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Chemical symbol for niobium. A period-4 transition metal, atomic number 41, named after Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus. The element was earlier known as columbium and had the symbol Cb. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Narrow Band.

Neutral Buoyancy.

Postal abbreviation for the province of New Brunswick in Canada (.ca). Capital: Fredericton. That's right, no k. They spell everything a little bit funny up there. Must be the latitude.

Where is Old Brunswick?

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are known as the Maritime Provinces, or the Maritimes. At the time this nomenclature arose, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador could not be included among maritime provinces of Canada because it was not a province but a separate entity (as explained at the NF entry). If you wanted a definition that works today, you could say that the Maritimes are those provinces all of whose territory is within 300 km or 200 mi. of an ocean coast. The Atlantic Provinces (Maritimes plus NL) would have a corresponding definition with 300 mi.

[column] The 6th Annual University of New Brunswick Ancient History Colloquium is scheduled to take place in Fredericton, NB, on 20 March 1999. The conference is entitled: GREEKS ON THE APPIAN WAY: PROGRESS, DECLINE OR STAGNATION. This link is to the first announcement. Further information will appear on the departmental homepage for Classics & Ancient History at UNB.

Other things probably will happen in NB in 1999, but we're pretty selective.


Nota Bene. Italian, `Note well.' Not Latin, as claimed in this somewhat shorter list of abbreviations, and also by the O.E.D. It merely happens that nota bene has the same meaning in Latin, but that's pure coincidence.

National Basketball Association.

National Business Aviation Association. I could have sworn it was the ``National Business Aircraft Association.'' Maybe it was. The NBAA represents ``corporate planes.''

In September 2007, outgoing FAA administrator Marion C. Blakey spoke to a group of aviation executives at the Aero Club. He warned them that ``[a]irline schedules have got to stop being the fodder for late-night monologues. And if the airlines don't address this voluntarily, don't be surprised when the government steps in.'' According to an AP report, the US DoT estimated that only 70% of US flights had arrived on time the previous July. And my mom's flight from Vancouver was delayed by over two hours yesterday, so this is a serious problem that's hitting home! Blakey advocated pissy little steps like transitioning from 1960's-era radar-based air traffic control systems to satellite-based technology. However, this would cost the commercial airlines $15 billion in new equipment (instrumentation, not necessarily new planes) and would cost the FAA itself 15 to 22 billion dollars, and the result -- according to Blakey -- would only be to reduce delays by about 20%, and to reduce noise for 600,000 people. That's 600,000 people net, and there seems to be more resistance from those who would get more noise than push from people who would get less.

David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association (which represents US commercial airlines) had a number of comments in reponse. Among other things, he observed that in 1970, when Congress established the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, there were 2,500 commercial airplanes and 1,800 corporate jets in the US, and that at the end of 2006, 8,000 commercial airplanes and 18,000 corporate planes were operating 40,000 to 50,000 flights per day in US airspace. He also said that commercial jets made up 40% of air traffic in the congested Northeast. In her own remarks, Blakey had commented that corporate aviators should also be prepared to chip in. I'm going by a news report, so I don't know if ``chip in'' were her precise words. I imagine that the cheaepest way to chip in would be to increase spending on Washington lobbyists. What Blakey had in mind was that ``Flying to and from wherever you want whenever you want is not a free utility. You need to expect to pay for it.''

National Black Bookstore Week.

National Broadcasting Corporation. Parent company is GE.

The fall 2003 season was not all that NBC hoped it would be, and less. According to NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker:

Some of our programs just sucked.

(It can't have been the fault of management.)

In 2007, NBC failed to fire William Arkin.

Not Backward-Compatible.

Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical. An ``NBC suit'' is one intended to afford some protection against NBC hazards.

Cf. CBS.

National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. ``Promoting Quality Counseling Through Certification.'' (Also used for National-Board-Certified Counselor.)

National Book Critics Circle. I'm not sure if this organization has any existence beyond the awards it gives out each year.

NBC Special
In 46 years (to the end of 1996) Bob Hope has done 286 TV specials for NBC. ``Special''?

National Board Certified Teacher. A teacher certified by the NBPTS.

NBA Development League. A/k/a NBA D-League. I guess it's something like NCAA basketball without the ``student-athlete'' hypocrisy.

National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.. ``[A] private, non-profit, non-partisan organization engaged in quantitative analysis of the American economy.''

National Business Employment Weekly. Published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) company.

Non-Bank Financial Institution.

National Board of Medical Examiners. Related: United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

NonBonding Molecular Orbital (MO). Wallflower orbitals; they don't have to mix and move up (ABMO) or down (BMO), you know.

No, this is not a compass direction. It's an abbreviation of the name of a movie.

National (contract) Bridge Organization. The terms national and country are occasionally used in other than the precise political sense. For example, the WBF's page for the Central American and Caribbean Bridge Federation (visited December 2006) explains that ``The members of the Central American and Caribbean Bridge Federation are the National Federations of the affiliated countries. Currently, the CACBF comprises 24 member countries, totalling 1,811 registered players, as follows...'' Among the 24 ``member countries'' are Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Netherlands Antilles, and the US Virgin Islands (140 members), none of which is an independent country. District 9 of the ACBL includes the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, so there's probably a complicated deal there. District 9 has a bit over 1000 members and comprises four ACBL units: 102 (contiguous pieces of Florida's Sarasota and Manatee counties), 219 (the Florida panhandle, from Jefferson County west), 240 (Florida's Seminole, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Indian River counties), 243 (Broward County, Florida) and 128 (the rest of Florida, plus Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands). I swear, just writing the names of Florida counties gives me PTSD (the initial trauma having been the 2000 election aftermath). Bermuda also has some odd kind of deal going. Probably counterclockwise.

An interesting omission is Belize, which is an independent country. (It is normally regarded as a Caribbean nation, like Trinidad and Tobago, and not as a Central American country. There's some history behind this.) Belize has plenty of bridge players and has had a few local clubs over the years; I suspect they mostly join the ACBL.

Name-Binding Protocol.

National Basketball Players Association. ``National'' as in ``National Basketball Assocation'' (NBA).

National Broadcast Pilots Association. It is ``an organization for pilots and crew members flying Electronic News Gathering aircraft for both television and radio as well as those companies directly involved in making aerial news possible. We are committed to enhancing safety for all ENG crew members through better communication with each other and the local authorities. The association was formed in 1984 by Leo Galanis with the goal of having all ENG pilots talking to each other while working in close proximity. The NBPA now has members in most of the major markets as well as other countries.''

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Since the 1980's, there have been continuing efforts to reform and improve the quality of teaching in the US. Some reforms are changes in teaching practice dictated by education bureaucrats, about which this glossary entry will be tactfully silent. Some reforms involve increasing remuneration for teachers; it takes special talent to make this idea fail, and -- all other things being equal -- good teaching follows good money.

A very common reform has been to tighten up teacher certification. In principle, this ought to work by providing excluding the least able entrants to the teaching profession or forcing them to improve. In practice, teaching reforms have coincided with a teacher shortage, so that whenever teacher cert has threatened to keep significant numbers of incompetent teachers out of classrooms, states have issued emergency credentials, circumventing the reform. One benefit of teacher testing has been to demonstrate, by the low standards that the tests impose, just how serious the problem is. For references, see

William A. Firestone, S. Rosenblum, B. D. Bader, and Diane Massell, ``Recent Trends in State Education Reform: Assessment and Prospects,'' Teachers College Record, vol. 94, #2 (Winter 1992), p. 254-77.

Diane Massell and Susan Fuhrman, Ten Years of Education Reform: 1983-1993 (New Brunswick, NJ: Consortium for Research in Education, 1994).

NBPTS certification is valid for ten years. Application for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards requires a $2,000 fee, as of the 1999-2000 school year. That rises to $2,300 beginning in the 2000-2001 school year. Federal funds provide $1,000 toward the application fee for those teachers who complete the process, but not all do. The hoops one is to jump through require 200-400 hours of effort, by estimate of the NBPTS. Many states offer to defray the cost or guarantee wage increments to those successfully certified (NBCT's) and/or those who mentor applicants. The National Education Association (NEA) offers loans as a member benefit for those seeking national certification.

National Bureau of Asian Research. The ``National'' refers to the US. It's based in Washington. That would be Seattle, Washington. That Washington is closer to Asia, so the bureau has convenient access to Asians who can do whatever sort of research it is that they do.

Nitrile Butadiene Rubber. A butadiene and acrylonitrile copolymer.

National Bureau of Standards. Now the NIST.

Near-Ballistic Transport.

Nationaal Bureau voor Toerisme. Dutch `National Board for Tourism.' It appears that this and the VVV are part of the ANVV.

National Baton Twirling Association. The world body that NBTA is affiliated with is the GA.

National Business Travel Association.

N.B.T.A. England
National Baton Twirling Association -- England. Sometimes also called NBTA UK. Founded in 1982.

NBTA Europe
National Baton Twirling Association -- Europe.

The National Baton Twirling Association is the biggest European Association for twirlers and majorettes. It is dedicated to promoting an interaction between twirling countries. The association aims to encourage active participation in twirling countries in Europe, to strengthen the movement internationally and to stimulate the stage of European and World events. Membership is open to all those countries who have an association and organise their own National Championships. Membership is also open for those countries who want to found an association for twirling and/or majorettes in their country and are looking at the possibility to become members of NBTA-Europe. They can ask NBTA-Europe for help to organise it. The member countries are interested in partaking in high calibre European and/or World Championships. When a country is accepted as a member of NBTA-Europe they are allowed to represent their country under the name of NBTA-(name of the country). NBTA-Europe is member of the Global Association for twirling and majorettes.

Yeah, that does seem to suggest that some people regard twirlers and majorettes as not quite equivalent sets. Let me know when you figure it out.

NBTA France
National Baton Twirling Association -- France.

N.B.T.A. Norway
Try NMF. National Baton Twirling Association -- England. Sometimes also called NBTA UK. Founded in 1982.

N.B.T.A. Scotland
National Baton Twirling Association -- Scotland.

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National Champion[s[hip]]. NCAA division I-A football does not have a playoff system. Instead, a perpetually controversial ranking (see BCS) determines which teams are eligible to meet in the major Bowl games. A true National Championship is a pipe dream. Those willing to settle for less than true (the official ``mythical national championship'') can go by the winner of the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona (where the first- and second-ranked teams play each other) or, particularly if the first-place team loses, the final poll rankings.

National Coarse. One of two US standards (the other is NF) for screw dimensions. Speaking of standards...

Various places are generally recognized as the standard-setters for various specialized productions -- particularly food. Virginia is the name to conjure with if you're conjuring glazed ham, Boston is the place for baked scrod, etc. (see the .ca entry for more examples). Boston is also known for well-educated taxi drivers, the same way Bhutan is known for piano players (see the ABPT entry). Haven't you heard this one already? Oh well, for archival purposes, then.

The cabbie picks up a fare at Logan International Airport, and as they're headed for the hotel the passenger asks ``do you know where I can get screwed around here?'' As the driver seems stunned, the passenger continues ``what's the matter, hasn't anybody asked you that before?'' The cabbie replies ``sure, but I never heard the regular form of the past participle before.''

Network Channel.

New Carpet[ing]. An abbreviation in real estate listings or CMA's, according to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying and Selling a Home (5/e, 2006). I've never seen this abbreviation, but I know less about this stuff than the authors (Shelley O'Hara and Nancy D. Lewis). Normally I would just count ghits, but there are abbreviations used internally in the real estate business that don't show up very prominently on the Internet. I could probably get a reliable second opinion from my agent, but she's a resource I'd rather not waste on idle questions. (I've also never seen HF, NF, NR, PA, PO, or
(Domain name code for) Nouvelle-Calédonie (a/k/a New Caledonia). I don't know anything about the place, but I think it would be cool if they were a major manufacturer or consumer or whatever of chalcedony, about which I don't know anything either. There's a local government site.

No Chord. An indication on guitar music that only the chords should not be strummed in that section.

I guess if you got here by following the link from the guitar entry, then the entry so far has been something of a disappointment. I should add something to make it worth your while. I'll point out that music for guitar is written on an ordinary (G-clef, treble-clef) staff, but the pitches represented by notes on the staff are shifted by an octave for convenience.

No Connection. Pins available for future expansion. Or pins not wired because standard package has more pins than you need.

NC, N.C.
Normally Closed. Switch and relay designation. Also describes museums in Rome. Cf. N.O..

NC, N.C.
USPS and conventional abbreviations for North Carolina. (The USPS abbreviation uses no periods.)

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for North Carolina. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links for the state.

See also the Mo. entry for an interesting folk-etymological connection.

Numerical Control or Numerically Control[led] (machinery or manufacturing).

The term doesn't refer to the Jacquard loom, as you might suppose.

NC is understood to exclude computer numerical control (CNC). To the operator, NC and CNC machinery seem much the same: both read a stored program (originally on punched tape, subsequently on magnetic and optical storage media). In NC machinery, the instructions are read and performed directly. In CNC machinery, the program is input to a dedicated computer. CNC machinery may collect data and communicate with other machines and computers over a network.

National (US) Candle Association. Most of the computers I have ever bought are now obsolete, but candles keep on burning.

National Cattlemen's Association. A common name (maybe the old name) of the NCBA.

National Cathedral Association. A membership organization associated with the Washington National Cathedral (WNC).

National Command Authorities. The US President and Secretary of Defense or their duly deputized alternates or successors. See the J (for Joint) entry.

National Communication Association. Former official name, and still the main name I heard used until 1997, was SCA (S for Speech). Cf. ICA.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The group that accredits the University of Notre Dame.

National Collegiate Athletic Association.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Football.

National Coalition of Alternative Schools.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools? You want the NCA.

North Carolina Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus. A membership organization of NC-destination marketing organizations.

(Irish) National College of Art & Design.

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug information. A ``service'' of SAMHSA.

Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (CAM). Not the same as NgCAM (q.v.).

National Center for Atmospheric Research (in Boulder, CO).

National Center for Asphalt Technology.

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Founded in the mid-1950's. As of the year 2000, fewer than a dozen states mandated NCATE accreditation and most teachers' colleges were not NCATE-accredited.

Whereas law, medicine, and other professions are largely self-regulated (in the US) by organizations of practitioners, the teaching profession (at elementary and secondary levels) is mostly externally regulated, by the states. In most states, licensing requirements for individual teachers are set by state education agencies and state boards of education. Similarly, most states have their own agencies to accredit teacher training institutions, rather than use NCATE.

National Certification Body. The IECEE has developed a CB Scheme to give manufacturers an expeditious and cost-effective route to certification by NCB's.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The association for national cattlemen with a beef, I guess. Why not NCA?

National Cooperative Business Association.

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Formerly a division (DBDDD) of the environmental health center (NCEH), now a center of its own. (One of the CDC's component ``Centers.'')

New Caledonia Bridge Federation. I don't know why it's not called something like la Fédération de Bridge de Nouvelle-Calédonie. By whatever name, it's one of the four NBO's comprising the South Pacific Bridge Federation (SPBF -- Zone 7 of the WBF).

Neighborhood Capital Budget Group. An NGO for the neighborhood known as Chicago.

National Center for Biotechnology Information.

National Center for Biomedical Ontology. Alas, that's not a typo for oncology. At inception in 2005, it is part of the National Centers for Biomedical Computing and funded by an NIH grant of $18.8 million.

National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

National Certification Corporation. It's a US nonprofit corporation ``that provides a [note the indefinite article] national credentialing program for nurses, physicians and other licensed health care personnel. Certification is awarded to nurses in the obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing specialties and certificates of added qualification are awarded to licensed health care professionals in the subspecialty area of electronic fetal monitoring.''

National Citizens Coalition. ``For more freedom through less [Canadian] government.'' Founded by Colin M. Brown in 1967.

National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. A group founded in 1892, consisting of legal scholars and lawyers who draft model laws. These have no legal force as such, but their adoption by state legislatures simplifies interstate commerce by establishing uniformity. State legislatures often adopt these model laws only in part, but even that has the effect of clarifying and sequestering the statutory differences among states. The first uniform law was the Uniform Negotiable Instruments Law, completed by the NCC in 1896. By the early 1920's it had been adopted in whole or in part by every US state (then in existence). Over 200 model laws have been issued by the NCC, the most ambitious being the UCC.

Note that even when the letter of the law is the same in different states, court interpretation may differ, just as British common law is subject to differing interpretations in the jurisdictions where it holds. Indeed, the accumulated variety in the latter is the reason that the ALI (q.v.) publishes its Restatements.

National Council of Churches. Standard shorthand for National Council of Churches of Christ, which is also abbreviated NCCC (q.v.).

NCC-1701 was (is, will be, whatever) the Starship Enterprise, commanded by Captain James T. Kirk. James is a gospel and Kirk means church. There's a Captain Kirke in Wilkie Collins's novel No Name. For a little more about Collins, read through the entire long Septimus entry. Hang in there! You're bound to find something.

Navajo Community College.

Network Control Center.

Non-Campus Countries. For the most part, these are countries that participate in the University of the West Indies (UWI) but do not host a campus. As of 2004, there are twelve such countries. In addition UWI has a ``special relationship with the Turks and Caicos Islands, so that they are considered one of the NCCs.''

National Christian Counselors Association.


North Carolina Classical Association.

National Cervical Cancer Coalition.

National Council of Churches of Christ. Includes ``mainline'' churches of the US, representing about 50 million churchgoers. The organization is widely regarded as more liberal than its rank and file. An ecumenical body comprising 36 Orthodox and Protestant communions, and 140,000 congregations.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Part of the US government's CDC.

National Center for Computational Electronics.

NATO Command, Control and Information System. Vide C3I. See? WhaddItellya?

National Capital Citizens with Low Vision. Washington, D.C., affiliate of the CCLVI.

National Council of Community Mental Health Centers.

National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. Based in Washington, D.C. Founded by Emma Holder in 1975.

National Credit Counseling Services.

Numerical Control Computer Sciences.

North Carolina Central University. An HBCU.

A Constitution class starship, first lauched from the San Francisco Fleet Yards in 2245, captained by James T. Kirk, a stiff ex-Shakespearean actor, starting in 2265. Unnerstand? NCC-1701-A through NCC-1701-D were a refit and successors. There's a locally served shrine. Look at this dedicated site for more. Cf. NC-17.

Negotiable Certificate of Deposit.

Nonlinear Circular Dichroism. For a measurement technique based on this, see J. B. Stark, W. H. Knox, and D. S. Chemla, Phys. Reb. Lett. vol. 68, pp. 3080ff (1992).

National College of District Attorneys. ``America's school for prosecutors -- the education division of NDAA'' (National District Attorneys Association). That's very nice, but I was looking for Justice League of America; don't they have like a superhero summer camp or anything?

National Cancer Data Base (of the ACS).

National Climatic Data Center.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. It's ``the agency charged with implementing the State's public school laws and the State Board of Education's policies and procedures governing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education.''

National (US) Community Development Services, Inc. They conduct large-scale funding campaigns for nonprofit organizations. It does not appear that NCDS itself is a non-profit.

New Chemical Entity. In the US, the first point at which the FDA becomes officially involved in the development of a new drug is the ``NCE submission.'' A pharmaceutical company submits data on an NCE to the FDA, so that the FDA will permit the company to go forward with animal testing to determine any desirable and undesirable effects. Companies usually file a patent application at this time or before; the patent application takes about two years. You wonder just what you can legitimately report to the FDA or include as claims on a patent application, if you can't yet have conducted even animal experiments to determine any desirable effects of the drug.

I haven't sorted out yet whether NCE is a term for any new chemical for which an NCE submission is made to the FDA, or a classification for only those compounds which the FDA has approved for further research. Given the catch-22 logic of the process, it probably is required to mean both.

NormoChromatic Erythrocyte. An etymological barbarism intended to mean normal-colored red blood cell. Cf. the merely amusing PCE.

National Catholic Educational Association.

Northeast Consortium for Engineering Education. Offices in Virginia. Northeast what?

National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. An NSF center at UB.

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National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Based in Clemson, South Carolina, which used to have a good football program. Creates examinations in the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE); these are administered by state boards which use them to certify engineers. (Specifically, by an entity that is typically called the [State] Board [of {Examiners|Registration}] for [Architects,] [Professional] Engineers and [Professional] [Land] Surveyors'' or something else. There's an alternate site.] Thank God for the tenth amendment, huh?) States and Territories (``other jurisdictions'') differ in their requirements, much as state bar associations. For example, some allow a PE in one field to ``practice'' in any field.

The exams themselves appear to be rather easy; few will quit working to study for them. In point of fact, passing the test demonstrates the ability to do something right, and secondarily to know which things one is likelier to be able to do right. (I.e., picking the right answer to a question like ``Do eight of the following twenty-four problems.'')

This board certification is of very variable utility. From the point of view of the individual professional, board certification is vital if one wants to put out a shingle and practice as an independent consultant. It is least important for the employee in a corporation, where, depending on the field of engineering concerned, state (or other jurisdiction) requirements can be satisfied by having one PE who can ``sign off'' on work done by a non-PE.

The exams are woefully behind the times, but board accreditation is not very coincidentally unimportant for fields of engineering which are progressing most quickly. A measure of the depth of the mud they stick in, perhaps, is the fact that many of the state boards lack email addresses.

National Center for Environmental Health. One of the ``Centers'' that the CDC comprises.

National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health. A research center of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute.

National (US) Centers for Environmental Prediction.

National Center for Environmental Research.

National Center for Education Statistics. Of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

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National College Football Awards Association.

National Center for Farmworker Health.

National Communications Forum.

National Conversion Factor. A conversion factor between local and national average medical procedure price ranges.

Northern California Golf Association.

A useful hint fer furriners: G is ``gee,'' J is ``jay.''

National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. There are three, funded by the NSF: center at UB.

National Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Founded in 1938, changed name in 1946 to ACGIH, q.v.

National Center for Genome Resources.

National Coalition for the Homeless.

National Center for Higher Education. On Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

National (US) Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

National Council of the Housing Industry.

North Carolina History of Medicine? Oh, very good! It's not that, but it's very close. N stands for Northern, and there's a Durham in there (see CHMD). It's the Northern (England) Centre for the History of Medicine.

National Coalition for Haitian Rights. ``[S]eeks to promote the rights of Haitian refugees and Haitian-Americans under U.S. and international law, advance respect for human rights, the rule of law, and support for civil and democratic society in Haiti.'' Unsurprisingly and lamentably, they're not having so much success in Haiti (.ht) as in the US.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

National Cancer Institute, part of NIH.

Network Channel Interface.

National (US) Charities Information Bureau. This was apparently absorbed by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), which merged it with its Philanthropic Advisory Service (PAS). Or something like that. Anyway, the website that's left to go to is Give.org of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Or you could give to me.

National Center for Infectious Diseases. Part of the CDC.

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

National Criminal Justice Association.

National (US) Council of Japanese Language Teachers. There were 24 regional affiliates (state and multistate associations) when I checked in 2008.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Sponsored by the US government.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2002.


(US) National Committee for Latin and Greek.

National Conference of Lieutenant Governors.

National (US) Commission on Libraries and information Science.

National Council for Languages and International Studies. ``The member organizations of NCLIS-JNCL are united in their belief that all Americans must have the opportunity to learn and use English and at least one other language.'' It seems like a modest goal.

National Center for Lesbian Rights.

National Council of La Raza. Interestingly, one thing that distinguishes Hispanics or Latinos is the fact of not comprising a single race. I first heard ``la raza'' used by Mexican-Americans in California, and there it made a little bit of sense, but NCLR professes to represeent all Hispanics in the US.

National Concrete Masonry Association.

Non-Community Mediterranean Countries. Mediterranean countries that are not part of the EU, once called the European Community (EC).

National Center for Montessori Education. In Norcross, GA.

National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.

National Council Nonprofit Associations.

New China News Agency. Xinhua. Many of the reports are accurate.

No Conservatives Need Apply.

National Council of Negro Women.

Non-Commissioned Officer. A noncom, q.v. The term ``commission'' is military usage.

National Coming Out Day. October 11. Back before mondayized holidays, Columbus Day was celebrated October 12. That was a kind of coming-in day (it commemorated Spanish landfall in the New World). NCOD is not celebrated during the Gay and Lesbian Pride Month of June. See more under that month at the Hispanic Heritage Month entry.

National Coördination Office for HPCC.

National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages. If you can pronounce the acronym you're ready to take advanced-level Nahuatl. Read the LCTL entry, written in the most commonly taught second language.

National Center for Ontological Research.

``Ontology is a fast-growing branch of computer and information science concerned with the development of tools and theories designed to improve the integration and processing of data and information from heterogeneous sources. In response to the needs expressed by a variety of government and industrial bodies, the University at Buffalo and Stanford University have established the National Center for Ontological Research (NCOR), which is designed to serve as a vehicle to coordinate and enhance ontology research through the establishment and dissemination of best practices in ontology development and use.''

Feynman is sniggering in his grave. After all, it's not his tax money. You can't take it with you.

(US) National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan.

Netware Core Protocol. (Novell.)

Network Control Point.

Network Control Program. Implemented the ARPANET host-to-host protocol.

Network Control Protocol. The original host-to-host communication protocol of ARPANET, superseded by TCP/IP.

National (US) Center for (US) Policy Analysis. ``[A] nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. The NCPA's goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. Topics include reforms in health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare, criminal justice, education and environmental regulation.''

National Collegiate Paintball Association.

(US) National Capital Planning Commission. According to itself, it ``provides overall planning guidance for federal land and buildings in the National Capital Region, which includes the District of Columbia; Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland; and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties in Virginia, including the cities and towns located within the geographic area bounded by these counties. Through its planning policies and review of development proposals, the Commission seeks to protect and enhance the extraordinary historical, cultural, and natural resources of the nation's capital.''

Sometimes expanded ``National Capitol Planning Commission.'' Its most prominent work has to do with the Capitol Mall in DC. (It seems that the Capitol Mall is officially the National Mall, so it is just the Capitol mall.)

Non-Critical Phase Matching.

National Center for PhotoVoltaics. Part of NREL.

National Committee for Quality Assurance. ``[A]n independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assessing and reporting on the quality of managed care plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMO's). They've been running an accreditation program for managed-care plans since about 1991.

National Cash Register. Purchased in 1995 by AT&T, now called ATTGIS.

The original cash register was invented by James J. Ritty in 1879. It was not a convenience, but a way to record transactions and foil larcenous bartenders in his Dayton, Ohio saloon. ``Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier'' became the basis of the National Cash Register Company.

George F. Will wrote about this in his 6 April 1989 column. The column is reprinted in Suddenly (Free Press, 1991), pp. 177-9.

There's a US patent #271,363 issued 1883.01.30 to J. Ritty and J. Birch, for a ``Cash Register and Indicator.''

National Catholic Reporter. ``The Independent, Lay-edited Catholic Newsweekly.'' Considered left-of-center.

No Carbon Required. A kind of multisheet paper form that duplicates on lower sheets what is written above. It used to be common to do this by interleaving forms with carbon paper. NCR forms use a microencapsulated dye precursor on the underside of each sheet (except the bottom). Under pressure, the microcapsules (1-20 microns in diameter) rupture and release the transparent dye precursor. This darkens on reaction with a chemical coating or impregnation of the lower sheet. Typically, the transparent-to-dark reaction is an acid-base reaction: the precursor a base and the sheet below acidic. So you can probably erase the copy by applying a strong base, and if you don't erase it, the unneutralized acid will eventually burn the paper.

NCR paper was invented at the company that became NCR Corporation. Microencapsulation was first devised in 1950 by Barry Green, a research scientist at the National Cash Register Company's labs in Dayton (see the NCR entry). On June 30, 1953, he and Lowell Schleicher, another NCR researcher, applied for a patent for the microencapsulation system that is used to produce today's carbonless paper.

NCR paper sheets have a standard sequence of colors:

  1. white (top sheet)
  2. canary
  3. pink
  4. gold

Here's an article on microencapsulation in general, from Technology Today, Summer 1995.

National Cooperative Research Act of 1984.

National Court Reporters Association.

North Carolina Restaurant Association.

National Coalition for the Recruitment of Electrical and Computer Engineering Students.

National Court Reporters Foundation.

National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

National Cartoonists Society. I wonder if they offer jihad insurance.

Not Clinically Significant.

National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

First funded by NSF in 1985. One of four NSF-funded Supercomputer centers, along with CTC, PSC, and SDSC). Participates with these in MetaCenter.

Generates freeware like NCSA Telnet and Mosaic (the creators of the latter took their degrees and went off to found Netscape). Conducts HPCC research locally. Grants supercomputer cycles to academic researchers.

Nebraska Council of School Administrators. If you happen, for some unfathomable reason, to reside outside of Nebraska, you might find the AASA homepage more relevant. Of course, if you're not a school administrator or an administrated school, you might find that a bit dry as well.

(US) National Council of State Housing Agencies.

NanoCrystalline SIlicon.

National Conference of State Legislatures.

National Certified School Psychologist.

National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education. Based at Teachers College, Columbia University.

National Council for Social Studies. ``National'' in the sense that it has ``members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 69 foreign'' nations. Founded in 1921.

National Council for State Supervisors of Foreign Languages. Cf. NADSFL, ACTFL.

National Conference of Synagogue Youth. Founded in 1954; sponsored then and now by the Orthodox Union (OU).

Nottingham City Transport. The Nottingham bus system, integrated with the tram system, NET.

In the late 80's, when I went to visit a relative living at a senior facility in Nottingham, the NCT driver got out and walked behind the back of the bus to point out exactly where it was. Well, it struck me as unusual.

National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Formerly the National Cable Television Association. Founded in 1952. Don't worry if you missed it, it'll be on again tomorrow.

National Cable Television Cooperative. ``A programming and hardware buying cooperative, NCTC represents more than 1,000 independent cable operators, their 6,500 individual systems and more than 14 million subscribers [across the US].''

(US) National CounterTerrorism Center.

North Carolina Theatre Center.

National Council of Teachers of English. Co-sponsored with the International Reading Association a much-pilloried 1996 document titled ``Standards for the English Language Arts.''

The NCTE Annual Convention is in November -- every year.

Sponsors NCTE-talk, an electronic mailing list.

Network Channel Terminating Equipment.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

The NCTM was founded in 1920 to defend high school mathematics education from educational reformers. The organization's web site fudges this. Here is how their mealy-mouthed ``NCTM at a Glance'' begins:

Here is how C. M. Austin, the organization's first president, explained the motivation in Mathematics Teacher, vol. 14 (Jan. 1921), p. 1:

During [the preceding decade] high school mathematics courses have been assailed on every hand. So-called educational reformers have tinkered with the courses, and they, not knowing the subject and its values, in many cases have thrown out mathematics altogether or made it entirely elective.

There's a simple reason why the NCTM fudges its history: the enemy captured the fort.

NASA Commercial Technology Network. ``Welcome to the NASA Commercial Technology Network (CTN)! -- the online resource for moving technology from the lab to the marketplace.''

NonCooperative Target Recognition. You would have thought it went without saying.

National Competitive Technology Transfer Act of 1989. This might be the official bloviated name of the Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA), I dunno.

National Credit Union Administration. The ``independent federal agency that supervises and insures 7,329 federal credit unions and insures 4,358 state-chartered credit unions. It is entirely funded by credit unions and receives no tax dollars.''

Nerve Conduction Velocity.

No Customs Value.

US Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association.

National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.

North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

National (US) Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association.

No Children under 17 allowed (to see movie). Cf. NCC-1701.

``This Film Is Not Yet Rated'' (2006) is a movie about the movie ratings system overseen by the MPAA. It received a rating of NC-17 because it includes explicit footage from many films that received an NC-17 for sexual content.

Naturopathic Doctor. Sounds like M.D., looks like a fatfinger typo of M.D., but ... find out more from their association.

Navigation Display. [Avionics.]

Neodymium. For years I thought it was `neodynium.' Danm!

Atomic number 60. A Lanthanide (rare earth: RE). There's some relevant historical information at the Di (didymium) entry. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

North Dakota. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for North Dakota. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links for the state. You're probably thinking: ``What `city'?''

n.d., nd
{Not Dated | No Date given}. Loneliness among the footnotes.

Not Detectable. Like night life in North Dakota.

[Football icon]

Notre Dame. Inter alia this is the name of a university in South Bend, Indiana. They have a famous football team whose name is an ethnic slur (pugnacious Hibernian). There are a number of Notre Dame domains on the Internet.

When Gilles, visiting the US from France, went to buy a ticket from Boston to South Bend, Indiana, the travel agent gave a knowing smile and said ``ah, football.'' Sure: physicists come from all over the soccer-playing world to South Bend, Indiana, so they can see the Irish play college football. And for kicks, they also take in a computational electronics workshop. I understand that there's a Notre Dame in France too, but that it's not a football powerhouse. (``Hunchback'' -- that must be French for `linebacker.' What does ESPN have to say about this? ``hunchback is not a valid Keyword.'' But ``Harry Potter'' is.)

The full formal name of the university is ``University of Notre Dame du Lac,'' or so I had thought. The university is aggressively beyond the city limits of nearby property-tax-hungry South Bend, and the post office serving the campus uses ``Notre Dame'' like a municipality name. But perhaps this is less of a fiction than I thought. According to the 1922 edition of The New International Encyclopædia (see the education subhead of the Indiana entry, volume 12, p. 94) there were three institutions of higher education under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church at the time: St. Mary's College and Academy for Women, University of Notre Dame at Notre Dame, and St. Meinrad College at St. Meinrad. It begins to look like Notre Dame might be a legitimate place name here. This is important, so I'll have to be sure to sort it out. In fact, it's very important, so I'll have to proceed very carefully and slowly, next year at the earliest (I need to calm down).

Nuclear Disarmament. The campaign for nuclear disarmament (CND) introduced the ``peace symbol'' at least as early as 1958. It is an abstracted superposition of the flag semaphores for the letters en and dee. A posting by Terry Chan to <alt.folklore.urban>, archived here

National Dance Association. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

Interestingly, their abstract symbol is very similar to the international symbol for biohazard.

National Dental Association. An organization of Black dentists in the US and the Caribbean.

Nepal Dental Association.

New Drug Application to the FDA.

No Data Available. Sometimes it's useful to have this abbreviation available to use instead of NA.

NonDisclosure Agreement. The AAP-assisted pleonasm ``NDA agreement'' has been observed in speech and writing.

National Dental Assistants Association. It's ``the auxiliary arm of the NDA dedicated to serving the thousands of minority Dental Assistants in the field today.''

National District Attorneys Association.

Nebraska Dental Assistants Association.

Nondirectional Radio Beacon. For air navigation.

National Data Buoy Center. Part of the National Weather Service within the US NOAA. ``NDBC designs, develops, operates, and maintains a network of data collecting buoys and coastal stations.''

Negative differential conductance. Differential conductance is
	-- .
Evidently, NDC is equivalent to NDR.

Normalized Device Coordinates. Physical device coordinates, translated and scaled to be device independent. (Typically each coordinate ranges from 0 to 1, or from -1 to 1.)

Non-Denial Denial.

Notre Dame (ND) Drum Line. Fascinating the stuff you can learn from the backs of tee shirts.

NonDestructive Evaluation.

NonDestructive Evaluation (NDE) Facility.

New-Data Flag.

No Defect[s] Found. Same as NFF, q.v.

Neodymium Gallate. Laser substrate material.

National Dental Hygienists' Association. It's associated with the NDA.

NonDestructive Inspection.

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Your tax dollars at work aggrandizing politicians you thought you'd managed to vote out. Explanation at the entry for the IRI (corresponding Republican feed-trough).

Network Device Interface Specification.

Naked Dancing Llama. ``Put simply: He's cheaper than psychotherapy, and he also licks people's faces.'' More on llamas at our own llama entry.

Network Database Language. Standards: ANSI: X3.133-1986 ISO: IS 8907:1987

National Digital Library Federation. Same as the DLF, but with a name clarifying that it's a US endeavor, see?

Nigerian Democratic Movement. It appears that they don't have a web site yet.

Nonfat Dry Milk.


National Disaster Medical System.

Netware Distributed Management Services. (Novell.)

A progressive think tank and advocacy organization. NDN here is a sealed acronym. This NDN, created in 2005, is the successor of the New Democrat Network (following).

New Democrat Network. Sounds a lot like the old DLC. The NDN ``is guided by the belief that there is a better set of solutions to our challenges then what is being offered in Washington today. It is the fundamental premise of NDN that we can and must do better -- as a political movement, as a political party, and as a nation.'' Why does this sound so unobjectionable? Because it doesn't contain any specifics. You can read the specifics on this page. Those specifics don't contain any specifics either, but there are six of them. Eventually I'm sure they reach the point of saying something that someone could object to or agree with.

Actually, you may have to do a bit of searching on the site now: ``This website contains the archive of the material of the New Democrat Network, a political action committee from 1996-2002 and a non-federal political committee from 2003-2006. It also contains information from NDN PAC, which was a federal political action committee from 2003-2006. You can visit the New Democrat Network's successor organization, NDN, at www.ndn.org, NDN's think tank for politics, New Politics Institute, at www.newpolitics.net and NDN's Blog at www.ndnblog.org.'' (The quotes are not strict; minor punctuation slips were repaired. Yes, I mention it because it's relevant; sloppy writing, like sloppy dressing, may indicate sloppiness in other things. Also, FWIW, the about page at the NDN site says that ``the New Democrat Network ... operated from 1996 through 2004.'')


No Dogs Or Philosophers Allowed. Despite the expansion, not a backlash against cynicism. Diogenes is its favorite philosopher. NDOPA is described by its creator and host Ken Knisely as North America's premier philosophy television program, which it may well be.

In the 1980's, Knisely taught (``worked as a philosopher'') in a public-school program for gifted children in Richmond, Virginia. NDOPA began as a live call-in program on a public-access channel in Richmond. One of Knisely's students, Summer Schultz, originated the show's name. She liked to go barefoot in warm weather, and one day as she was about to enter a 7-11 to buy a Slurpee (a federally noncontrolled addictive substance that is a known risk factor for brainfreeze), she was stopped by a sign that said ``No Dogs or Bare Feet Allowed.'' Unfortunately, this made her think. She reflected on how the great thinkers throughout history had similarly been treated as pariahs. I guess she must have felt pretty strongly about going barefoot.

National Democratic Party (of Germany). The extreme rightist political party probably better known by its German initialism NPD.

National Democratic Party. The Egyptian government's political party. That is, the political party that controls Egypt. This sounds deceptively like ``ruling party'' in a place like France. How can I put this? Egypt is a nominal and formal democracy.

Neutron Depth Profiling.

New Democratic Party. A just-don't-call-it-Socialist-Party, like British Labour (particularly in that party's Foote-loose days). The most leftist of the major Canadian political parties. More at the NPI entry. Don't complain that its politics is not obvious from its name; in Argentina, the more conservative of the two major parties is called the Partido Radical. And in France, the Parti Radical is a centrist party. (The latter's name is a legacy from its days as an anticlerical party, back when there were still a few Christian clerics in France.)

The NDP was created in a reorganization of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in 1961.

Non-Departmental Public Body. Non-departmental in the sense of not being within the administrative structure of a government ministry, err, department. Public in the sense of being established and funded by the government. A term apparently created by UK officialdom to replace an earlier official term: NDPB's used to be called Quangos officially, and are still called Quangos. Here's an exhausting list of NDPB's that share turf with Defra.

Novell Distributed Print Services.

Negative differential resistance. Differential resistance is
	-- .
Evidently, NDR is equivalent to NDC.

Two kinds of NDR have standard names: N-type and S-type. These simply refer to current voltage characteristics (CVC for short) whose shapes resemble the capital block letters N and S, respectively. In N-type NDR, the current rises to a maximum, falls, and then rises again. The current is a function of the voltage, although there is a range of currents for which voltage is undetermined. In S-type NDR, the current is not a function of voltage, but the current is function of voltage. Thus, voltage initially increases with current, then falls, and rises again. Notice that in N-type NDR, the differential resistance stays finite, following a +,0,-,0,+, pattern, while the differential conductance diverges (following a pattern +, +inf., -inf., -, -inf., +inf., +). Notice also that, since CVC refers to the I-V plot, and NDR is a most appropriate measure for V-I plots, it might make more sense to speak of N- and S-type NDC. Setting aside the strictly semantic issue, however, the important consideration for convenience and comprehensibility is whether one can deal with a function or must deal with a mere relation (and with infinite derivatives). For this reason, devices like tunneling diodes, which exhibit N-type NDR, are described by I vs. V graphs, while plasma tubes, which exhibit S-type NDR, are represented with V vs. I plots.

Regions of NDR can be unstable; a device in circuit follows smoothly whatever segment of the CVC it is on, until that segment becomes tangent to the load line (this occurs only in a region of NDR), and then follows another segment of its CVC. (The CVC has an overall positive slope, while the load line has a negative slope. Thus, there is always at least one intersection point -- as is physically reasonable: a solution exists. Also, there will in general be an odd number of intersections, except when the load line is tangent to the CVC. At the point of tangency, a stable point and an unstable point are approaching and in effect annihilating; the number of intersection points is changing by two.)

In N-type NDR, hysteresis loops are followed clockwise; in S-type NDR, counter-clockwise.

Norddeutschen Rundfunks. `North German Broadcasting.'

National (US) Defense Research Committee.

Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory.

NonDestructive Read-Out. A mode of old-style magnetic core memory read-out. Cf. DRO.

(Novell) NetWare Directory Services.

Notre Dame (ND)/Saint Mary's [College] (SMC). Productive suffix, as in LNDSM, GLNDSMC.

North Dakota State University. It's in Fargo, which sounds like a comment.

National Debate Tournament. There are other debating entries in this glossary.

NonDestructive Testing. Try link resource from ASNT (American Society for Nondestructive Testing).

Nondestructive Testing Association in New Zealand.

(US) National Defense University.

(Indiana, US) Notre Dame University. See the ND entry for other NDU websites.

North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

National (US) Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Not Diagnosed Yet. Acronym used by the army. During the war in Viet Nam, ``NDY nervous'' usually meant battle-fatigued, what in WWI was called ``shell shock.''

Neodymium (3+)-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet laser. 1.064 micron wavelength. Pronounced ``Neodymium yag.''

High-power 532 nm cw is available commercially in packages where high-power AlGaAs (850 nm) pumps Nd:YAG, and its 1064 nm output is frequency-doubled in an nonlinear optic crystal. Doubled and tripled frequencies are typically used to pump dye lasers. Quadrupled-frequency is also available.

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