9.5%, respectively. The robot rovers that NASA landed on Mars in January 2004 were reportedly expected to last about three months. Based on a loss rate of 0.1% per day for 70 days, the solar panels should have been operating at 86% and 84% after 90 days. Given that time of day, time of year and panel orientation all have larger effects on power generation, it's evident that dust accumulation was not expected to be the critical factor. It's not surprising that the panels were not fitted with a wiper. However, the rovers were still active two years later, by which time the accumulated dust should have reduced power to about 45% of that under clear conditions.

However, NASA reports that several times, dust devils have blown away dust that had covered the solar panels, restoring their ability to generate electricity. Dust devils on Mars can have wind speeds of as much as 100 mph. The atmosphere on Mars is pretty insubstantial, but not negligible: the atmospheric pressure at the Mars surface is very roughly 0.01 Earth atmospheres, with seasonal variations on the order of 12%. (During the northern-hemisphere summer, Mars is 20% closer to the Sun and more carbon dioxide is sublimated from the northern ice cap than is sublimated from the opposite ice cap during the southern-hemisphere summer, giving a 25% higher atmospheric pressure.)

Device Under Test.

Dutch disease
Economic dislocations that occur when petroleum emerges as a major revenue source in a national economy. (The Netherlands recovered, but in many cases the disease seems to cause permanent damage.)

Dutch foil
Thin foil made of Dutch metal. Its main practical use seems to have been as a cheap imitation of gold foil. For some 1898 experiments described at the alpha rays entry, Ernest Rutherford had Dutch foil available in a thickness of 0.8 micron. (So thin, in fact, that he didn't determine a beta ray penetration depth.) The aluminum foil he had available had a thickness of 5 microns, and in subsequent studies he seemed to standardize on aluminum.

Dutch leaf
Dutch foil.

Dutch metal
An alloy of 11 parts copper and 2 parts zinc (by mass, of course). It's highly malleable; hence Dutch foil.

Dutch treat
We're too polite to define this here, but you might find something useful at this AA entry.

Deep UltraViolet (UV).

Daily Value. It doesn't say ``recommended daily value'' or ``maximum safe daily value,'' now does it? No, it doesn't.

Supersize it!

Debt Value Adjustment.

Department of Veterans Affairs.

Digital Video Broadcast.

DiVinyl Benzene.

The Da Vinci Code. A best-selling mystery novel (40 millions sold world-wide as of mid-2006) and a movie from SONY. (I don't mean ``mystery'' as in ``Eleusian mystery cult,'' I don't think.) It was concocted by Dan Brown from various plot threads that have been kicking around the Mediterranean and Europe for a couple of millennia, such as that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and reproduced. It's a sort of historical fiction or ahistorical fiction. It has received angry condemnation (i.e., free advertising) from Christians and historians.

In May 2006, before the movie was released, a poll concerning DVC was conducted for the Catholic Church in England and Wales by Opinion Research Business (it was the usual hypothetically representative sample -- of 1,005 adults). It found that sixty percent of the adults who had read the book believed there was truth in the suggestion that Jesus had children and that his bloodline survives, compared with 30 per cent of those who have not read it. There doesn't seem to be any way to tell from the poll data whether people inclined to believe the J-line survives aren't also more predisposed to read DVC.

Another finding was that 17% of DVC readers, as opposed to 4% of others, believe that Opus Dei is a murderous sect. This means that fewer than 17% of people surveyed in England and Wales think it's a murderous sect, possibly a lower number than one would find in parts of Spain and France.

Delaware Valley Council of Citizens with Low Vision. A local affiliate of the CCLVI.

Digital { Video | Versatile } Disc. Variously configurable, and used for video and any other kind of digital data; The two expansions of the DVD acronym appear to be treated as equally valid or official.

Read what EET-i reported about DVD industry convergence on specs. As of summer 1996, it looked like disagreement between DVD developers and software (entertainment) industry would delay introduction to 1997. (As of Summer 1998, they were a common alternative to CD-ROM drives on PC's.) The entertainment industry was concerned about piracy. I'm not interested in piracy because even when you steal a copy of the programming, they still have and can rebroadcast it. When it becomes possible to steal programming in a zero-sum kind of way, then there will be a social benefit to piracy. Just imagine that you could somehow siphon off all the BeeGees and Barry Manilow software in the world, and hide it away somewhere so no one could ever pollute the electromagnetic spectrum with them again!

The standard is not even now, fall 1998, completely agreed. Generally, however, DVD are basically CD's: still 120mm diam., 1.2 mm thick, aluminum-and-plastic. The laser wavelength is about 635-650 nm (compared to CDs' 780), pits and lands have 0.4 micron dimensions (cf. 0.83) and data tracks will only be 0.74 microns apart, instead of 1.6 microns. This gives single-layer DVD's a 4.7 Gb capacity, about a factor of seven improvement on CD's.

``Single-layer''? DVD's are actually two-layer stacks of half-height CD's. The lower layer (closer to laser reader) uses a thin, semi-transparent layer of gold instead of the standard thick and opaque layer of aluminum. Thus, by adjustment of beam focus, both layers are readable from one side, for a total of 9.5 Gb storage. (I've also read 8.5; perhaps there is some error-correction overhead, or lower capacity in Au layer?)

DVD's hold a bit more data than BVD's, but they're not as comfortable.

Episodes of the Dick Van Dyke Show are available on DVD.

Driver's Vigilance Device. British term for a train driver's dead man's handle (called DSD), with the added feature of requiring a positive action by the driver every so often to confirm that he's awake.

Digital Video Disk (DVD) Recordable. Recordable by an ordinary user, of course. A DVD that wasn't ever recordable, even at the factory, wouldn't be very useful, although they'd be even less liable to wear out. (As you realize now, ``ROM'' is not Read-Only Memory in the strictest sense.)

Distributed Virtual Environment. A VE you can move around in.

Diane von Furstenberg. A women's fashion brand.

DVI, dvi
DeVice Independent. The language in which the output files of TEX are written, typically with filename extension <.dvi>.

Digital Video Interactive.

Digital Video Interleaved. I wish they'd decide.

Direct Visual Inspection. See VIA.

Digital VoltMeter.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Direct Virtual Memory Access. Cf. DMA.

Digital Video Recorder. A service offered by cable-TV companies.

Deep Vein Thrombosis. Blockage of a deep vein. DVT affects about two million people in the U.S. each year. It can be caused by restriction of movement for long periods, possibly like the conditions in coach class. Hence the alternate name ``economy class syndrome.'' The immobility can cause a blood clot in a vein that breaks off and lodges in the heart or lungs.

Delaware Valley Translators Association. ``[O]rganized as a nonprofit association in the early 1960s by translators working in the Greater Philadelphia area who were affiliated with the American Translators Association. It continues to work closely with the national organization.''

Digital Video Tape Recorder.

Deutsche Volksunion. `German Peoples' Union.' It began in 1971 as an informal group, and was established as a political party in 1987. It was founded, and continues to be financed and run, by the Bavarian millionaire publisher Gerhard Frey. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the DVU is one of the three main ultra-right parties of Germany (all of them small). The other two are the NPD and die Republikaner.

In the 1998 general election, DVU won 1.2% of the vote (the threshold for Bundestag seats is 5%) with particular strength in the former East Germany, with 2.8% of the vote there. It scored a surprising victory (12.7% of the vote) in the April 1998 Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony) state elections. In 2004, the DVU began a non-competition agreement with the NPD, and this first came into play for the state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony. The DVU won 6.1% of the vote in Brandenburg and the NPD won 9.2% in Saxony.

Data Warehouse. A kind of secondary database. What distinguishes a DW from a db that is not a DW is that the DW collects information from multiple, often very different (among themselves) other db's. Normal tasks for a DW include processing the received data to resolve inconsistencies and integrating the data in advance, so a query to the DW is not simply equivalent to multiple queries to its source db's. DW data are usually organized multidimensionally to support on-line analytical processing (OLAP).

Density Wave.

Deutsche Welle. News organization.

Driving While Ability-Impaired. Cf. DWI.

The first US law against driving drunk was passed in 1910. Drunkenness was determined subjectively by the arresting officer. On Dec. 31 (appropriate date), in 1938, the first breath test for car drivers was introduced. It was Dr. R. N. Harger's ``drunkometer,'' first officially introduced in Indianapolis. Indianapolis is the home of a famous speedway. There's an herbal extract called Sobrup that claims to accelerate metabolism of alcohol so blood alcohol levels fall faster and hang-overs are reduced. It can't be any less effective than mints.

Doctors Without Borders. (That links to the US homepage. See MSF for the organization's international homepage.)

Driving While Black. Facetious name for the moving violation on suspicion of which certain drivers are stopped by police. State police patrolling I-95, at least in New Jersey and Maryland that I know of, are particularly notorious for DWB stops. In a NY Times Magazine piece on the practice, in 1999 or so, even black cops in municipal forces complained of the practice.

It is illegal for police to stop an individual vehicle without cause, and DWB is not a legal cause. Many cops feel that they have a nose or experience that gives them a clue that something is up, and if this means they stop more blacks than whites, well, criminality is higher among blacks. This doesn't stand up in court, but if the case comes to trial the officer can claim that the car was being driven erratically. Alternatively, he can claim he stopped the car for a broken tail-light (he can break it on the way back to the patrol car).

Differential or prejudicial law enforcement is a continuing major concern in black communities and for those who represent them, but as a political issue is has lost traction with the general electorate. In the electoral campaign for the Y2K Democratic presidential nomination, ex-NJ-senator and ex-Knicks basketball player Bill Bradley seemed to start out thinking he had a particular strength with black voters, and courted a broad range of black leaders. As his campaign sank, it turned out that he had strength with no particular voting bloc. The candidates -- vice-president Albert Gore, Jr. and Bill Bradley -- held an unusual campaign debate at Harlem's historic Apollo theater, and law enforcement came up. They presented similar anti-discrimination positions, but Gore used the phrase ``driving while black,'' and probably scored a point or two for familiarity with the issue. Using jargon or slang is a way of expressing or demonstrating in-group solidarity, aye mate?

Apparently sometimes the indications have been rather undisguised. Here's a report from The Quotable Musician (NY: Allworth Pr., 2003). The quotation is undated, but Hopkins, who sang the blues, died in 1982.

One night it's two police cars stop me and ask me where I got all my money. Say, ``Where you been stealing?'' I just show them this guitar and tell 'em, ``This makes my living.''           -- Lightnin' Hopkins

Distorted-Wave Born Approximation.

Digital Wireless Communications.

Downtown Westfield (NJ) Corporation.

Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (WDM).

Drinking-Water Equivalent Level. I'll fill in any missing hyphen as soon as I learn what this means.

Dead White European Male[s]. As opposed to the other kind?

Driving While {Impaired | Intoxicated}. The ``impaired'' / ``intoxicated'' distinction is not a purely semantic one. Many (most?) states distinguish two levels of alcohol intoxication on the basis of blood alcohol level. The lower level is then called ``alcohol impairment'' and the higher level ``alcohol intoxication.''

In the apocryphal book Tobit, chapter four, verse fifteen, the KJV translation reads (in the 1611 edition, since editions from the 1640's on excluded the Apocrypha)

Do that to no man which thou hatest: drink not wine to make thee drunken:
neither let drunkenness go with thee in thy journey.

But if you do, journey on over to AllLaw.com and use one of their DWI calculators to determine what kind of sentence you can expect. Of course, YMMV.

Driving While Out-Of-State. Understood to mean, driving where unlikely to return to contest ticket. Nobody uses this acronym yet, AFAIK. You're thinking: ``if I lose my $100-fine case, I'll appeal to a higher court on grounds of DWOOS discrimination.'' Jurisdictions have ways to make appeals inconvenient.

Daisy-Wheel Printer. More obsolete than dandelion wine.

Department for Work and Pensions. (A Whitehall department.)

Department of Water and Power. Should be the same as DWR if hydro is the only power source.

Digital Wave Processor.

Driving While Poor. Not the most common expansion of DWP, but not unknown. On the pattern of DWB.

Defense Waste Processing Facility.

Drinking-Water Priority List.

Department of Water Resources.

Dripping With Sarcasm. The ess occasionally stands for sweat, sex, or sludge, none of which things we have a dedicated entry for yet.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. An EPA program that allocates funds for water infrastructure improvements to states, in approximate proportion to need. (Approximate in part because no state shall receive less that one percent of available funds. This is quite a distortion: only 50% of the funding can be moved around to account for the different water infrastructure needs of, say, California and Rhode Island.)

DWT, Dwt.
Dead Weight Ton[nage].

Driving While a Teen. On the pattern of DWB.

The first time I took my driver's license exam, I had long hair and the examiner had a military crew cut. I failed to use my turn signals (blinkers) when I parallel-parked. At the end of the exam, he explained that he couldn't fail me for less than two errors. He failed me for not using the turn signals and for ``poor attitude.''

Down With The Clown. Also down wit' de klown. A condition, even an imperative condition, but not an imperative. Hence, ``I'm DWTC'' is accepted usage, but not DWTC! It means `hip,' not `à bas le clown!' See the Juggalo entry to be DTWC and know what clowns are referred to.

Dancing With The Stars. A TV program.

Driving While Under the Influence (of alcohol or other drugs). A variant of DUI that is apparently common only in Wyoming.

Direct Write-on-Wafer. Photo-exposure of a wafer by laser scanning, much as a laser printer prints.

Driving While a Woman. On the pattern of DWB. I didn't make this up myself, see?

Defect unknown/complex. Name originally given to defects which caused persistent photoconductivity (PPC) in GaAs. Now applied to similar defects in both III-V and II-VI compound semiconductors.

A paper by D. J. Chadi and K. J. Chang, [Phys. Rev. Lett. 61, 873 (1988)] gave the interpretation of PPC and the microscopic nature of the DX center that has come to be widely accepted. Basically, a DX center is a large deformation associated with a negatively charged substitutional impurity. [More later, if I should happen to get it straight in my mind.]

DX, Dx
Diagnosis. Medical abbreviation. Other common abbreviations of the same form: Fx (fracture), Hx (history), Rx (prescription), SX (symptoms), TX (treatment).

Explanation of abbreviation at Rx.

Distance long. Used as a name for long-distance (typically amateur) radio communication.

DupleX. Communication mode, not house type.

[Phone icon]

Digital Cross-Connect. A telephone-traffic routing system. In addition to routing individual traffic, this digitally implements resource reallocation on longer (hour, day, week) time scales. Also called DCC, DCS, DSX.

Data eXchange Interface. As in ATM-DXI.


Double crystal X-Ray Diffractomet{ er | ry }. (I guess that's the expansion, but X can stand for crystal.)

Deep X-Ray Lithography.

Dysprosium. Atomic number 66. A Lanthanide (rare earth: RE). Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Yet another of the elements whose names all mean ``hard to obtain.'' Chemists are just a bunch of whiners.

How the HP logo (hp) appears on the back of an HP laptop, from the perspective of the user opening it.

In a grave injustice, this word has been snubbed by all three major Scrabble dictionaries. As you are doubtless aware, this word describes, well, something to do with R. Buckminster Fuller. Here: according to the OED2,
In a private communication (July 1969) Mr. Buckminster Fuller said that the word was coined for him in 1929 by his business associates as a `word-portrait' of him and his work. They were concerned to form a euphonious word of four syllables based on words that occurred in Fuller's own description of his prototype (Dymaxion) house, viz. dy(namism), max(imum), and ion.

Contrarily, the OED2 claims that it's an adjective meaning ``doing the most with the least'' -- getting the greatest possible efficiency within the constraints of existing technology. Nah. It just means ``creative and cool.''

Twice in US history (1824, 2000), the son of a president has been elected president himself.
    In both cases, the fathers (John Adams, George Herbert Walker Bush)
  1. served as ambassadors to a major foreign country (England, China)
  2. before serving as vice president
  3. during the two terms of a popular president (George Washington, Ronald Reagan)
  4. who had guided the country to victory in a major war on whose result the very existence of the country had hung (Revolutionary War, Cold War).
  5. The fathers, members of the more conservative political party (Federalists, Republicans),
  6. ran for president immediately after serving as vice president and defeated the Democratic Party candidate.
  7. They each served a single term.
  8. Regarded as aloof from the people, and
  9. criticized for increasing taxes, they ran against men with the name Jefferson (Thomas Jefferson, William Jefferson Clinton)
  10. and lost their bids for a second term.
  11. The men who defeated them each served two terms,
  12. and each was remembered at the end of the twentieth century for having had an extended nonmarital sexual relationship
  13. with a much younger, unmarried woman who worked for him in a relatively low-status position.
  14. That relationship was long and sometimes angrily, though carefully, denied,
  15. but was eventually confirmed by means of DNA analysis.
  16. The defeated presidents' eldest sons,
  17. bearing the father's first name but distinguished by middle name (Quincy, dubya),
  18. and whose only legitimate offspring were daughters,
  19. each had some personal connection with Florida (Quincy negotiated its purchase from Spain in 1819, dubya's brother was governor of the state).
  20. The sons ran against former senators from Tennessee (Andrew Jackson, Albert Gore).
  21. The sons' opponents made reduction of the national debt part of their platforms, a position more usually associated with the fathers' political parties,
  22. and were successful in reducing the national debt.
  23. The sons' opponents were men associated with wood (``Old Hickory,'' wooden Al Gore) and
  24. were war veterans (Revolutionary War and War of 1812, Vietnam War),
  25. while the sons themselves had been on government service elsewhere during the major wars of their generations (Adams in Europe as a diplomat, Bush in the Texas National Guard and AWOL from the Georgia National Guard).
  26. In the elections, the sons lost the popular vote
  27. but won the presidency due to vagaries of the electoral college system.
  28. Both sons were opposed to slavery.
The End.

Do Your Own Homework!

Variant spelling of dipsomaniac. Not attested in any dictionaries I can access electronically just now, and representing less than 2% of dipsomanic hits in a web search, but not unknown. I noticed it in J.P. Marquand's B.F.'s Daughter (bibliographic details at the BF entry), in chapter 13. Now that you know how to spell it, you can look it up.

Dyslexic Occultist
Sold his soul to Santa. Cf. Nick. If you're in the mood, you'll want to receive more punnishment by reading the next entry.


Dyslexic Theologian
Ponders the nature of Dog. For more off-beat metaphysics, look into Revealed Tea.

At the end of The Clouds by Aristophanes, the penitent Strepsiades asks a statue of Hermes for advice. In the 1962 edition of William Arrowsmith's translation, the stage direction reads:

He puts his ear close to the dog's mouth as though listening to whispered advice.

The Dogster website uses the motto ``for the love of dog.'' For more lighthearted metathesis-based jokes (witch doctors of PC will re-guard as mien-spirited attacks on dis lexics), see the preceding entry and agnostic dyslexic insomniac. (We also have a haphazard list of homonyms at the ANK entry. But we don't joke about homonym spelling errors because of um -- kinda close to home, you know -- there but for the grace of God go I. Hey wait a second. Over there, fifth row, second from the left -- that is me! A lot of good all that grace did! I shoulda fed the dog better instead of tithing. Ahem. If you actually want to do something for the dyslexic, see RFB&D.)

(Domain name code for) Algeria. Doesn't sound very mnemonic to me. A former Department of France.

African Studies Center (at the University of Pennsylvania) offers a resource page. The Norwegian Council for Africa (NCA) has a Algeria page.

A State Department travel advisory issued June 16, 1998 says basically don't go, it's dangerous.

I'm not sure I'd put much faith in the CIA map of Algeria; it shows Gibraltar as an Andalusian city.

Dizygotic Twins. (``Fraternal'' twins: embryos, and individuals, arising from two different fertilized eggs that happen to be gestating simultaneously in the womb.) Cf. MZT.

DEC terminal server type 200.

Third-generation channel bank: 24 voice channels on a T1 line.

Third-generation channel bank: handles 48 voice channels on two T1 lines or one T-1C.

d4T, D4T
An NRTI used to treat AIDS. The registered trademark is Zerit, and stavudine (Stavudin in German) is the generic name. I don't know what the code stands for, but since it's an NRTI I assume T stands for the nucleic-acid base thymine.

The Developing 8. A group of large (i.e., populous) countries that don't have large (i.e., prosperous) economies, except for hydrocarbon fuel production (Indonesia, Iran, and Nigeria). Here are the 8 D-8 members, in increasing order of population (given in millions), from the International Data Base of the US Census Bureau website. Don't blink, the numbers change.
  1. Malaysia. (Forty-sixth most populous country in the world, as of 2006. A neighbor of Indonesia.)
  2. Iran. (You thought it was only 40 million? Dream on, baby. That was 1980.)
  3. Turkey.
  4. Egypt.
  5. Nigeria.
  6. Bangladesh.
  7. Pakistan.
  8. Indonesia. (Fourth most populous country in 2006, after China, India, and the US.)

You wonder why Brazil (pop. 188 million, fifth most populous country in the world), Russia (143M, #8), Mexico (107M, #11), Philippines (89M, #12), and Vietnam (84M, #13) are not part of D-8. If you rank countries by their populations of Muslims, then for the top eight you get the D-8 minus Malaysia and plus India. So obviously the selection principle has nothing to do with religious confession. Indeed, D-8 official announcements don't claim it does. It's just an impenetrable mystery.

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