It turns out that Eastern Time is a single time zone, whereas Eastern Standard Time (EST) is actually two. That was part of the argument that the new business-friendly governor of Indiana, elected in 2004, made in his pitch for the state to get with the program and adopt Daylight Saving Time. He claimed tht Indiana lost business because out-of-state companies were baffled by our practice of switching time zones twice a year. (From EST to EST in Spring, and then back again to EST in fall, he means. My problem is that I forget to advance my clock by zero hours until Tuesday. You can imagine how late that makes me on Monday.) The change was pushed through; see DST.
It dovetails kind of nicely that in Basque, ta and eta are the words for `and,' so between these two ancient languages, they've got et, eta, and ta covered. Yes, I do remember that ETA has another meaning in Basque, but that entry isn't ready yet.
Anyway, the Latin et became, uh, et in French, though in most of the common Romance languages that evolved from Vulgar (i.e. common) Latin, it lost the consonant and ended up being pronounced /e/ or /i:/. Disappearance is always a hazard for unvoiced final stop consonants. (In Spanish, although the standard word is y, pronounced /i:/, the word e is used before words beginning in the /i:/ sound. Similarly in Italian, ed substitutes for the standard e to avoid vowel hiccups.) Most Slavic languages use some closed front vowel also. If you speak any of these languages, this probably seems very natural. Certainly within the pragmatic school of linguistics, one expects a very common word with the meaning and to be simple and monosyllabic. Still, that leaves options. Open back vowels seem to predominate in Germanic languages. Just staying in Europe, Finno-Ugric languages have somewhat unexpected consonants (from an SAE POV): és in Hungarian and ja in Finnish. Going further afield, Swahili uses na, Japanese to, Indonesian dan. Bergman lists ve for Hebrew, but this isn't quite right. In Hebrew, this ``word'' generally does not occur in isolation. Instead, it is attached to the word following it. There always is a word following it. You can probably figure out how that happens. So `and' in Hebrew is really v', or vee followed by a shwa transitioning into the next word. (Except that the vee used to be a semivowel or glide more like w. Over time, and by various paths, that one Semitic character has evolved into the letters f, i, j, u, v, w, and y in the modern Roman alphabets. The Arabic cognate is normally transliterated wa, but the pronunciation of Arabic varies substantially across the Muslim world. Turkish has ve; I suppose this is a borrowing from Arabic, rather than a coincidental usage in the central Asian origins of Turkish.)
By the way, v' also serves a function in Hebrew verb conjugation: it indicates action continuing a narrative. Sort of like `and then' but not so stylistically obtrusive. The construction is called ``the vav-consecutive'' (in English). We engage in a complementary kind of aspect marking in English when we use the past perfect (e.g., ``he had gone'') to indicate that action took place at a point earlier in the context. It is relatively difficult to translate between distant, syntactically disparate languages. The King James Version (KJV) of the Hebrew Bible is regarded by many as coming closest in English to the spirit of the original Hebrew. Now you understand why you encounter so many ``And he'' thisses and ``And he'' thats.
Anyway, getting back to the conjunction use of Hebrew v', we see that it's sort of intermediate between an independent word and a prefix. The distinction is in fact fuzzier than it may at first seem, because it is almost a matter of convention. To take an example in English, inasmuch as is two words in American and frequently four words in British. Some writers recognize no semantic distinction between in to and into, and if the fools have their way this will become the rule in English. Another example is given in the et al. entry below. (Hint: you just saw it.) When a word is systematically attached to other words, but is conceived of (and may sometimes occur as) a separate word, then it is called an enclitic. This term is generally applied to core utility words like conjunctions and prepositions, rather than to words like nouns that may occur in compound nouns. To reemphasize, these distinctions are essentially conventional. To take the example of Japanese, particles are attached to words to indicate case distinctions and something of the idea in the the/a distinction (-wa/-ga, but the correspondence is imperfect). One could regard the particle -no as a postposition equivalent to the English preposition of, one could consider it as a systematic genitive ending, or one might consider it as an enclitic. Or again to take the case of Romanian, definiteness and indefiniteness (a vs. the) are indicated by noun affixes. Are these enclitic articles?
In Semitic languages, which pioneered the use of alphabetic writing (based on the acronymic principle), vowels are not normally written. This makes a certain amount of sense in those languages, because most words are based on three- and some two-consonant roots. The vowels determine variations in sense and part of speech, and can to a very great extent be determined contextually. [In Hebrew, at least, this picture is complicated by the presence of consonantally equivalent alternate spellings that are used to hint the vowels. Also, the Bible and books meant only for children are written with vowels (``pointing'').] The situation involves a lot of unconscious or barely conscious guesswork, like that in construing English homographs like lead or read. Psychometric studies have shown that fluent readers of Hebrew take longer to get through texts that are more vocalically ambiguous, all other things being equal.
I mention the business of Semitic spelling because it is connected with another
difference that has disappeared. Hebrew and other Semitic languages are
rather hard to read for the reasons just explained. Although a few consonants
have word-final forms, most do not. With vowels present,
itisnotsodifficulttoreadwithoutwordspacing, but without the vowels,
Gee, there are still a few languages in Bergman's book that I haven't covered. Oh, yes, Esperanto! When Isaac Zamenhof (Doctoro Esperanto) designed his language, he tried to choose a small number of roots that would be very recognizable (to speakers of European languages), and he also tried for a kind of linguistic affirmative action -- to have every (European) language somewhat represented. Neither of these motives explains why he chose kaj as the Esperanto word for `and.' This is the Ancient Greek word kai spelled with a consonantal i. (The pronunciation of the original Greek has evolved into ke', according to Bergman.) Kai is one of those words that reminds us of just how much of an odd-ball Greek is among the European members of the Indo-European language family. Or is it? It turns out that Latin has another word meaning and, spelled que, which occurs as an enclitic on the preceding word. (Those who had trouble earlier, figuring out why Hebrew v' always had a word following, may want to take a breather here.) For an example of the use of que, see the SPQR entry. You might think that the Latin enclitic -que is related to kai, but because of the way the regular phonetic shifts went from IndoEuropean, it is clear that it's related to the Ancient Greek and enclitic -te. Sanskrit has an etymologically related and word (not enclitic), ca.
In Spanish, at least, an ETA member (of either sex) is called an etarra.
The particular sequence of letters was one convenient for the linotype operator to insert: it was made by typing the first two columns of letters on the left end of the keyboard. Sometimes three or four columns would be used. (The full 26-letter sequence was etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj xz.) Letters on the keyboard were arranged in something approximating their frequency rank in the language, with the more common letters at the left as in the qwerty arrangement (q.v.) on typewriters. On French linotypes, the corresponding sequence was elaoin sdrétu.
Sometimes the compositor messed up, and etaoin shrdlu ended up in print. Here's the first paragraph of an article ``On Bowling Alleys'' in the New York Times of October 30, 1903, page 10:
Many close bowling contests were decided
last night in the bowling tournaments
with which New York abounds. The best
score of this season, and practically that
of this year, was 264, the highest individual
score. This was an excellent showing and
g vaet ehthmbe f :egCnda etaoin shrdlu dlu
gave them the benefit of a doubt afterward.
(The lines are justified in the original, but I can't be bothered to reproduce the effect here.) That was the earliest instance I found of the twelve-letter sequence, in an archive of the Times dating back to 1857. Between 1903 and July 2, 1978 (the last issue composed on a linotype machine), there were instances in 141 documents (articles, display ads, or classified-ad pages) -- about two per year. The sequence etaoin alone appears in 527 documents in the same time period (the first on September 3, 1895), and shrdlu in 538 (first on October 31, 1894). So it seems the usage became common, at least at the Times, not long before 1894.
There were a number of clearly intentional instances of the six- and twelve-letter sequences, including a few dozen after the switch to cold-metal printing. Also, Shrdlu occurs as the given name of a man in at least one article (1998). Possibly this reflects the popularity of names like ``Etaoin Shrdlu'' that have occurred in fiction since at least 1923. The earliest intentionally published etaoin shrdlu in the NYTimes is apparently in ``Grade-Crossing Decision,'' a poem published in a collection of light verse: ``The Times in Rhymes by L.H.R.'' (November 26, 1927, p. XX5). There, the two lines ``Etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj / Z&$&??¾¼½@cETAOINshrdBAM!!'' are used to represent what happens when a train hits the vehicle of someone who makes a poor one (grade-crossing decision).
The word et means `and.' It's included in the Latin phrase so that you will appear stupid by saying or writing ``and et cetera.'' The word cetera is the nominative plural of ceterum, `[the] other.' At one time, like Caesar, it was written with an ae: caetera.
Anna and the King of Siam was the title of a novel by Margaret Landon, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on it. A movie version was released in 1946, with Rex Harrison in the role of King Mongkut. Rex ... King ... okay, I guess they gave the casting a moment's thought. The London theatrical premiere in 1951 had Yul Brynner (1915-1985) in the King role, and he reprised it for the better-known 1956 movie, which was denominated with the grammatically cheery ``The King and I.'' A memorable little moment in the play and movie occurs when the King delights in the utility and sophistication of a new term that he has learned, which in his airy way of using it expresses his royal dignity: ``et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.'' Yul Brynner enunciated it with the loving elocutionary care of Henry Higgins.
Most anglophones today pronounce cetera as two syllables (cetra or cet'ra). The Turtles (in case I'm old, let me gloss that as a 1960's rock group) had a hit with a song called ``Elinore'' that had lyrics that... well, let me just point this out: the chorus ended ``you're my pride and joy et cet'ra.'' It's used to rhyme, sortah, ``bettah.''
Don't mind me. I'm just prattling on until I have an ecc. entry ready. No one likes dead air. Better to say something stupid quickly than be silent. How else would you know if the server was still up? Something might've happened. A crash, a cosmic lexicographic kerthwump, etc.
The corpus comprises Sumerian texts in transliteration, English prose translations and bibliographical information for each composition. The transliterations and the translations can be searched, browsed and read online using the tools of the website.''
It may be that the best books online are free.
H H \ / C==C / \ H H
Earlier name was ethylene, q.v. and you'll notice that it's that name which is still used in the common names of various established chemicals, such as EAA, ECTFE, EDP, EDTA, EGE, EPR, ETFE, EVA or EVAC, EVOH.
Fortunately, ``ethylene'' doesn't have a distinct meaning in the new nomenclature.
Ethylene is the name still used by the food industry, which recognizes ethylene as an important factor in fruit ripening. See some discussion in a posting on the classics list, prompted by discussion of the Uva uvam quote. Sorry about the typos there (misspelled Latin and miscounted chemistry).
Oh, here's something: about 11 AM on July 6, 1999, at a Pan American Banana Co. warehouse near downtown Los Angeles, an explosion collapsed the roof, shattered nearby car windows, and shot flames 100 feet into the air, starting a fire that took a hundred fire fighters and one and a half hours to put out. One man was found dead in the warehouse, five were injured. A bottle of ethylene-based ripening gas was found in the building, but there were also reports of a propane leak.
Natural gas, which is mostly methane, and almost all methnae and ethane is odorless. It has a characteristic odor only because a sensible perfume is added to it. Ethylene has a slight sweet odor, but I guess that may not be noticeable in a fruit stall.
Outta this world, man.
I hadn't realized that they had adopted that stupid diaerisis (Umlaut) affectation. The music defines you as heavy metal. Ideally, you should have a pansy name like Kiss and completely overwhelm it with your metal mettle.
I bought ``Agents Of Fortune'' because it was on sale for $10. It's okay, it has a five-minute version of The Reaper.
This entry is beginning to remind me of a diary. Of course, if you were my dear diary, you'd learn that I made this latest purchase at Meijer. And so you have! Spooky, ain't it? Speaking of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence and diaries, here's something Franklin Pierce Adams wrote in his diary [January 7]:
Reading the tayles of how C. Mackay is wood-wroth that his daughter hath wedded I. Berlin, I was reminded of a night last June, when G. Seldes the journalist came to my room in the Hotel Russie in Rome, and said, Do you know who this Mackay girl is? And I said Yes. And he told me that he had a cable from his journal, to the effect that the Vatican was considering at that moment the granting of a dispensation. And at that moment the band in the courtyard began to play, ``What'll I Do?'' and whether the Vatican was deliberating then none of us ever found out, but as I thought of the days when I. Berlin was a singing waiter on the Bowery, I thought it was dramatick enough.
This entry is from 1926!
Here's a hint from Desirable Men, p. 119:
... Like Renee, if heavy drinking has created problems in the past, pay attention to where you meet your men. Is it in a bar? ...
You know, I think I may have met this Renee!
Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.
ETOM is written by using a high-energy (i.e., high light frequency) laser to excite electrons from one impurity level to another (for example, from Eu to Sm impurity levels in a metal sulfide insulator). The written datum is metastable, but because the impurity levels are local and spatially separated, the lifetime of the metastable state is long. Read-out is by detection of light emitted in recombination, when relaxation of the excited state is stimulated by a lower-energy laser light (which cannot excite electrons out of the deeper level). Since read-out is destructive, the standard read-out procedure includes a rewrite. For commercial distribution of copyrighted material, however, rewriting may be disabled.
The first implementations of ETOM store digital, but not binary data. Each memory location (defined by etching of a glass substrate which supports the doped metal sulfide) will store a digit of multilevel logic, with the different digits encoded by different shallow/deep trapped-electron fractions. Six levels are planned for initial implementation; thirteen levels have been demonstrated.
The Etruscans were crazy about the alphabet -- they would decorate their homes with it. It must have been like living in a grade-school classroom. The Etruscans lived in Etruria, a region whose precise boundaries were always determined by the most recent war, and machinations for the next, but roughly speaking it was Tuscany.
The Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden serves extensive page of Etruscology. I know it's fairly legitimate, but a word like ``Etruscology'' reminds me of ``thinkology.''
L. Deroy argued in 1975 that the words letter and liter are derived from Etruscan etymons. (See Deroy L.: ``Lettre et litre, deux mots d'origine étrusque,'' LEC vol. 43, pp. 45-58.)
It appears that the unofficial plan is eventually to treat EU as an abbreviation not of European Union but of Europa, Europe, etc. I haven't seen HBE (for the Eurosceptical ``Holy Belgian Empire'').
It has always seemed to puzzle Europeans, why it is that Americans have such a negative attitude to government per se. Following WWII, the US government sought a way to foster improved understanding between our peoples. Therefore, the US encouraged European governments to form a united Europe, under the Council of Europe and other organizations, culminating in the present European Union. The purpose of the European Union is to create a bureaucratic superstructure for the alignment, coordination and general fettering of Europe that it is hoped will ultimately liberate Europeans from their callow and dangerous faith in government, and allow them to commune in a higher cynicism with Americans and many ex-Soviets, who have already achieved enlightenment, if not exactly Nirvana. Europe is a slow student, but the lesson proceeds apace (vide 1999).
(Actually, the only flaw in the plan was that the European government was supposed to be an open democratic system, with public deliberations of the legislature, separation of powers, accountability, due process, curbs and limits to prevent abuses of power, that sort of thing. Fortunately, the implementation has been more along the lines of an French-style elite-run dirigism, with real power exercised by committees answerable to no one. And they can always try again after their next really big war.)
Upon further research, it turns out that the US efforts in this direction began before WWII. The earliest published suggestion of a union of European states (as opposed to an empire) appeared in 1814: De la réorganisation de la société européenne. The author was Henri de Saint-Simon, who was probably recruited by the CIA when he served as a captain of artillery at Yorktown in 1781. Obviously, he was part of a ``sleeper'' cell. How else explain his staying in France during the terror and willingly appearing for internment at the Palais de Luxembourg (input hopper for the guillotine)? From 1808 on he was destitute. They say he was supported by ``friends,'' but detailed records do not survive. Where did he get the money to publish in 1814, eh?
The fifteen members as of 1997 were Austria (.at), Belgium (.be), Denmark (.dk), Finland (.fi), France (.fr), Germany (.de), Greece (.gr), Holland (.nl), Ireland (.ie), Italy (.it), Luxembourg (.lu), Portugal (.pt), Spain (.es), Sweden (.se), and United Kingdom (.uk).
Israel, Morocco, and Turkey want to join too, but the current members prefer to recruit new members in Eastern Europe, where a slightly larger fraction of prospective member nations have names beginning in the second half of the alphabet. Turkey, with its very favorable lettering, in 1997 squandered its immediate chances with constitutional and democratic activity which a European perspective regards as political instability. In any case, before too many new member states come on board, there has to be a restructuring of the voting schemes, which now give each country, of whatever size, an equal vote. (The policy-making body, the European Commission, is not exactly one-country-one-vote. Every country has a right to have one commissioner, but the five largest countries have two.) The EU resembles the US government under the Articles of Confederation, and they need a New Jersey Plan. Constitutional decisions were postponed for five years at a June 1997 summit. At a December 2000 EU summit in Nice, France, host Jacques Chirac (President of France) introduced proposals to partially weight voting power by population, and eliminate the automatic right to a commissioner on the European Commission). The reaction of the smaller states ranged from accusations of ``an attempted coup d'état'' (reported reaction of the Portuguese PM) to ``unprintable'' (Dutch PM). The constitutional convention of 2003 adjourned without agreement also. This left the expansion situation in such disarray that I'm eventually going to have to completely rewrite this entry.
In the meantime, the Nice summit resulted in a ``compromise'': the larger countries will give up their extra commissioners in 2005, and the smaller members will retain their single commissioners until there are 27 member nations, at which time they agree to a ceiling of fewer than 27 commissioners, to be rotated among smaller states. In other words, for the medium-to-long-term future, the EU will be even less representative than it has been.
You know, there's an EU FAQ that only has a ``Basics'' section, but that's eight parts long. They can't help themselves.
When the EU was still called the EC, it was EG in German. Now in German it's Europäische Union, so the German abbreviation is EU, just like the English. See? Acronym alignment; brotherhood of man is sure to follow shortly.
There are signs everywhere of an emerging common European culture. A minor example is British Prime Minister Tony Blair heeding his French constituency in seeking a monetary union that the overwhelming majority of British voters are opposed to. Oops. I wrote this before 2002-3, when Blair backed (with word and deed) the US invasion of Iraq, against French and German opposition. But more telling, surely, are the hints from popular culture. Here's a random one in a People magazine article on the Tom (Cruise) and Nicole (Kidman) break-up saga (February 26, 2001). Kidman's close friend, Australian director John Duigan, explains that ``Tom is very much rooted in American culture, and Nicole moved around much more as a child and enjoys spending time in places like Europe and, obviously, Australia'' (glossarist's italics). Spending so much time in places-like-Europe, she must speak fluent Europeanese.
Oh, look: January 30, 2004, filming began in Toronto on The Interpreter. The title character works at the UN (interpreting between American and European? is that possible?) and overhears an assassination plot. Kidman plays the title role. This is wonderful: she gets to use all that international savoir faire and Europeanness that she picked up as a child.
Kidman had wanted the role for a long time. I'm not sure when she actually signed on for it, but she did so without reading the script. It seems that there were some changes from when she first heard about the project. In the original version, which had been kicking around Hollywood since the mid-1990's, the plot involved Mmm-mmm-can't-use-the-M-word terrorists from a fictional Near Eastern country. Obviously, this idea lacked plausibility, so rewrite was called in and fixed it by inventing African terrorists from the fictional republic (republic!) of Matobo. (Matobo happens to be the name of one of Zimbabwe's national parks, but the only way the writers could have known that was if they'd been aware of the Internet.) As producer Kevin Misher explained, ``we didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way.'' That's probably why they wanted to make a movie about the UN. (After all, every progressive person understands that by a special kind of political alchemy, the UN, operated by the corrupt, representing the illegitimate, stands entirely above politics.) Some good might actually have come of filming in the UN, but unfortunately they only filmed on weekends, so they didn't interrupt the work of the organization.
Director Sydney Pollack was desperate to film on location at the UN. One reason was evidently the prestige of being the first to film there (Hitchcock used sets for the UN scenes in North by Northwest). Another was the cost; the budget was a paltry $80 million, and as construction of a general assembly hall replica was under way in Toronto, it was discovered that it would be very costly to get a manufacturer to make curved fluorescent bulbs in the curved shape of the desks. So says IMDb, but I find it implausible on multiple levels. Anyway, a deal was eventually done with Mayor Bloomberg to allow filming in New York if all filming was done in New York, with New York crews.
They did manage to preserve a Mid-East connection: about 15 minutes into the movie, ``Silvia Broom'' (Nicole Kidman) gets a phone call supposedly speaking a (sub-Saharan) African language. The voice on the other side is actually the automated no-such-number message in Israel.
Actually, it occurs to me that maybe Tom is not very much rooted in American culture.
Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.
Intransitive: To interpret belief in a god, and stories and traditions about the god, as based on the apotheosis of some historical person.
From euhemerism, from Euhemerus, a 4c. BCE Greek philosopher. For a related idea not involving gods, see the eponymism entry.
Many of the earlier volumes of the EUI do not have modern copyright notices and do not indicate copyright year. There seems to be some uncertainty concerning the original dates of publication, with different catalogs listing 1907 as the earliest year of publication. The encyclopedia was originally published in Barcelona by Hijos de J. Espasa, Editores (`Sons of J. Espasa, Publishers') and some volumes bear a colophon with the words Encicopedia Espasa. Later it was published by Espasa-Calpe, S.A., of Barcelona and Madrid, and eventually of Barcelona, Madrid, and Bilbao.
On the title pages, it promises etymologies from Sanskrit, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, indigenous American languages, etc., and versions of most words in French, Italian, English, German, Portuguese, Catalan, and Esperanto. Counting up to the year-2000 supplement, it occupies eight meters of shelf space. It fully deserves that word that English reference works used to brag with, if they dared: ``compendious.'' It's a bit out of date, and the Suplemento yearbooks (or multiyear books) are very inconvenient. Let me put it this way: it's a mess, and it's a treasure.
``Eukanuba'' is a registered trademark, but ``Eukanuba'' (pronounced ``YOU can OO buh'') was a slang expression in the nineteen-forties or so, an interjection meaning `Great!' A Spanish word with the same meaning is macanudo, and that's a brand of cigar.
EURopean Academy for Standardisation.
There's a story about Archimedes taking a bath while he was pondering how to measure the volume of metal in a finished crown (the point was to determine the precious metal content -- if the artisan kept some of the precious metal given him for the crown and made up the weight with a nonprecious metal, the average density and hence the volume would be off). It occurred to him (sitting there in the bath) that the water displaced when the crown was submerged in a container of water would equal the volume of the crown (but, being liquid, would be easier to measure). This displacement law is now called the Principle of Archimedes. The story goes that he was so excited by this discovery that he ran naked from the bath shouting ``Eureka!'' [`I have found it!']
Latvia helped enlarge the EU by joining in 2004. It was originally scheduled to adopt the euro in 2008, but the Latvian language does not have a diphthong eu. Moreover, the Lettish name of the continent is Eiropa, and they have been calling the euro ``eiro''. As of January 2006, the Latvian government was insisting that that's what it's going to call the currency, while the ECB and other EU bodies are insisting on the, let's call it ``single spelling.'' The Latvians are rather sensitive about language integrity and independence.
Anyway, something came up. Actually down: the Latvian economy. They took a bailout from the EU in 2008. Unsurprisingly, they couldn't meet the convergence criteria and were not in a good position to cook the books so as to make it appear that they did, and as of 2012 they're targeting 2014 as the year they'll join the euro if it still exists and has that name.
Once I stopped at a motel in Ohio and the desk clerk had an accent. (Okay, that always happens, but the rest of the story only happened once.) I asked him where he was from, and he said ``Letvia.'' Of course he was Russian. I'm depositing this bit of personal testimony here in lieu of a detailed report on the near-death experience of the Latvian language under Soviet rule and rather more-literal-than-usual Russian occupation. In 2010, I asked the cashier at a local Walgreen's what her language was, volunteering that it sounded Slavic. ``Oh no, I speak Russian!'' I didn't pursue this line of conversation. It wasn't really relevant to the entry.
``In 1997, Michael Chow, the founder of the internationally renown[ed] MR CHOW, chose a landmark 1929 Mediterranean building in Westwood [just south of UCLA's main entrance on Wilshire Boulevard] to open a restaurant featuring his two favorite cuisine[s], Italian and Chinese. After 2 years of construction, EUROCHOW opened in June 1999. Mr. Chow designed every detail of the white on white interior including the 25 feet tall obelisk constructed with pure solid white marble pointing up to a 55 feet high dome, which is lit with a fiber optic lighting. His vision in opening EUROCHOW was to feature a unique, international dining experience based on authentic Italian and Chinese food in a beautiful, theatrical space with a personal, energetic service team.''
The fusion possibilities must be interesting -- Noodles, Won Ton and Meat Sauce, etc.
Read that over. I'm sure it contains some important food for thought.
Ah, what the heck! It's Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
A constitutional amendment gives Washington, D.C., three Electoral College votes; this equals the number of its Congressional representatives (one in the House and two Senators). (The electors participate in selecting the President and Vice President by having their votes counted. DC's three congressional representatives participate in the federal legislature by talking. This is what is normally called disenfranchisement.)
The constitution does not specify how electoral votes are to be allocated. Like most other aspects of the voting process this has been left to the states to decide. All states do this by means of an election in which voters technically vote not for a presidential-vice-presidential ticket, but for electors committed to vote for one of the tickets. In all except two of the states a plurality or majority of the vote for a ticket means that the entire delegation of electors for that ticket is sent to the electoral college. That is, winner takes all electoral votes, state-by-state. Maine and Nebraska, the exceptions, allocate their very few electoral college votes more or less proportionately. The (mostly) winner-take-all nature of EV assignment makes it easier for the winner of a popular majority to lose in the electoral college (to say nothing of the person who wins a mere plurality).
Since the 1940's or 50's, polls have shown consistently that Americans would like the Electoral College system replaced by direct election of the president.
Of course, it rarely happens that someone who wins the popular vote loses in the Electoral College. It's more-or-less a historical curiosity:
In 1876, Democrat Samuel Tilden won 4542785 popular votes and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes won 4288548 popular votes , but Hayes won by a single vote in the electoral college, 185 to 184.
In 1888, incumbent Grover Cleveland received 5,534,488 votes, 90,596 more than his opponent, Benjamin Harrison, although Harrison won with his 233 electoral votes against Cleveland's 168.
In 1888, Grover Cleveland won the popular vote but Benjamin Harrison won the most electoral college votes and the presidency.
In 2000, Al Gore won a plurality of the popular vote (51.0 million to 50.5) but George W. Bush won in the electoral college (271 to 266). A lot of people blame the Supreme Court for short-circuiting the recount process and giving the election to Bush. Studies in 2001 and 2003, however, indicated that in a recount battle, Bush would probably have won a plurality in Florida (and hence the election). It will, of course, never be possible to know certainly. Bush's winning margin in Florida was less than a thousand or two (537, in the ``final certified'' results) out of about six million votes cast.
If each state were allocated votes in the electoral college equal to the number of its representatives in the US House (rather than a number equal to representatives plus senators), and if D.C. had a single EV, then the vote counts of 2000 would have led to a Gore victory in the Electoral College, 220 to 215.
A distant third place in the Florida electoral race went to Ralph Nader (Green Party, 97,488 votes), fourth place to Patrick J. Buchanan (Reform Party -- just a name, okay?, 17K votes), followed closely by Harry Browne (Libertarian Party, 16K), and others totalling 7K votes. Votes disqualified for one or another valid or invalid reason (hanging chad, felon lists, etc.) numbered a couple of hundred thousand.
When Nader announced his independent run for the presidency in 2008 (in February on MTP, as usual), he was still denying that he had been a spoiler in 2000. He said that [surveys have estimated that] if he hadn't run, 25% of his vote would have gone to Bush and 38% to Gore (and most of the rest would have stayed home). The amusing thing is that if you ``do the math,'' the numbers Nader uses in his own defense convict him.
The vagaries of absentee-ballot voting are among the numerous problems that a close election brings out. One of the issues I never heard mention of was demonstrated in a TV news item. Shortly after the election, a couple of election workers were sorting through some of the estimated 3000 absentee ballots sent from overseas (due by November 17, ten days post-election). One worker held in her hand an envelope from exotic France. TTBOMM, she exclaimed ``look, this one is postmarked 12-10-2000 -- it's impossible!'' Disqualified, of course. I imagine she was no less uninquisitively surprised by ballots dated 13-10-2000, 14-10-2000, etc., from the 190 or so countries that use the weird date ordering.
Electric vehicles provide multiple benefits for this glossary, because we can add not only an EV entry but also entries for the three main variants: BEV (batteries), FCEV, and HEV (hybrid).
Probably the most commonly unremembered conversion factor among spectroscopists in materials science is that between eV and wavenumbers (``inverse centimeters,'' cm-1 often disconcertingly abbreviated ``centimeters'').
Oh, you want to know? I thought you just came to the glossary for the laughs. Okay.
1 meV = 8.0667 cm-1
1 cm-1 = 0.123 97 meV
The second number you should remember: it's the numerical value of hc in units of meV-cm. Howa bout that!?
i++'' has the effect of incrementing
iby one unit, and has the side effect of returning the incremented value of
i. An explicit assignment like ``
a = ++i'' has the effects of incrementing
iand assigning its preincremented value to
a. The side-effect of this evaluation is to return true or success or the new value of
aor whatever the language designer decided for that language in that context. But I might have this completely backwards.
According to this 19 July 2002 report by the BBC, Yahoo.com chose a crude way to deal with this. Starting at least as early as March 2001, HTML attachments in mail received by users of its web-based email system were automatically scanned and modified, with the character string eval changed to review. You know: s/eval/review/g.
Hence, HTML-formatted mail containing the words medieval or evaluate end up with medireview or reviewuate. Other changes:
The July 2002 article reported that Google lists over 600 sites using "medireview". I think they meant pages rather than sites. When I checked on August 4, 2003, google claimed 1330 pages with that word. The top hits are to pages that use the term in direct reference to Yahoo's crude fix, but a lot of them are just instances of text that was quietly mangled by Yahoo and not caught. The legend lives on. As of December 2, 2008, medireview boasts 2880 ghits.
The Evelyns are a prolific tribe, to judge from entries in this glossary. Here are entries that feature them:
Here are some examples of correct usage:
In examples 1 and 2, everyday modifies the noun phrase ``low prices.'' The low prices are everyday prices (not limited-time sale). You can tell it's an adjective because it modifies a noun.
In examples 2 and 3, ``every day'' is an adverb of time. It describes the time of the action indicated by the verb (advertising, thinking). In example 2, it comes after the verb, where the object of the verb might go. But the object, the thing advertised, is low prices; ``every day'' is when the advertising takes place. In example 3, the phrase comes before the verb save. But the subject here is I, and ``every day'' is when I save.
In example 5, the subject of the sentence is ``every day.'' That's an ordinary noun phrase -- the noun ``day'' modified by the adjective ``every.'' What that subject does is bring opportunities to save. Look, if you can't get this straight, at least try to get into the habit of saying quotidian as often as possible, preferably every day.
Professional musicians are apparently very good at saying everygoodboydoesfine to themselves under their breath up 150 times per minute.
A personal pronoun meaning `I, me,' where the person referred to is unimaginative.
Near the end of the film musical Evita, Madonna sings to a crowd ``I am Argentina!'' As it happens, that phrase in Spanish can be indistinguishable from ``I am Argentine.'' That is, the phrase [yo] soy argentina, with argentina as a predicate adjective functioning as complement to the (usually implicit) yo (`I'), sounds identical to [yo] soy Argentina, with Argentina as a predicate nominative [the country, (.ar)]. Of course, other possible expressions are less ambiguous.
A famous instance of confusion between adjective and noun complements with a copula occurred when John Kennedy said ,,Ich bin ein Berliner.'' [Meaning approximately: `I am a jelly doughnut.'] Cf. Danish entry.
You can hear samples from JFK's speech in the Steppenwolf song ``The Wall.'' One soldier in the mercenary army of Kennedy biographers is Christopher P. Andersen, who has published Jack and Jackie: Portrait of an American Marriage (1996), Jackie After Jack: Portrait of the Lady (1998), and (with Bob Loza, rarely acknowledged) The Day John Died (2000), a biography of their son John F. Kennedy, Jr.
One boy who evidently took JFK for a model in more than one facet of his life was Bill Clinton. [See Christopher Andersen's Bill and Hillary: The Marriage (1999).] I only mention all this here because Andersen has churned out a book with the title American Evita: The Hillary Clinton Story (William Morrow & Co., July 2004). A member's online review for the Book of the Month Club comprises this sentence: ``What an insult to the original Evita!'' (Did you know that you have to be over 18 to join the Book of the Month Club?)
At Amazon.com, a semiliterate reviewer (solecism rate two or three per sentence; ``12 of 17 people found the ... review helpful'') wrote of Andersen's JFK-Jr. book that he ``personally enjoyed the novel.'' At least he didn't call it ``Christian Andersen's fairy tale.'' One thing that bothers me about celebrity-gossip inventories like Andersen's is that I can't tell how many of the stories are true. To give him due credit, Andersen can't either.
Oh by the way -- more on Spanish diminutives at the ppp entry.
The EWM was founded and held its first meeting in 1986. Meetings were annual until 1991, and have been in odd years since then.
The visual editor vi is a kind of extension of ex. Its commands are not exactly a superset, since it works in a different fashion. Rather, where ex would prompt the user with a colon, in vi the user types a colon from command mode in order to enter a single ex command (or command sequence, separated by pipe symbols, as is normal for ex; the semicolon functions like a comma in defining line address ranges, but redefines the current line for the second element).
One can switch into the ex editor from vi by typing a capital Q from command
mode. One can switch from the ex editor to the vi editor by typing the command
vi'' at the colon prompt. This is a useful fact for vi users to
keep in mind for when they fatfinger the A command (``Append'': enter insert
mode, appending text at end of current line) or the W command (move to the next
boundary between whitespace and nonwhitespace).
There's an International XAFS Society.
Rule #1: Don't make ``interesting'' problems. You'll always regret it. The students will just resent you and them as difficult, quirky, and irrelevant. ``You didn't cover it'' because it should be possible to solve any problem on the exam as in life by applying a plug-in formula. ``Interesting'' problems require sequential reasoning, and you won't know how to grade students who made a glorious error at the beginning but might have known how to do the rest if they hadn't blown that.
I was just sitting there, minding my own business lunch, overhearing a conversation about marriage and, or versus, civil union. It was a pretty typical deep conversation, and as such had bogged down in connotation and denotation, and definitions of God and god and good and civil, and solipsism and linguistics and stuff. As you can imagine, I was fascinated by my lunch. Then suddenly, the conversation took a medical turn -- ``when the pope speaks excatheter.'' I guess it was a noisy room. He must have said something like ``when the pope speaks about excatheters.'' But why would the pope speak about excatheters? I mean, I've read that he hasn't been well, but still... And why was this inserted into the conversation? It is really a deep mystery.
Send money now so that we can achieve more excellence. Send as much as you can and pledge more -- excellence increases nonlinearly! Considering how much excellence we have accomplished with so little money, we would clearly give excellent value for money -- indeed excellent excellence for money -- if we got any money at all.
If you send enough money, we may even reengineer or reinvent the Stammtisch, get ISO 9000 accreditation, acknowledge our contributors.
It's almost embarrassing. Fortunately, these restaurant associates adopt a similar attitude to anyone who accompanies me, so they will not feel shamed at having their connoiseuristical inferiority made too obvious.
Send money so that we can achieve more excellence. Send as much as you can -- excellence increases nonlinearly. Considering ... oh wait, that was the last entry.
Here's a little excerpt from Jessica Mitford's ``You-All and Non-You-All,'' a bit of slumming described as part of the U and non-U entry. The excerpt has nothing to do with the restaurant part of this excellent entry; I can't imagine why I even bother to mention it. Mitford is touring the South in 1961 or so, as that region is slowly yielding to the majority view (in the rest of the country) that racial segregation must end.
Last day in Louisville. No fair using taxi drivers for copy, but this one's an exception. She's a rugged, strong-looking woman, build of Marie Dressler. I ask her what she thinks of all the sit-ins. ``All for them!'' she calls out gaily. Goes on to...tell a heart-warming story. Mitford never explains why it is fair to make an exception for a woman with the build of a Marie Dressler. Possibly of interest: In the US, where she was naturalized, Mitford spoke with an accent that had been Americanized only during her adulthood in Washington, D.C., and Oakland, California. In other words, even in Louisville, Kentucky (which, as she was reminded there, is not ``really'' the South), her politics was probably inferable from her accent.
A rule inferred from a small sample is uncertain, and if the sample is large but homogeneous, that is not much better. An exception -- not to the rule but to the homogeneity -- makes a good test (``proof'' in the old sense) of a rule.
Here are the earliest examples of the expression that I am able to find:
Mr. Rigby retired into his library: the repose of the chamber must have been grateful to his feelings after all this distraction. It was spacious, well-stored, classically adorned, and opened on a beautiful lawn. Rigby threw himself into an ample chair, crossed his legs, and resting his head on his arm, apparently fell into deep contemplation.
He had some cause for reflection, and though we did once venture to affirm that Rigby never either thought or felt, this perhaps may be the exception that proves the rule.
He could scarcely refrain from pondering over the strange event which he had witnessed, and had assisted.
It was an incident that might exercise considerable influence over his fortunes. His patron married, and married to one who certainly did not offer to Mr. Rigby such a prospect of easy management as her step-mother! Here were new influences arising; new characters, new situations, new contingencies. Was he thinking of all this? He suddenly jumps up, hurries to a shelf and takes down a volume. It is his interleaved peerage, of which for twenty years he had been threatening an edition. Turning to the Marquisate of Monmouth, he took up his pen and thus made the necessary entry.
``Married, second time, August 3rd. 1837, The Princess Lucretia Colonna, daughter of Prince Paul Colonna, born at Rome, February 16th. 1819.''
That was what Mr. Rigby called ``a great fact.'' There was not a peerage compiler in England who had that date save himself.
The first published report of an excimer was by Förster and Kasper in 1955. (References are listed in chronological order at the end of this entry.) The term excimer itself was introduced by Stevens in 1961. Many of the early excimer studies involved the fluorescence of monomers in solution. In this situation, excimer fluorescence has a concentration dependence that distinguishes it from ordinary intramolecular components of fluorescence. The intensity of ordinary fluorescence is theoretically linearly proportional to the amount or concentration of the fluorescing species. (This assumes a dilute solution and an excitation intensity low enough not to cause bleaching, among other things.) The same is technically true of excimers, but their concentration depends on the concentration of nearby, initially unbound monomers that may be bonded by light excitation. Hence, the intensity of excimer fluorescence varies as the square of the monomer concentration. Experimentally, these dependencies are rather muddied out, but one finds at least that the specific fluorescence intensity (or fluorescence ``yield'') of excimer bands increases with concentration, while that of monomer bands does not. (The monomer-band intensity may decrease parasitically with increasing concentration, as more relaxation takes place through an excimer relaxation process.) An excimer normally forms by the interaction of an excited monomer with an unexcited one, rather than by direct absorption into an excited state, so the absorption spectrum is insensitive to concentration.
Much of what can be said about dimers in general applies to excimers. In particular, although it is usual to think of the two parts of a dimer as being separate molecules or atoms, and although that is by far the most common case, it is also possible for the parts of a dimer or excimer to already be bonded elsewhere to a common molecule. The fluorescence yield of intramolecular excimers is essentially independent of concentration. However, there are other features of excimers that can lead to an identification. For example, monomer and excimer bands are quenched to different degrees by dissolved oxygen. Another characteristic of excimers is that the excimer band appears as a diffuse shadow of the monomer band, shifted to the red by an energy that depends on the particular bonding species. (Early research concentrated on excimers formed by aromatic hydrocarbons. These all had similar bonding energies, so the excimer fluorescence peaks were about 6000 cm-1 to the red, and similar lifetimes.)
In a thesis at the University of Michigan (``Energy Transfer and Quenching in Plastic Scintillators,'' 1963), Fumio Hirayama used such general features to identify what seemed to be distinct monomer and excimer bands in the spectrum of polystyrene in liquid solution. The relative intensities of the two bands were independent of polystyrene concentration, so he concluded that the excimer was formed intramolecularly. A common way to sort out the structural origin of different fluorescence features is to study series of similar chemicals. Hirayama published such a study in 1965, reporting an interesting ``n = 3'' rule: excimers formed between phenyl groups separated by chains of three (single-bonded) carbons.
In the strictest sense, a dimer consists of two identical parts. In practice, this identity is loosened to a greater or lesser degree. At least, the identity is usually only chemical. (For chemical purposes, different nuclear isotopes are rarely important except in the case of hydrogen, or else in separation processes, as with uranium hexafluoride, purposely designed to amplify the small difference.)
As you can see from the reference list, there's a bit more to come. The entry is under construction. Most of what is currently scheduled to come has to do with names for things like excimers with dissimilar parts. The specific term ``mixed excimer'' was introduced for this and withdrawn in favor of ``exciplex.'' The term excimer is also widely used in a loose sense for exciplexes as well as excimers in the strict sense.
Suzanne Somers writes, ``As you know, I will not put my name on a product unless I truly believe it works. I have beauty products, fitness products, weight-loss products, books, tapes and more!'' This is the woman who decided to forego chemotherapy for her breast cancer, in favor of Iscador, a homeopathic product made using missile tow. Oh wait, I guess that's mistletoe.
At IMDb, you can read about Suzanne Somers's achievements as actress, miscellaneous crew, producer, composer, writer, and television guest. Apparently the HSN stints are not ``notable guest appearances.''
Oh yeah, Suzanne Somers (see exclusive entry above) has put her prestige on the line for FaceMaster, Torso Track, and ThighMaster. She worked in comedy, right? That would explain the machine names. If you order her Somersize motivational products, then maybe when you sell the FaceMaster, Torso Track, and ThighMaster, they won't be like new any more. Also, if you buy her skin care products, you will look as cute as she.
Okay, more serious information about exercise machines is at the mirrors entry. See also dumbbells.
Hey -- it's okay, everyone makes the same mistake!
EL itself is used for English Language, not English as a Language.
In his final year in the Senate, he was the leading sponsor of the indecent Communications Decency Act.
Exoplanets are normally detected by their effects on the light reaching us from the stars they orbit. Two effects have been used in this way. The first is a periodic frequency shift: when a planet is in orbit about a star, a more precise description is that the star and the planet are in orbit about a common center of mass. Thus, unless the system's angular momentum is aligned with our line of sight, the star has an oscillatory radial velocity, giving rise to an oscillatory Doppler shift in its spectrum. The first exoplanet to be discovered was 51 Peg B, detected in 1995 from this kind of signature, found in data collected with a spectrometer called ELODIE.
Over the next decade, well over a hundred planets were discovered by this approach. Another approach, with half a dozen or so planets to its credit, depends on detecting the intensity change that occurs when a planet transits the star it orbits. This is the idea behind WASP. Both approaches require large exoplanets in tight orbits: ``hot Jupiters.''
The term has probably been more common in British than American English, but in the first half of the twentieth century there was a whole tribe of well-known American artist and writer expats in France. The 1960's brought a smaller group of political expats to France, and (as elsewhere) Vietnam deserters and draft evaders.
Expertese as defined here is probably not a very common word, since, afaik, I was the first to coin it. On the other hand, it does occur as a rare (say 0.01%) misspelling of expertise, so we've got a leg up. I coined the word so I would have an entry in which to deposit the following, from Sound and Spelling in English, a thin paperback (61 numbered pages) first published by Chilton Books in 1961. The author was Robert A. Hall, Jr., a professor of linguistics at Cornell University. (Professors at Ivy League universities are generally regarded as experts in their fields -- ex officio, so to speak.) The expertese I want to quote is from pp. 6-7:
... A set of graphemes which stands in more or less one-to-one relation with the phonemes of a language is an alphabet, and any such set may be said to be more or less alphabetical, depending on the closeness of fit between its graphemes and the phonemes they represent. In this connection, by the way, we avoid using the term phonetic to describe the way a language is written, because phonetic, in linguistic analysis, refers to the raw material of speech-sound. All languages, because they are spoken, are by definition phonetic, and it is nonsensical to say, for example, that ``Italian is a more phonetic language than English,'' when what we really mean is that the spelling system of Italian is more nearly alphabetical than that of English.
``When I use a word,'' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ``it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'' At least Professor Dumpty didn't presume to redefine what a word should mean when others used it.
[One of the more contentious issues of public debate in which this kind of expertese plays an important role is intelligence testing. Over time, IQ testers have modified what they mean by intelligence. The change has been well-motivated: the earliest intelligence testers conceived intelligence to be innately determined, but it became clear that nature and nurture interact to produce any intellectual ability that may be measured. It is experimentally difficult to quantify any innate ``aptitude,'' so now intelligence is regarded professionally as an aspect of ``developed ability.'' Conventional usage, on the other hand, still considers intelligence as something like ``aptitude to learn'' or ``ability to think,'' and tends to make an assumption that this is innate (regardless of the degree to which it may be heritable, or possibly damaged by accidents).]
There are other forms of expertese that depend on an unfair and agonistic reading of putative non-experts' assertions. Here's a bit from Étienne-Louis Boullée, in his Architecture. Essai sur l'art, composed no later than 1793 [p. 49 in the edition of Jean-Marie Pérouse de Montclos, (Paris: Hermann, 1968)]:
Qu'est-ce que l'architecture? La définirai-je avec Vitruve l'art de bâtir? Non. Il y a dans cette définition une erreur grossière. Vitruve prend l'effet pour la cause... Il faut concevoir pour effecteur... L'art de bâtir n'est donc qu'un art secondaire, qu'il nous paraît convenable de nommer la parte scientique de l'architecture.
This is quoted by Simon Varey (see book details at the Acknowledgments entry) with a good translation, I think his own:
What is architecture? Am I to define it, with Vitruvius, as the art of building? No. There is a gross error in this definition. Vitruvius mistakes effect for cause. One must conceive in order to realize. The art of building is thus only a secondary art, which it seems reasonable to call the scientific part of architecture.
Right -- as if Vitruvius thought architecture consisted in building ugly piles of rubble under an active volcano, since he didn't say otherwise. Vitruvius might be accused of articulating poorly what architecture is. What philosophasters don't get (or avoid explicitly noticing) is that this is far from not knowing what it is.
Incidentally, to avoid clunky constructions, when I discuss the range of a in this entry, I use the word between in a semi-inclusive sense, as illustrated in the following important special case:
Engineering notation is a special case of base-ten exponential notation in which c is chosen to be a multiple of 3 and |a| lies between [1,1000). It happens to coincide with the mental organization of numbers into thousands, millions, billions, etc. That's American billions.
Prefixes added to the metric system since the original (1793) milli-, centi-, deci-, deca-/deka-, hecto- and kilo- were eventually aligned with this factors-of-1000 idea. [In 1795, the prefix myria- was added (cf. myriad below). It represented a factor of 104 and was abbreviated my- or ma-. Combined prefixes such as decimilli- (dm-) for 10-4 and hectokilo- (hk-) for 105 were also widely used. By 1874, mega- and micro- were used in the cgs system. In 1960, it was decided to have names only for integer powers of 1000, allowing only the four exceptions in the 1793 set, so both myria- and the combined prefixes were declared obsolete. The prefix myrio-, abbreviated mo-, was created unofficially to represent 10-4, by analogy with myria-. Probably the less said about it the better.]
There are other ways to do things that may seem equally reasonable. One corresponds to the system that uses a word like milliard or a term like ``thousand million,'' and has billions, trillions, and so forth that are the second, third, and so forth powers of a million.
In the days before the ability to express millions and billions of anything had any utility, the number ten thousand (10,000) got its own non-compound name in many European and Asian languages. In English the word was myriad. Cf. lakh and crore.
In computer memory, floating-point numbers are normally stored in the equivalent of exponential notation. The most common standard is IEEE 754, which uses a base of 2 and a values less than 0.5 (decimal). Perhaps this treatment of the mantissa (even before IEEE 754 was promulgated) is what led some computer programs to have a default form of exponential notation for printing in which a was between 0.1 and 1.0 (for positive numbers).
Back in a wilder and woolier day when every new product defined (or planted) its own ``standard,'' different manufacturers designed machines with other bases than two. The IBM 360 used hexadecimal representations (base 16ten), and many have used decimal representations (base ten, you've heard of this? see BCD). Ternary (base-three) systems are of sentimental interest, and have been widely studied at the theoretical level. A particular attraction is that balanced real-number representations (using digits with values +1, 0, and -1) make rounding and subtraction more elegant.
The deepest implementation of electronic ternary computing was in the Setun computers designed at Moscow State University in the late 1950's and early 60's. As near as I can make out (this seems to give the most complete picture in English), these were essentially ternary arithmetic logic units, memory, and I/O units attached to essentially binary logic units. The ternary units were based on ordinary binary hardware: that is, they used binary-coded ternary (two bits per ``tryte'' -- three-valued digit). The ALU was a fixed-point processor, but there was a normalization instruction that apparently sort of patched this, and the machine code included a multiply instruction but no divide. But it was all very elegant. The output device used an exotic mix of base-nine and base-three digits. Various shallower implementations of ternary arithmetic have been created: ternary emulator programs made to run on the usual sort of computer. At the device level, high speed is achieved by various techniques that depend on the binary (i.e., on/off) interpretation of voltage or curent levels. It's not clear that there is any ternary analog of this within semiconductor technology, though Josephson-junction and quantum computing are another story. As long as the underlying technology is binary, it looks like there will always be substantial waste in implementing ternary logic over it.
You know, we're only now finally getting to the interesting stuff that motivated me to write this entry in the first place. It's a paragraph in O.P. Jaggi: A Concise History of Science including Science in India (Atma Ram & Sons, 1974), p. 305:
Aryabhata expressed high numbers by means of syllables. He could do so since ancient Indian phoneticians had devised a phonetic alphabet which included 15 vowels, 25 stopped consonants (k-m) and eight other letters (y-h). Aryabhata used the stopped consonants to represent the number [sic] 1-25 when they preceded the vowel a and high decimal powers of these numbers (up to 1016) when they preceded other vowels. The letters y-h were used to represent the number 30-100 [i.e., 30, 40, ... 100]. Thus while ta represented 3, ti stood for 300 and tu for 30,000.
Obviously, we have a base-100ten system here. The syllables were used in little-endian fashion to build up any integer within a large range (e.g., ta ti represented 303). As described by Jaggi, this system provides too many ways to represent certain numbers, since only 9 vowels, and usually 11 stopped and 7 nonplosive consonants, would suffice to cover the same range. The Wikipedia article on Aryabata cipher (browsed May 2007) seems to agree on the nine vowels, but it still has multiple representations for numbers (including most of the largest precise ones). Then again, the bug is a feature if you want to interpret any Sanskrit text as a number.
I don't want to give the wrong impression: systematic positional representations of numbers, as well as various kinds of zero, were in use long before this (ca. 500) system of Aryabhata, and his doesn't even make essential use of the positionality. However, his system seems most specifically to anticipate exponential notation. In a commentary on Aryabhata's work, Bhaskara created a decimal representation, with zero, that had a unique representation. I'll have to find out how similar his name really is to the word bascaro.
I used to think that the people waiting in front of ``seven items or fewer'' signs with overflowing carts were just brazen folk who wanted to shave a minute off time-to-car. Then I realized that couldn't be the case, because express lanes don't move any faster than the regular lanes.
This stuff is important to single men, who always buy things in threes. We go in to buy one thing, and notice three others (we forget to buy what we came for, but we'll get it when we come back for something different). One of the things we buy is frozen pizza. Usually we get stuck behind five women with fourteen items each (``fifteen items or fewer'' lane), paying with rubbers, uh, rubber checks. Of course, some of the bar codes refuse to scan. This is not accidental: women enjoy shopping, so they like to prolong the experience as much as possible. They sneak stuff into the women's room and deface the bar codes, I'm sure of it.
Men prefer to dash in and out, get it over with as quickly as possible.
Shopping is like sex.
Discussion continued at the internalist entry.
In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oölitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of alderment. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
Darrell Huff quotes this passage to end his classic How to Lie With Statistics (New York and London: Norton, 1954), citing it as a telling condemnation of inappropriate extrapolation. It is true that extrapolation can be taken too far, and that literally. However, the first problem with Twain's passage is not the extrapolation but the premise. The baseline is evidently the length of the lower Mississippi some time before 1700, which can't have been known very precisely. What this really demonstrates is a problem of error propagation.
I think that the most popular extrapolatio ad absurdum -- and one based on reliable data -- used to be the one about telephone operators in the US. I can't find it immediately, but this paper provides data sufficient to reproduce it. In the second decade of the twentieth century, the number of telephone operators roughly doubled to 200 thousand, while the population only increased by 15%, to 105.7 million. Thus, the fraction of the population employed as operators was 0.2% in 1920, but had been increasing at a rate of 5.7% per year. At that rate, by 2033 or so, the number of operators would exceed the population. Because of the baby boom, of course, that never happened. For a little more of this sort of nonsense, see the newspaper and ISI entries.
For that matter, there are surgeons who work for a Saudi royal clientele, who specialize in repairing hymens. It's a popular form of elective surgery in Japan too.
Well, I read that the technical spec for the extra virgin designation is ``less than one percent acidity,'' which is meaningless. Oh, here we go: According to the standards promulgated by the IOOC, ``free fatty acid is less than 1.0% (% m/m in oleic acid).'' Now we're talkin' -- always state the units. A second requirement is that ``peroxide value is less than or equal to 20 (in milleq. peroxide oxygen per kg/oil).'' Oils that satisfy those technical specifications are further assessed by an organoleptic panel, which conducts a blind taste tests, considering fruitiness, bitterness and pungency. If at least one third of the panel approves, the oil can be certified as extra virgin.
In order to make sure that the oil presented for certification is the same as the oil sold, the certification authority takes a fatty-acid profile of the tested oil (essentially a chromatography plot: mole fraction or similar measure versus molecular weight) as a finger-print for comparison with random testing of marketed oil.
Low acidity is achieved by careful handling to avoid premature bruising, and oil extraction the hard way -- by cold pressing. Heating and repressing yield more oil that is more acidic and gets a lower-grade designation (``virgin'' or ``pure'').
According to THE DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE BY E. COBHAM BREWER FROM THE NEW AND ENLARGED EDITION OF 1894:
Grotto of Ephesus (The). The test of chastity. E. Bulwer-Lytton, in his Tales of Miletus (iii.), tells us that near the statue of Diana is a grotto, and if, when a woman enters it, she is not chaste, discordant sounds are heard and the woman is never seen more; if, however, musical sounds are heard, the woman is a pure virgin and comes forth from the grotto unharmed.
The text I've highlighted in bold below was the original motivation of this entry; the rest is for context. I think she's serious.
As usual, Bruce Fuller and Lance Izumi, my fellow Education Watch contributors, make some fascinating points, none more startling to me than Lance's casual throw-away that Barack Obama sends his children to private school. As a rabid public school Democrat, I crumpled in despair at the news.
Look, I am not in politics, I get no money from foundations, I do not get invited to lecture on third world eco-sustainability on luxury cruises. I have no highly placed blue-state friends and I will soon be a divorced woman because my die-hard Democratic husband will not brook any dissent, public or private, about our party.
Fair enough, fair enough, but here's the thing: I do not know why Barack and Michelle Obama cannot send their children to a nice public school in Hyde Park. You understand that I am a bit unstable this election season (I voted for Hillary) and I do my research by erratically Googling from home. ...
The program is a business activity of SigEx, and there's a ``SigEx Fellowship Program'' which appears to be a product promotion in the form of a lottery. SigEx was founded by Frédéric Artru and Christopher M. Cantell. A fine example of self-reverence occurs at paragraph three of the grant application guidelines:
The conception of the [SegEx] Foundry came about with the meltdown of the telecommunications industry. This meltdown can be explained by Cantell's Law that states, ``Time value approaches zero.'' This means that over time, products lose their value and without additional services and technology advancement, they will eventually become obsolete.
What the word ``means'' means in the preceding paragraph is interesting. In a first approximation, ``means'' here means ``doesn't mean,'' since there is no reason why ``time value approaches'' should mean ``over time, value approaches'' even in the most abased forms of business English. One might try to improve the definition of ``means'' in this instance to ``is incoherently phrased with the intention of meaning,'' but that may not quite give the writer enough credit for realizing his intention. A common technique of prophets is to take an ordinary idea (``some commodities become cheaper in real terms'' is an ordinary idea) and express it obscurely or incomprehensibly. By ``discovering'' or explicating the meaning of this expression or riddle, the prophet can achieve the illusion of wisdom.
The SigEx Fellows Program has an address on Primrose Path, in the US state most associated with underwater-land swindles. I learned about it through spam.
Sometimes eye dialect indicates pronunciation that may be all-but-standard in large communities (e.g., assimilation of ``don't you'' into ``dontcha'' or ``doncha''). Often the nonstandard spelling does not indicate a nonstandard pronunciation (e.g., ``enuff'' for enough). To a degree in the first case, and usually in the second, eye dialect is a way of suggesting that the person whose speech is represented is un- or poorly educated.
The US IRS and the revenue agencies of many states use EZ as a suffix on form designations to designate simplified versions. For example, the basic IRS filing form for personal income taxes is the 1040. The 1040 EZ is a simple version of that for people with only the more common and ordinary sources of income. The 1040A is something intermediate.
E uropeanizatio N |<-- -->| 13 chars.We here at SBF effect our own e13n by using the Internet to make our acronym glossary available throughout Europe. We generally expand German acronyms in German, Spanish acronyms in Spanish, ktl. How much more Europeanized can you get? So here we go:
French: E uropéanisatio n |<-- -->| 13 chars. German: die Europaeisieru ng (die13ng -- hey, I tried.) |<-- -->| 13 chars. Canadian: E uropeanisatio n (Canada -- that's pretty close to Europe) |<-- -->| 13 chars.I understand that the British often use Canadian spellings, but checking the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) I see only the American spelling for this word.
See also i18n, j10n, L10n, and las onces.
I suppose that some may be unaware that the OED -- somewhat idiosyncratically for a British dictionary -- eschews -isation spellings. For their benefit...
For more of these, see the EXL entry.
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