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(Domain name code for) Nepal.

You usually never hear any news here (in the US) about the Indian subcontinent unless it crosses a certain newsworthiness threshold. The threshold is normally exceeded only if at least a few thousand ordinary people die in a single incident. Fewer deaths are required if there is an element of novelty (one hundred dead from falling off the top of a train in a derailment, or from trying to vote in the ``wrong'' precinct, say) or of importance. It tends to give the impression that all accidents in India and thereabouts are weird or enormous catastrophes.

For that reason, you were grateful to read (at the IST entry) about a serious international incident between India and Nepal that turned out not only peaceful but funny. That way, you know something about Nepal besides the fact that on June 1, 2001, Crown Prince Dipendra murdered nine members of the royal family (including his father King Birendra) before fatally shooting himself. It seems he was upset because they didn't approve of his intended bride. You can imagine that ``Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'' (1967) might have been a very different movie if it'd been set in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. The aitch in the name indicates aspiration. We're going to have to get an aspiration entry in this glossary. Speakers of English tend to pronounce it ``cat man do'' as Bob Seger did in his song ``Katmandu.''

Chemical element abbreviation for Neptunium, element #93. The first element after Uranium, named after the first planet (Neptune) after Uranus. Although it was first created artificially, the trace amounts of it found in nature are actually a practical source. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

NaPhthalene. Nonsystematic abbreviation common in organic chemistry, rarely likely to be confused with systematic chemical symbol for neptunium.

Network Performance.

Noise Parameter.

Non-deterministic-Polynomial. You know, as in ``NP-complete.'' See AAETS for consolation.


No Problem. Chatese.

Noun Phrase.

Nurse Practitioner. Qualification as a nurse practitioner requires two or more years of advanced training and a passing score on a special exam.

National (UK) Postgraduate Analytic Philosophy Association.

National (UK) Postgraduate Analytic Philosophy Conference. ``[A]n annual philosophy conference run by and for postgraduate students in the UK (as well as the occasional keen traveller from foreign parts). Spread over a weekend, it aims at analytic rigour but seeks also to leaven the deep-furrowed ponderings with social frolicking and gambolling.'' NPAPC 2005 (the ninth): York July 15-17.

Neutral Particle Beam.

Nippon Professional Baseball. Japan's MLB.

National Panhellenic Conference. Founded in 1902, it ``is an umbrella organization for 26 inter/national women's fraternities and sororities'' as of 2005. I've also seen ``26 inter/national women's fraternities/sororities.'' I'm not a great fan of the solidus/virgule use in natural language, but then ``women's fraternity'' isn't especially natural.

Kappa Alpha Theta, or ``Theta'' for short (why not ``cat''?!), was founded at DePauw University (known then as Indiana Asbury University). It was the first ``women's fraternity'' at a US (or probably any) college. It was founded on January 27, 1870. Gamma Phi Beta was founded at Syracuse University in 1874, and Dr. Frank Smalley, a professor there, coined the word ``sorority'' for Gamma Phi Beta.

National People's Congress. The parliament of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It meets annually, whether there's business to conduct or not.

National Petroleum Council.

Because of a typo, that used to say ``National Pertroleum Council.'' I'm rather sorry I noticed and corrected the error.

National Physique Committee. The NPC of the United States is the national governing body of American amateur bodybuilding.

I think most people, including most bodybuilders, find the concept, actual or implied, of a physique committee or of a national physique, to be at least faintly ridiculous. The two bodybuilders pictured on the NPC homepage are smiling. I remember when we were in college, Ken pointed out to me that in all the TV ads for unlikely bodybuilding equipment (twisterizers, Nordic Trac, tricepsomatics, kettlebells, Total Ab Work-Out-O-Rama and what-not), the swim-suited models demonstrating the equipment were always smiling and laughing. Ken conjectured that the models weren't doing this intentionally to demonstrate how effortless and fun the exercise was, but involuntarily because they couldn't keep from laughing at the silly useless equipment they were helping to foist on the witless.

Network Performance Control.

Northwest Philosophy Conference.

I'd heard of continental philosophy, but this is new to me. Gee, that region seems to be a hotbed of philosophical, uh, activity, if that's what it is. Cf. INPC.

Normal-Process Complementary-Pass transistor Logic. See this critical comparison with competing strategies, and references therein.

Narrow-band Personal Communication Service (PCS).

Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands. `National Democratic Party of Germany.' They also go by ``die Nationalen'' (`the nationalists'). A far-right party that won 0.3% of the vote in Germany's 1998 general elections. By membership it is the largest of three fringe-right parties of Germany. The other two are the DVU and die Republikaner. (It's hard to rank small parties consistently on how they do in elections, because the vote for smaller parties fluctuates sharply. This is partly because votes for these parties are often a form of protest by voters against major parties they usually vote for. That's not to say their platforms are irrelevant.)

The German government has tried repeatedly to ban the party. This requires a trial before the Bundesverfassungsgericht (`Federal Constitutional Court'). The most recent effort was in 2003. Horst Mahler, a member of the NPD who years earlier had been a member of the far-left terrorist organisation Red Army Faction, defended the NPD before the court. The case was ultimately thrown out when it was determined that a large part the NPD party leadership was undercover agents of the German secret services. The court decided that it was impossible to know which moves by the party were based on genuine party decisions and which were provoked by the secret services in an attempt to instigate a ban.

National Parliamentary Debate Association. Affiliated with the AFA. We have a hub entry with links to all the debating entries.

National (medical) Practitioner Data Bank.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. A certification program of some sort under which the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues permits.

Non-Pelleted Dry Food. Oh, yum.

Network Protocol Data Unit.

Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System. I suppose it wasn't specifically intended to sound like ``in purse,'' but I've been wrong before.

National Pro Fastpitch. Women's professional baseball league. ``National'' here means US. In fact, as there are currently (2013) only four teams, you could take it to mean regional, but historically there have been teams all over the country. Often the same teams, moved and renamed every couple of years. Such are the travails of a sports league that is not ``established.'' The current teams are the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, NY NJ Comets, and USSSA Pride. USSSA Pride plays its home games in Kissimmee, Florida, and no one thinks that's sexist.

Nuclear Power Facility.

Negative Population Growth, Inc. Not what you'd guess; this group is worried about immigration to the US.

New Power Generation. I think that Prince has something to do with that.

NIOSH Pocket Guide (to chemical hazards).

National Propane Gas Association. ``[T]he national trade association representing the propane industry.''

N-Paraffin Hydrocarbon.

New Politics Initiative. A movement within the NDP, launched by MP Svend Robinson after a dismal showing in the November 2000 national (Canadian) parliamentary elections -- 13 seats, two more than necessary to retain official status. (In the 1997 elections, the party won 21 ridings, but two members later defected.)

At a party convention in Winnipeg, in late November 2001, centrist NDP leader Alexa McDonough held off the socialist hard-liners (i.e., the NPI) and retained her position with 80% of the delegate vote.

National Parent Information Network. Sure that's not nine-pin?

National Physical Laboratory. ``The UK's National Measurement Laboratory.'' It's in Teddington, Middlesex.

``Teddington'' -- sounds like they felt ``Eddington'' was too forbidding. Or maybe they found Sir Arthur's later quasimystical speculations a bit much. Yeah, that must be it.

National Physical Laboratory (of India). Established in 1947.

National (US) Priorities List. EPA wish list.

Non-Performing Loan.

National Physical Laboratory of India. The word India appears on the NPL logo, and the name is widely given as above, or in the form ``National Physical Laboratory, India,'' but the official name as of 2008 appears to be just ``National Physical Laboratory,'' and the initialism used internally is NPL. The UK has an identically named NPL.

NATO Production and Logistics Organization.

National Poetry Month. Sponsored by the AAP. April in the US. I'll fill in the T. S. Eliot stuff later.

National Prevention Network. A network that's trying to prevent nationals (as you can see from this entry, they're proliferating).

Hmmm. Okay, I'm gonna cheat here and actually find out what this NPN is, to sort of supplement my speculations. NPN is an organization of State alcohol and other drug abuse prevention representatives, and a component of NASADAD, ``providing a national advocacy and communication system for prevention.''

Non-Protein Nitrogen.

A BJT with net p-doped base and n-doped collector and emitter. Traditionally, IC manufacture used n-doped substrates (taking advantage of factor-of-three higher mobility of electrons over holes in silicon), and so was dominated by these (npn) transistors in the 60's. During the 70's and 80's, MOSFET technology gained ground, first with memory, then in low-power applications (CMOS), and eventually in all but the most speed-critical components.

A mnemonic for remembering the arrow direction on the circuit diagram is ``Not Pointing iN.'' The current arrow is on the leg of the bipolar schematic corresponding to the emitter, and points in the direction of current flow for a forward mode (forward active or saturated). That's current direction, not electron velocity direction.

(UK) National Preservation Office.

Non-Profit Organization. Also Not-for-Profit Organisation. The approximately equivalent NGO is about six times more common, to judge from web-page hits.

Now Piss Off! Conjectured expansion of NPO, based on the fact that the user apparently considered it beneath his dignity to define, in repeated answers considerably longer than the expansion, whatever it be. Cf. NPO, PMYMHMMFSWGAD.

Non-Physician Practitioner. Of medicine or an approximation thereof.

Nuclear Power Plant.

National Pork Producers Council. ``This is the place for pork lovers, pork producers, and anyone who wants to learn more about pigs and pork!'' Not nearly as much here about congress as I had expected.

You know, almost two million pigs lose their lives in America every week. It's slaughter! Carnage! PETA probably feels this way unironically.

National Performance Review.

National Public Radio. An inmate-operated asylum.

The jocular and more-accurate expansion for NPR that I was familiar with was ``National Propaganda Radio,'' but here's the end of a paragraph from David Mamet's essay ``Why I Am No Longer a `Brain-Dead Liberal','' which appeared to little immediate notice in the Village Voice of March 11, 2008. (``She,'' infra, is his wife.)

"?" she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been--rather charmingly, I thought--referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."

National Petroleum Refiners Association.

Notice of Proposed RuleMaking. Cf. ANPRM.

Normal collision process. Contrasted to U-process, (q.v. for fuller explanation).

(US) Naval Postgraduate School.

(US) National Park Service.

Nominal Pipe Size. American term. For an example, see 2-inch-pipe. Pipes designated by nominal metric diameters usually have that diameter labelled DN.

National (US) Postsecondary Student Aid Study.

Net Positive Suction Head Available.

Net Positive Suction Head Required. When this is less than NPSHa -- boom! cavitation!

National Professional Soccer League. The local team is called the Buffalo Blizzard.

Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty. The solitary en in the acronym is sometimes taken to represent the en in nuclear, and sometimes the initial en of nonproliferation. Clearly, the ``nuclear'' could be implicit (like the noun weapons that it modifies), but I suppose a ``Nuclear Proliferation Treaty'' would amount to the same thing, and probably be as effective. (I've also seens the preposition-fortified ``Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.'') In any case, ``NNPT'' is rare.

India is not a signatory to the NPT, but has substantial nuclear capabilities and nuclear weapons. During the administrations of George W. Bush, the US government courted the Indian government on nuclear issues, trying simultaneously to strengthen political ties and to bring India into some degree of compliance with nuclear nonproliferation regimes. See NSG.

National Private Truck Council. A trade association based in Alexandria, Virginia, representing private fleets.

Net Present Value. An estimate of the value of a nonliquid asset, based on its expected or estimated future cash flow, depreciated on the basis of estimates of future inflation.

Sometimes, when it's high, even current inflation can only be estimated very approximately. I think that currently (2013), the Argentine government has made it illegal to publish inflation estimates that contradict those of the government itself -- to prevent errors or embarrassment, no doubt. At least, I think it's illegal, but nobody's talking. I'm glad that no situation even remotely resembling this is occurring in the US.

During the high inflation of the 1970's and 1980's, construction took place around the clock in Buenos Aires. It was cheaper to pay high prices for building materials today and elevated wages tonight, than to pay inflated prices and wages tomorrow.

An afterthought on the errors-or-embarrassment thing. Once, in the 1950's, my father (a resident-alien Chilean) gave a public lecture (in Argentina) on nuclear power, and the government contributed a man to the audience. He was interested! He wanted to compare what he said with the public pronouncements of another engineering expert -- el Presidente Juan Perón -- and make sure that one didn't contradict the other. Perón had predicted that soon Argentina would be selling electricity in bottles, but he was deposed (in 1955) before that came to pass. The former dictator was welcomed back in 1973, but he died in 1974, so he wasn't to blame for the high-to-hyper-inflation either. (Oops, forgot I'd already mentioned this at the AATN entry.)

NaphthoQuinone. Probably 1,4-naphthoquinone.

Nanocrystalline Quantum Dots.

National Quality Monitoring Contractor.

Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance.

Non-QuasiStatic. Describes a class of models of BJT's.

Newly Qualified Teachers.

(Domain name code for) Nauru. Don't know where it is, so it's probably in the southwestern Pacific. Bingo! And it's the ``smallest independent republic in the world'' as of September 2001: 21 km2 area and 12,000 population. It made the news at this time for being one of only two countries (the other New Zealand) to accept refugees turned down by Australia.

National Review. Conservative journal of opinion founded by William F. Buckley, Jr.

Natural Rubber.

New Republic. Vide The New Republic (TNR).

New Roof. I've noticed that in parts of Canada and the US, this is ``New Roof.'' (It's spelled the same, but it's pronounced differently, see?)

A ``new roof'' isn't a feature of a new house. Rather, it's not-completely-new feature of a house that is not completely new. Specifically, a roof is normally ``new'' the way a retreaded tire is ``new'': it's re-covered. Real estate listings sometimes have an expression like ``complete tear-off'' (sometimes with a date; often with no explicit mention of the roof). That means all the old asphalt shingles were removed before new shingles were applied.

In areas that get snow, if the roofline is too shallow you mustn't use asphalt shingles. If you do, water will get under the (too slightly) lower edges of the shingles and pry them up when it freezes overnight. Typical alternatives are tar paper (often covered with small untarred stones for a nicer appearance) or strips of painted rubber. There are other ways to cover a roof, but that'll do for now.

NonRelativistic. Describes a system whose mechanical or dynamical behavior can be accurately described by Newtonian mechanics. That is, in a single frame of reference used for analysis, all velocities must be much less than the speed of light (c).

That at least is the usual description, which implicitly ignores (and is correct if one can ignore) gravitational effects. Crudely speaking, gravitational effects can be treated within Newtonian mechanics if spacetime curvature parameters are small compared to the other length and time scales. Alternatively, one may say that spacetime radii of curvature should be large compared to the relevant length and time scales.

Note that in this sort of discussion, lengths and times are interconverted using c. Hence, 30 cm is about 1 ns (i.e., nanolightsecond). You shouldn't be bothered by the measurement of time in length units, or vice versa.

In a similar way, multiplying by appropriate powers of c, speeds can be rendered as dimensionless quantities, and accelerations in units of inverse length. A small acceleration of gravity corresponds to a large length scale -- essentially large radius of spacetime curvature. The acceleration of gravity at the earth's surface (g), about 9.8 m/s2, equals an inverse light year in pure length units.

No Recommendation or Not Recommended. Be careful when you read those stock reports. S&P uses it for No Recommendation.

No Return.

Not Ranked. Might appear in ``previous ranking'' column.

Not Ready.

If you arrived here following a link on this site, and had been expecting to be transported to a different, more informative place, it probably means that the more informative place isn't ready yet. Sorry. Look, if FOLDOC can do it (like this), so can I! Moreover, there are important positive reasons for taking this approach.

To know the current total number of links from anywhere in the glossary to this entry, click here. (Don't worry -- this one doesn't bite.)

NASA Research Announcement.

National Recovery Administration.


National Restaurant Association. This NRA got a jolt of free publicity in November 2011. Herman Cain had been president of the organization in the 1990's, and in 2011 he was running for the Republican nomination for US president. In November, his campaign experienced a number of what were known within Bill Clinton's campaign in 1992 as ``bimbo eruptions.''

National (US) Rifle Association.

According to a column by George Will (Oct. 14, 2004), although there are only four million dues-paying NRA members (that's $35 annually), polls show that many people, primarily those belonging to a shooting or hunting club, are confused as to their status: a total of 18 million think they are members. (Another 28 million think they are in some way affiliated with the NRA through their club. In one or another sense perhaps they are.)

National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

National Religious Broadcasters. An association of conservative Christian broadcasters. The NRB was affiliated with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 1944. In 2000, judging that the NAE and the NRB were, in the words of NRB communications director Karl Stoll, ``going in two different directions,'' the NRB voted on February 9, 2000 (unanimously: 81-zip) to end its affiliation. One of the alarming developments, from the NRB perspective, was the the NAE's new willingness (formalized the following month) to allow joint membership in NAE and the National Council of (presumably practically atheistical) Churches (NCC).

National Research Council. Both Canada and the US have organizations going by this name. The US NRC is a government advisory council run by the private NAS; the Canadian NRC is ``the principal science and technology agency of the Canadian federal government ... [w]ith 16 research institutes located in eleven major centres across the country... .''

Neutron Radiation Capture.

Non-Recurring Cost[s].

Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Created out of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1975 to regulate the civilian uses of nuclear material. Commission consists of five Senate-confirmed presidential appointees.

On October 12, 2001, the NRC pulled down most of its website to review whether information it was making public was too sensitive -- i.e., whether it made nuclear facilities vulnerable to terrorist attack.

Natural Resources CANada. In French: RNCan.

National Republican Congressional (campaign) Committee. The DCCC is leakier and hence more interesting. Cf. NRSC.

Non-Radiative Defects. Semiconductor defects that cause electron-hole recombination without directly generating optical radiation.

Natural Resources Defense Council.

National Rural Development Partnership.

Non-Recurring Engineering (costs).

National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, in Golden, Colorado. Pronounced ``EN-rel.''

NATO Response Force. A rapid-reaction force whose units are supposed to be able to operate for 30 days without resupply. The first deployment of the NRF was in January 2006, for a 90-day relief operation in quake-ravaged regions of northwest Pakistan and Kashmir.

National Retail Federation. ``The Voice of Retail Worldwide.'' I guess those hawkers are LOUD.

National Retail Hardware Association.

National Rural Health Association.

National (US) Register of Historic Places. There are also state registries. And UNESCO has one that's called the World Heritage List.

Non-Returning Indian. Someone who emigrates from India. Cf. ABCD, HINA.

National (US) Right to Life. Productive as a modifier (e.g., NRL Educational Trust Fund) or, in what may amount to the same thing, an initialism prefix (e.g., NRLC).

National (Australian) Rugby League.

Naval Research Laboratory.

National (US) Right to Life Committee. Publishes a tabloid newspaper (sounds lurid, huh?). Cf. NARAL.

National Research Laboratory of Metrology. In Tsukuba, Japan.

Network Resource Management.

National Register of Microform Masters.

It doesn't take years of study to become a Microform Master, that's all I know.

National Resident Match Program. Matches medical residents with medical residencies. The NRPM is run by the AAMC.

Netware Remote Node.

National Reconnaissance Office. Designs, manufactures, and operates (mostly contracts out the design, manufacture, and operation) of US spy satellites and such. Also expanded ``Not Referred to Openly.'' Cf. NSA.

Nation River Observatory. An amateur-developed and -operated interferometer operating outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Nerd Resources Online. ``The premier information resource for Canadian nerds.'' So, nerds, tell me about the premier!

New ROFF. See troff entry for relationship among various roff programs.

Navy Remote Ocean Sensing System.

Naval ROTC.

National Religious Party. Of Israel: HaMafdal. Nine seats in fourteenth Knesset.

National Religious Partnership for the Environment. A shoo-in for tax-exempt status. The IRS probably has to file forms with them. Salvation for entire gene clusters.

National Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation. Name is now Foundation Fighting Blindness.

National Republican Senatorial Committee. Opponent of DSCC.

Unless you're already very rich, you want to start out small. Try the NRCC.

Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization. A designation created by the SEC in the 1970's, for companies that rate bonds. For many years, only three organizations were so designated: Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and their smaller rival Fitch. Some pension funds and mutual funds limit their purchases to bonds rated investment-grade by an NRSRO, so this designation is very valuable. Enron went bankrupt in December 2002, and WorldCom in July 2002. Until shortly before they failed, both companies bonds were rated as investment grade by NRSRO's. Over the two years following those failures, the SEC added two more NRSRO's, and started lobbying Congress for increased regulatory authority over such NRSRO's.

New Revised Standard Version. Of the eternal Bible. New and improved, and exactly the same as before. Ancient verities repackaged especially for the (Greekless, Hebrewless, and Aramaically challenged [there's no such word as Aramaicless]) modern consumer.

One change: material in 1 Samuel 11 that somehow got misplaced in the last couple' thousand years. Frank Moore Cross hypothesized that something had gone missing, partly on the textual evidence and partly by inference from Jewish Antiquities by Flavius Josephus. The material was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and is restored in the NRSV. I'll buy a new edition when it includes the long-lost recipe for tasty latkes.

National Rural Tourism Foundation.

Nucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitor. Also known as a nucleoside analog, or as nucleoside-derived.

National Right To Life. Initialism often used in reference to the National Right to Life Committee, which prefers NRLC. The NRLC uses NRL as the initialism for the positions it advocates.

National Résumé Writers' Association. I believe they admit writers of both nonfiction and fiction. (I didn't say ``intentionally.'') Cf. PARW/CC.

National Rural Water Association. Rural water eventually may have a lot of natural manure in it. That might be a connection with this other NRWA.

NonRecombining portion of the Y chromosome.

{No Return | NonReturn} to zero. Cf. RZ.

German, Nachschrift. Although Nachschrift can also refer to various kinds of transcript, the abbreviated form is equivalent to Postscript (P.S.).

Nanosecond. Light travels a distance of about one foot (in vacuum) in one nanosecond, proving that only the conventional system of feet-pounds-fortnights can serve technical needs where the metric system has failed us (cf. c).

National Semiconductor.

Native Speaker. Contrasted with an NNS.


German, Nazionalsozialistisch. Currently preferred German abbreviation for Nazi. The Nazi era or period or whatever is die NS-Zeit.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen. This is national railway for some country. Hmmm...I'm gonna hafta guess here: I think it's the Netherlands.

New Style. Refers to English dates under the Gregorian calendar. See explanation at CY (Calendar Year) entry.

Chemical element abbreviation proposed for Nielsbohrium, element #107. For a long time, it was also provisionally known as unnilseptium (Uns). A transition metal, at least from its position on the periodic table. Apparently the bureaucrats of science have given it ``Bh'' now, for bohrium. Learn a little more at its Uns entry (maybe by the time you visit only at Bh) in WebElements. The Chemicool entry, at MIT, still lists it as nielsbohrium. Could be one of those US/Europe things. We should have no bigger problems.

Non-Smoker. Personals ad abbreviation.

Postal abbreviation for the province of Nova Scotia in Canada (.ca). Capital: Halifax. We went on vacation to Nova Scotia one Summer when I was a kid. It's a good thing we have the slides, because the only thing my mother remembers about the trip is that for all the time we were there, she ate salmon at least twice a day.

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are known as the Maritime Provinces. This threadbare little concept is analyzed right down to the subatomic level at the NB entry.

Starting in 1605, the region was settled by the French, who adopted the Micmac name, in some version, calling it Acadie or Acadia. This name was used only for continental lands, and so excluded Île Royale (now called Cape Breton Island), the easternmost part of the current province of Nova Scotia. On the other side, Acadia included the northeast coast of the current province of New Brunswick. The part of Acadia that was eventually included in the modern NS is properly ``peninsular Acadia.''

The British started settlements in peninsular Acadia beginning in 1621, during the reign of King James I of England. He had first assumed the dignity of the purple as King James VI of Scotland and gave the colony a name which means `New Scotland' in Latin (more about James at the KJV entry). Control was contested periodically. The Treaty of Utrecht, 1713, recognized British control of peninsular Nova Scotia; French settlers were left undisturbed then by the British colonial authority. At the start of the French and Indian War in 1755, however, local British officials doubted the Acadians' professed neutrality and decided to deport them en masse, scattering them mostly to other North American British colonies. As the war progressed, Acadians beyond Nova Scotia were also deported. (The later refugees were deported to Europe, as were some Acadians redeported from the British colonies they were originally sent to.) Many of the Acadians who avoided deportation fled to Quebec. Of the original 13,000 or so Acadians, only 1250 remained in Nova Scotia by 1763. After various peregrinations, most of the people who could be identified as Acadians ended up in the original lands that had been French colonies (Quebec and the Maritimes). The largest group after this was a group of four thousand or so (by 1800) who settled in the French colony of Louisiana, where they came to be known as the Cajuns.

During the US Revolutionary War, many loyalists fled to Nova Scotia (vide UEL). Later, the US took over Louisiana. It all sounds like name confusion.

Earlier, when Spanish conquistadores had landed in what would become Louisiana, they greeted the natives and asked what their land was called. The natives greeted the invaders with the local word for `Hello,' which was texas.

There's an old joke like this about immigrants on a ship to America, who don't know any language in common but greet each other daily. The punch line is:

Well, I learned how to say `hello': it's Goldberg!

There's a town called Antigonish in Nova Scotia. Its name in the local (Native American) language is supposed to have meant ``place where bears broke branches off trees looking for berries.'' IMHO, this story is the consequence of some misunderstanding (possibly intentional).

Replacing the French name Île Royale with Cape Breton, incidentally, restored part of the appellation first given by Spanish fishermen from Galicia (i.e., by Celts from Iberia rather than Celts from, say, Hibernia). South of Ingonish (did I mention Ingonish? No I did not.) on Cape Breton Island, there's a place called Chéticamp. There are campgrounds there. It's no wonder they left the name in French instead of translating it. The original can be translated `pitiful grounds' or `mean field.' I left this for last so you have no excuse not to proceed to the MFT entry.

National Scrabble Association. Unlike chess, Scrabble is not in the public domain. ``SCRABBLE® is a registered trademark. All intellectual property rights in and to the game are owned in the U.S.A and Canada by Hasbro Inc., and throughout the rest of the world by J.W. Spear & Sons Limited of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. Mattel and Spear are not affiliated with Hasbro.'' Hence the NSA is an unusual club in the following respect: it ``operates in a partnership between SCRABBLE enthusiasts and Hasbro, Parker Brothers' parent company. Founded in 1978, it is the official organization of North America's 10,000 tournament SCRABBLE players. [N. Amer. here means the US and Canada.] The NSA is in constant contact with Hasbro's marketing and public relations departments, finding new ways the SCRABBLE culture can help market the game.''

Tournament Scrabble is played with a chess clock. Each player has 25 minutes to play free, and has ten points deducted for every minute beyond that. Players' rankings are adjusted following each tournament they participate in.

National Security Administration. A/k/a No Such Agency. Cf. NRO.

National Stroke Association. Based in Englewood, Colo.

National (US) Stuttering Association. (Interestingly, a stroke may cause stuttering, and an instance was reported in 1999 of a bilateral thalamic stroke effectively curing stuttering.)

``Non-Seasonally Adjusted.'' I.e., not seasonally adjusted, or without seasonal adjustment.

Non-Self-Averaging. A statistical system is ``self-averaging'' if large samples of a given size form an ensemble in which the intensive macroscopic properties have a dispersion from the ensemble mean which decreases with increasing sample size. (The dispersion from the mean decreases, the mean of any intensive quantity should approach a limit.) Self-averaging is the usual expectation, or calculating ensemble averages would be less useful. For some profoundly disordered systems, paradigmatically spin glasses, NSA occurs, requiring a more careful analysis and less cavalier attitude about the interchange of averaging operations.

Non-Service-Affecting-. Sure.

(US) National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.

Here's a free biosecurity advisory: keep it in your pants.

NonSteroidal AntiInflamatory Drugs. Category includes aspirin, ibuprofen (now the most common one -- Advil/Nuprin), indomethacin, phenylbutazone, naproxen, piroxicam, keterolac, and nabumetone. There's some indication that NSAID's can delay or decrease one's likelihood of contracting Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

Network Service Access Point. A point where OSI network service is accessed by a transport entity.

Norges StatsBaner. `Norwegian National Railways.'

(US) National School Boards Association. Issues the ASBJ.

National Society of Black Engineers has a chapter at UB.

National Scientific Balloon Facility. In Palestine. The Palestine in Texas.

(US) National Safety Council. Once described by the late Daniel P. Moynihan as a ``flunky'' organization of the automobile industry.

(US) National Security Council.

National Science Council. It's ``the department of the Republic of China (ROC) executive branch that responsible for the promotion of development in science and technology. A Chairman, who is supported by three Vice Chairmen, heads the NSC.''

(Australian) National Standards Commission. An entity incorporated into NMI when that was established on July 1, 2004.

NATO Supply Center. Uh, yeah, do you have any F-18's left? Good -- I'll take a dozen. I'd like to charge that -- do you take American Express?

Oh, FCOL! How can I make up stuff that's over-the-top funny if the real world keeps raising the bar? I can't compete! As of this writing there seems to be an F-18 on offer to the first ``qualified'' buyer.)

National Senior Classical League. Main entry at SCL.

National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, located at MSU (in East Lansing). I think I've heard NSCL pronounced by a staff researcher there in three syllables -- as ``enz cee ell'' -- but I'm not sure.

National Security Directive. US governmentese.

National Security Decision Directive. US governmentese.

Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiterspartei. `National-socialist German workers' party.' Not the first fascist party, but the worst.

National Science Digital Library. A program of the NSF. ``The comprehensive source for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.'' It's for children.

Natural Sciences and Engineering. Sure we tolerate each other's existence. On weekends we go out together and beat up a sociologist for kicks. We call it male adhesion studies.

Nebraska State Education Association.

Network Service Center.

Nevada State Education Association.

National Security Emergency Preparedness. A program of the US EPA.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The French acronym is CRSNG. Something like the US's NSF.

National Sanitation Foundation. Sort of like an Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) for commercial food-handling equipment.

National Science Foundation. Founded in May 1950. Visit if you want information.

On the other hand, last Sunday, as Gary and I spent a pleasant dozen hours or so filling out NSF forms, we remembered a rumor. I write `we' advisedly, because neither he nor I can recall having heard the rumor before. However, we're now pretty convinced it's true. The NSF, as you know, has a couple of major problems: (1) a shortage of money and (2) a surplus of proposals. Until recently, the solution has been to review the proposals, classify each one as either ``Excellent'' or ``Yawn,'' and fund only the excellent. However, with funding levels continuing to decline in real terms, and desperate mendicant professors flooding NSF with ever more proposals as they are turned down with increasing frequency, NSF finds it necessary to introduce a new policy.

Henceforth, proposals will be reviewed and rated ``excellent,'' ``eh,'' or ``bad.'' If your proposal is judged ``bad,'' you will be assessed a charge equal to the amount of the NSF's money that you would have wasted had your proposal been funded. Normally, you will have three years in which to pay, and a final report will be due then listing all retractions and published errata. However, if you are unable to complete payment in this time, you can request a no-cost extension, so long as the university is willing to certify that your research continues to be bad. If your no-cost extension is denied, you will be summarily shot. After a mandatory three-day mourning period (MP3D), your university can appeal the decision.

This policy has already been tested on a limited basis in Alabama, Alaska and Arizona. (The faculty of one small college was decimated when an extension was denied on a major block grant.) During this shake-out period, efficiency experts from the office of the vice president discovered that response time could be improved dramatically, and nervous faculty often relieved of their concerns more quickly, if proposals were arbitrarily assigned an evaluation immediately upon receipt, rather than being put through the endless and universally irritating ``review process.'' Reviewer comments were generated by randomly recycling ``good ones'' from previous years. The changes have drawn favorable comment from proposers, both for the faster turn-around time and for the increased relevance of the reviewers' remarks.

The new program does not just promise to decrease the burden that NSF imposes on the government. Eventually, grant proposals will be accepted only from schools with strong football traditions or other collateral, and the NSF will become a revenue resource for our government in these fiscally strapped-tight times.

Gee, the NSF must be pretty important: they rate an entry under the LC number Q127.U6 in the CyberStacks.

It seems that JSPS is the Japanese NSF.

The NSF is allocated about 5% of US government's funds for research, but for areas of fundamental science that do not attract so much immediate-application funding (I mean physics and mathematics, and the pie-in-the-sky parts of other fields), the NSF is the major source of funding for university researchers. In many areas of engineering that attract either OXR or commercial funding for research, NSF funding is attractive (despite relatively small dollar amounts) because of its greater prestige.

In his The Voice of the Dolphins, and other stories (Simon and Shuster, NYC, 1961), the physicist Leo Szilard had a story called ``The Mark Gable Foundation.'' The premise was that in a future society suffering from excessively rapid scientific progress, a way to retard that progress and so protect the society would be to create a large endowment...

... the best scientists would be removed from their laboratories and kept busy on committees passing on applications for funds. Secondly, the scientific workers in need of funds would concentrate on problems which were considered promising and were pretty certain to lead to publishable results. For a few years there might be a great increase in scientific output; but by going after the obvious, pretty soon science would dry out. Science would become something like a parlor game. Some things would be considered interesting, others not. There would be fashions. Those who followed the fashion would get grants. Those who wouldn't would not, and pretty soon they would learn to follow the fashion, too.

N-ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Fusion protein. Researchers funded by NIH use this acronym as a sign of loyalty, demonstrating that the letters N-S-F, as in National Science Foundation, mean nothing to them.

Non-Sufficient Funds. This is an abbreviation that appears on menacing signs at my bank. The menacing signs emanating from the government seem to imply a similar meaning for the other NSF.

The sad-sack dollar has been pretty unpopular, but the state-theme quarters have been in demand. The government went on advertising them even as production fell behind demand, and bank tellers got the grief.

Not {Safe|Suitable} For Work. Generally speaking, the sort of sites you find using an image rather than a text search. ``NSFW'' is used as a warning on ``adult-content'' links from a page.

Nuclear Suppliers Group. An international body that oversees trade in nuclear materials. It was founded in 1974 in reaction to India's test of a ``peaceful nuclear device'' that successfully went ``bang.'' The NSG has 45 member nations (as of this writing, 2008.09.06), all of which are signatories to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

India is still not a signatory as of 2008. However, a US-promoted deal would allow the sale of civilian nuclear technology to India. The International Atomic Energy Agency, whose effectiveness in preventing nuclear proliferation elsewhere has been literally unbelievable, in August 2008 approved an inspections agreement with India. This was a precondition for the deal, and the NSG, after receiving some pleasant-sounding verbal assurances from India about its intentions, approved its part of the deal. (To see how India has adhered to the letter of a previous written nuclear agreement, see the CANDU entry.)

Opposition parties in the Indian parliament have been resisting approval of the deal for years. The US Congress, with both chambers controlled by the Democratic party, has not evinced any great enthusiasm for the Republican administration's initiatives and will begin an election recess in late September. Realistically, this agreement has a chance, but not a very good one. It takes a special kind of stomach to be a diplomat, working for years to find appropriately evasive language that all sides can ultimately agree to disapprove.

Norske Samfunnsgeografers Forenings. `Norwegian Association of Human-Geographers.' I suppose if they let a border collie join the association, then it'll be clear to an Anglophone monoglot that the `human' modifies geography, and not the geographers.

National Snow and Ice Data Center. A part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Nonlinear Signal and Image Processing. The 1997 Workshop for NSIP was held in Mackinac Island, MI, Sept. 7-11. (The deadline for two-page summaries was Feb. 15.) Man are you late.

National Soccer League. Something they have in Australia. A bit more about it at the entry for former member Heidelberg United Soccer Club.

National Synchrotron Light Source (at BNL).

Not So Much A Programme, More A Way Of Life. A satirical BBC TV show that ran from from November 1964 to April 1965. A successor to That Was the Week That Was (TW3, q.v.).

National (US) Spallation Neutron Source.

National Solar Observatory.

(US) National Symphony Orchestra.

Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy. I've listed at least one external link at the synonym SNOM.

National Screening Program.

Network Service Provider.

National Scholastic Press Association.
``In 1921, NSPA began helping students and teachers improve their publications. oday that goal remains #1.


Our members become future leaders in the fields of media and communications.''

More at the ACP entry.

National Standard Plumbing Code.

National Society of Professional Engineers.

National (US) Swimming Pool Foundation.

National (US) Spa and Pool Institute.

National Spa and Pool Institute of Canada.

National Spa and Pool Institute of South Africa.

National Spa and Pool Institute of Southern California.

National (ROC) Space Program Office. See ROCSAT.

National Society of Professional Surveyors. Member organization of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).

Non-Source Routed.

Network Start-up Resource Center. ``[A] non-profit organization, has been involved for the past decade with the deployment and integration of appropriate networking technology in various projects throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Oceania.''

The Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company. An Observer review of the December 2002 production lists the bard as playwright, but includes a photo of Laertes threatening Claudius with a pistol.

Listening to a radio production of Antigone on the BBC World Service one groggy Saturday morning, I was shaken awake when Creon threatened a guard: ``I'll have you shot!'' Interesting translation.

National Space Society.

Nitrate-Sulfate-Selective. Adjective is used substantively in the water-treatment industry for a particular SBA resin that prefers binding nitrate to sulfate at the ionic strength of natural fresh water.

National Scholastic Surfing Association. Surfing as in sand-and-surf, scholastic as in the association's founding purpose, which includes
provide top quality, structured events and encourage the merits of academic achievement for the benefit of it's members.
Sic. Ya gotta love it.

Tell the teacher we're serfin', serfin' USA!

North-South Skirmish Association. This was a group that staged marksmanship competitions at events commemorating US Civil War battles. Some of the units that took part in the N-SSA were particularly interested in authenticity of dress, gear, etc., and in recreating battles. In 1962 these split off definitively from the N-SSA and began the modern Civil War reenactment movement.

Naval Sea Systems Command. (... of the US Navy.)

Nordic Symposium on SuperConductivity.

National Survey of Student Engagement. It tries to determine the number of students who successfully complete the MRS degree within six years of enrolling in college. It's not pronounced as an initialism; it's pronounced ``Nessie,'' as in ``nescience.''

Oh wait, it turns out some of the preceding is wrong. ``Student engagement'' apparently refers to how engaged students are in learning activities.

The complete sets of questions in various versions of the survey can be viewed at the website. Some of the questions are not otiose. Hundreds of North American colleges and universities use Nessie.

See also the closely related DEEP and BEAMS.

National Science Teachers Association. Based in Northern Virginia. Despite the ``national'' name, the membership application has a longish scroll-down menu to select country. It's interesting to consider what it would be like to teach science in Aruba. Science teaching is beginning to sound attractive!

The NSTA, working in conspiracy with the Amgen Foundation, has created something it calls NSTA New Science Teacher Academy. Such naming is so obviously a prospective source of confusion that it was either intentionally provocative or magnificently insensitive, though probably not both. One is not surprised to learn that it ``was established to help promote quality science teaching, enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence, and improve teacher content knowledge by providing professional development and mentoring support to early-career science teachers.''

National Science and Technology Council.

National Space Transportation System. (NASAnese.)

National Spherical Torus EXperiment. ``Spherical'' refers, grosso modo to the geometry. ``Torus'' refers, macroscopically, to the topology. A spherical torus is typically described as a ``cored apple.'' NSTX is a device at PPPL.

New School University. The New York City institution founded in 1919 as the ``New School for Social Research.'' (It changed its name from that to the current one in 1997.) The founders included ``historian Charles Beard, economists Thorstein Veblen and James Harvey Robinson, and `philosopher' John Dewey.''

The single quotes within the preceding quote are just SBF editorial comment. Ignoring Dewey, or else going only by reputation, it's fair to say that the New School has sunk low. In 2004 it has virtually no regular faculty. Adjuncts do more than 90% of the teaching, one course per semester. (Of course, many of these will be teaching simultaneously for one or more other schools, cobbling together a living from higher-educational piecework. The going rates are about $65 to $95 per contact hour, so you can earn roughly $2000 per course per semester. It'd be pretty good pay if you didn't have to prepare lectures and grade and correct the homeworks, essays, and exams of 30 or 40 students, and be available for student conferences. No medical benefits, of course, but on the bright side -- who'd want to go on living this life? It's the sort of thing that might have interested Beard or Veblen. Adjuncts are the migrant laborers in the groves of Academe. Someone should write a book about it. It could be called The Sour Grapes of Wrath.) (Here's a blog on the subject. It's an exhausted and defunct blog, unsurprisingly, but you can still cry over the archives.)

NSU has close to 900 adjuncts available to teach at any given time. Those on the full-time payroll who happen to teach are also administrators. ``School'' is right. It sounds like a travesty of a university. According to the AAUP, however (see page on ``Contingent Faculty Appointments''), ``44.5 percent of all faculty are part-time, and non-tenure-track positions of all types account for more than 60 percent of all faculty appointments in American higher education.'' So you might argue that NSU is only about twice as bad as average. Coming soon to a ``campus'' near you: an entry for Phoenix University.

Norfolk State University. In Virginia somewhere. The standard team name for the school's teams is Spartans.

National Security Voting Index. A rating of each member of the US Congress, computed by the American Security Council (a pro-defense group in Washington, D.C.) on the basis of the legislator's votes on defense issues.

New South Wales, Australia (.au).

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division.

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