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Chemical symbol for scandium, the lightest transition metal. [That is: the lightest transition metal in the modern sense of ``transition metal'': the lightest element whose isolated neutral atoms have an electron occupying an orbital with total-angular-momentum quantum number greater than 1 (a non-s and non-p orbital).] Scandium bears some chemical similarity to the rare-earth elements, so for some purposes it is classed as one.

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


Abbreviation for Latin scilicet. See longer entry at longer abbreviation scil.

Label code for Secretly Canadian Records. It's based in Bloomington, Indiana (a few miles west of Indianapolis), where Jonathan Cargill and Chris Swanson attended Indiana University, and where they founded the company in 1996.

Security Council. A fifteen-member body within the UN, consisting of five permanent members with veto power, and ten representatives from the general membership, serving on a rotating (i.e. limited-term) basis.

The five permanent members are the ``victorious powers'' of WWII: China (.cn), France (.fr), Russia (.ru), the United Kingdom (.uk), and the United States.

When Nixon made the ``opening'' to (Mainland, Red, Communist) China, Taiwan (.tw) was tossed out of the UN and the People's Republic took its place. When the old Soviet Union (.su) collapsed, Russia kept the old seat.

There is agitation from various sides to change the present system. Many nonaligned nations want to end the veto power of the permanent members. Some larger nonaligned nations (India, and some others such as uhh, well, anyway, India is one) want a permanent added member from the third world. The West is basically ignoring all that and pondering whether to add Japan and/or Germany.

Self-Consistent. Not many people are, but mathematical models offer the opportunity to apply this term.

  1. self-contained (vide scuba)
  2. single-column
  3. small caps


Sensors and Controls.

Service Corporation.

(Domain code for) Seychelles.

Short Course.

sc, SC
Single Crystal[line].

Simple Cubic (lattice structure).

SC, S.C.
Soccer Club. Australian for British `Football Club.'

South Carolina post-office abbreviation. Literate abbreviation is S. Car.

The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of South Carolina state government links. USACityLink.com has a page with some city and town links for the state.

`Southern Cal.' Short for University of Southern California.

Southwestern College. Located in Winfield, Kansas, it is definitely southwest of Topeka (the capital of Kansas) but clearly in the southeastern quadrant of the state. I guess the name refers to the southwest of the US, a part of the country it is not far from. For some other schools with ``Southwestern'' in the name, see the SU (Southwestern University) entry.

SC uses the epithet ``The Premier College of Kansas.'' Even this modest self-assessment might be contested by other Kansas institutions. Hmmm: the ``premier'' claim is in little letters on the logo. Maybe it's just an official part of the name and they're actually trying to soft-pedal it. Lessee, the page for Professional Studies Centers states without false modesty ``[a]s the recognized leader in non-traditional education, Southwestern College has made completion of bachelors degrees convenient, accessible, and job focused.'' What I want to know is, do they offer degrees in premiering? According to this page, they have degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Pastoral Studies majors (among others). Heck, skip the tedious education step and just be president.

More than 33% of university officers that were listed on this now-defunct page were named David, sort of like a Wendy's commercial.

``Southwestern College is accredited by ... the University Senate of the United Methodist Church ...''' and other organizations.

Specimen Current. In electron beam microscopies (both SEM and TEM), this refers to the current passing through the specimen. That isn't straightforwardly the primary-beam current, because the primary beam generates secondary electrons (these have low energy, so they only escape the specimen if they are generated near the surface. There are further complications. In TEM the sample is thin and secondary electrons emerge from both sides of the sample. In SEM, once the primary-beam electrons enter the specimen, they are subject to multiple scattering, and a fraction of the current appears as a diffuse current of backscattered electrons with perhaps 80% of the initial energy. These electrons also generate secondary electrons, of course. In the usual mode of operation of SEM, one creates (i.e., the SEM electronics creates) a graph of secondary electron current as a function of primary-beam position. There are other ways to create an electron micrograph. The second-most common, after the variations on the secondary-electron scheme, is a plot based on the intensity of backscattered electrons. Then there are methods based on specimen current.

For the imaging of semiconductor devices, there is a special kind of specimen-current-based imaging method called EBIC (electron-beam--induced current). This uses the fact that most of the energy lost by an electron beam passing through a semiconductor device goes into the ionization of atoms in the semiconductor (that's where the secondary electrons come from). In device terms, that means that the electron beam generates a highly localized density of holes (on the order of thousands per electron in the primary beam). EBIC generates an image using the specimen current measured through an ohmic or Schottky contact. (That's right: as the capitalization indicates, Ohm's identity has been submerged in the Nachlaß of his work; Schottky's hasn't been, yet.)

Square Cut. Most popular kind of rubber belt for VCR's.

Structural Change. Well, I've seen the abbreviation in linguistics literature, at least.


Studii Clasice.

SubCommittee. Sous-comité. Quelle horreur! It's the same initials as in English! Initial cultural imperialism!

Subversive Culture. You think this is an obscure and rare abbreviation? You haven't looked at enough university course offerings.


Here are some electron micrographs.

The Net Advance of Physics site has some entries in this category.

Switched Capacitor.

Sickle-Cell Anaemia.

Society for Creative Anachronism. The most governmental of NGO's. For example, New York State (official nickname ``the Empire State'') is in the SCA's East Kingdom.

After you've spent the best part of your academic career burnishing your creative (``and how'' mutter the medievalists) medieval (or mediaeval) credentials, you may feel a need to fill the resultant lacuna in your academic vita. A typical way to recycle your experience is to include something like

        Rose to position of treasurer in SCA, a foobar organization.

The problem is always: what to write for foobar. Some anachronists have so much trouble deciding on an appropriate description that they send out an incomplete résumé, and the interviewer asks them ``What's a `foobar' organization?'' This is not a turn you want your interview to take. If you feel uncomfortable using the F-word (`fe*dal') in the groveling-for-a-job context, then you could just leave `SCA' unexplained and unexpanded, or get a job through your SCA connections and start a little fiefdom locally. Alternatively, you can do the honorable thing, taking courage from the melees you've survived, and display your true colors. Ideally, you go to work for Disney.

I'm sorry, I guess I just don't have any good solution for this problem. Fundamentally, the difficulty is that you want to define precisely the quantity of attention that the reader of your vita devotes to this item: enough to notice some extent of experience, not enough to strain his or her limited tolerance for weirdness. You know that time and chance happeneth to them all, so precise control does not obtain.

You know, in one sense the SCA is the least governmental of NGO's. It survives on voluntary contributions by its members rather than on government subsidies, and it doesn't attempt to speak on anyone else's behalf in the councils of government.

People interested in this SCA might also be interested in the Hoplite Association.

Speech Communication Association. Former, and still used, name of the National Communication Association.

Subsidiary Communications Authorization.

(Egyptian) Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Surface Charge Analy{zer|sis}. Something of an alternative to C-V.

Synagogue Council of America. The only US Jewish religious organization with Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox (OU) representation. It collapsed in 1994, after the Reform movement voted to recognize patrilineal descent. (Yeah, yeah, it's more complicated than that. Look, this is just a glossary, okay?)

SuperComputer Automotive Applications Partnership. A useful guide to understanding the world might begin by dividing people into groups on the basis of whether they think computers or automobiles are sexier.

Savannah College of Art and Design. ``SCAD'' is used informally as a proper noun, and pronounced like the singular of scads. It doesn't take a definite article. It would be cool if it were referred to as ``a SCAD,'' but I guess you can't have everything. Ina has a son who's just finishing up there. It occurs to me that having a friend named Ina just increases the difficulty of detecting typing errors.

A few years ago, some students at SCAD were so unhappy that it made national news, but I only had a link here instead of an explanation. Now (2007) I can't remember what it was all about. It probably had to do with crime, because the main campus of SCAD is in a high-crime area of Savannah. But maybe it was because of faculty issues. Faculty at SCAD generally do not have tenure, but work on one-year contracts.

SCAD was founded in 1978 with 71 students. By 2004, with about 7000 students, it was the largest art college in the US. It occupied more than 50 buildings totaling more than 1.5 million square feet, and was credited with helping to revitalize Savannah's historic district, restoring buildings that were either vacant or in disrepair. I think I can begin to see how the high-crime thing happened to come about. That year, it started scouting sites in metro Atlanta where it could open a satellite campus called SCAD-Atlanta, that would offer graduate and undergraduate courses in ``advertising design, animation, architectural history, art history, broadcast design and motion graphics, and interior design.'' It eventually selected a site that was just a short walk away from the campus of the Atlanta College of Art, which happened to be struggling at the time. The next year, months after celebrating its centennial, ACA was absorbed into SCAD-Atlanta.

{Supervisory|System} Control And Data Acquisition.

Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The military junta that took power in the wake of the 2011 ``pro-democracy'' demonstrations in Egypt.

South Carolina Academy of General Dentistry. A constituent of the AGD.

Self-Contained ALgol Processor. One of the programming languages that was a finger exercise for the BASIC performance. See this DART entry for others.


SCAttered Nucleon Detection Assembly. It's installed at The Svedberg Laboratory (TSL) in Uppsala and described by J. Klug et al. in ``SCANDAL -- a facility for elastic neutron scattering studies in the 50-130 MeV range,'' Nucl. Instr. Meth. vol. A 489, pp. 282ff (2002). Now all they need is ``A School for Scandal.''

The analysis of verse into metrical patterns.

For example, Eugene Onegin is in fourteen-line iambic tetrameter, with the rhyming scheme

The pattern of masculine and feminine rhymes is systematic as well, following

This glossary passes along traditional mnemonics for dactylic hexameter and dochmiac meter. This glossary also has an entry pointing you to the electronic journal Versification, but if you found the rest of this entry informative, you may find that journal a bit advanced.

[column] Here's a nice introduction to Latin scansion.

An adjective with the same meaning as scanty. The words differ grammatically in that scant rarely functions as a predicate.

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.

scar city
SCARCITY with a space in the middle. I would have written ``scar-
city'' if I made it a practice to use multi-line head terms. I think it's cute how it can be momentarily difficult to recognize a word when its hyphenated parts are also words. Can we say ``free and bound morphemes''? ... Sure we can!

I was at a writers'-group meeting a while back and silently corrected ``scars'' to ``scares'' on my copy of a draft under discussion, then laughed when I realized that it was supposed to be ``scarce.'' The writer explained that she couldn't remember how to write the word she wanted, so she just left it wrong.

Society of Chairmen of Academic Radiology Departments.

scare quotes
Quotation marks used to indicate that a quoted term or at least some assumption it entails is suspect, rather than to indicate direct quotation of a particular utterance.

Strathcona County Accessible Transportation. Strathcona County is in Alberta.

South Carolina Assocation of Veterinarians. See also AVMA.

Scientists Center for Animal Welfare. As of July 15, 2000, they don't know how to punctuate their own name, and they can't get their own homepage to display on a browser with both style sheets and JavaScript enabled. This does not inspire confidence in their judgments on less trivial matters.

Self-Consistent Born Approximation.

Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. Cf. scuba.

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Serial Communications Control.

Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

It ain't ``rouge,'' it's Science and Technology!

SouthWestern Community College. This is the one in southwestern North Carolina. The one in southwestern Iowa is SWCC. For some other schools with ``Southwestern'' in the name, see the SU (Southwestern University) entry.

Special Coordinating Committee. During the Iran hostage crisis, an SCC was formed and so called by the NSC.

Switching Control Center.

Sullivan County Community College. Part of the SUNY system.

Short Circuit Current Delay.

Signaling Connection and Control Part.

Source Code Control System. Configuration management system from AT&T that traditionally comes bundled with Unix. Consensus seems to be: at least use RCS, it's better in most ways. However, most of the complaints apparently refer to the command-line version, which is not being improved any more. There is a visual version of SCCS. There are in fact many alternatives. See this Configuration Management Tools Summary.

Swarthmore College Computer Society.

Switching Control Center System.

Society of Catholic College Teachers of Sacred Doctrine. Founded in 1953, it's now called the College Theology Society, and publishes a journal with the not-especially-unusual title of Horizons.

The Spring 2004 issue of Horizons (volume 31, no. 1) had a section entitled ``College Theology Society Fiftieth Anniversary Essays.'' The first essay, ``Present at the Sidelines of the Creation'' (pp. 88-93) is by Gerard S. Sloyan. This is a different Gerard from my pal mentioned at the Diogenes entry, just so you know. Sloyan writes

    As to what brought the [society] into existence, it was not so much the generally jejune character of the classroom teaching of religion based on the seminary courses and textbooks available as it was the professional feelings of the men and women engaged in the work. They knew that they were poorer prepared at the graduate level than faculty members in other departments. Some of the priest teachers doubled in brass as chaplains of women's colleges (and some in colleges of men), a detail that led colleagues to discount their academic seriousness. A lack of respect came from another quarter. The various religious brother, sister, and regular and secular clergy college presidents invariably had doctorates in other fields. This coupled with their remembered formation in a religious institute or seminary, qualified them in their own minds as knowing more about what should be going on in religion departments than the people instructing several sections of fifty students and more. They knew it had to be inferior because its practitioners had never written a Ph.D. dissertation like them. [I never realized that college presidents were like Ph.D. dissertations!]

He mentions later that the early agitators who brought the SCCTSD into being were primarily members of groups in Washington, New York, and South Bend. Interestingly, the South Bend group were not at Notre Dame but at its sister institution, Saint Mary's College, and at River Forest House of Studies.

There was a real contest among textbooks, and one of the entrants mentioned was ``Theodore Hesburgh, a young instructor at the University of Notre Dame.'' As I sit here typing this glossary entry at the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Library, late one Summer evening in 2004, retired university president Father Hesburgh is probably still at work in his office twelve floors above me. (Fr. Hesburgh was university president from 1952 to 1987. This is probably as good a place as any to note that in the 1960's, he invited a young European theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, to teach at Notre Dame. He turned down the invitation, writing that he felt his English was not yet good enough. When he became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, at the age of 78, news reports said he spoke ten languages.)

In the early years, Horizons published a few ecumenical articles, but that trend petered out. The Society itself remains Roman Catholic, though it has held biennial meetings with the Baptist Professors of Theology since the mid 1990's. The disappearance of the word Catholic from the society's name turns out the have little to do with ecumenism and much to do with an extensively debated question of grammatical ambiguity: did the first word in the noun phrase ``Catholic College Teachers'' modify the second or third word or both? At the 1967 annual meeting (Pittsburgh), a vote decided that the proper concern of the society was ``College Theology.'' I think the society's name change came not much after. Theologians have to tie up all the loose ends. I don't.

Segmented-array, Charge-coupled device (CCD) Detector.

Saturated-Calomel Electrode.

Service Creation Environment.

Short-Channel Effect[s] (in field-effect transistors).

Society for Critical Exchange. ``Critical'' here means lit-crit.
``North America's oldest [fnd'd 1975] scholarly organization devoted to theory.''
``Theory'' here means, you know, pomo and related crap.

The organization, affiliated with the MLA, publishes the journal SCE Reports. According to this page, Stanford University has a quarterly called SCE Reports that describes spending by Resident Fellows and I don't know who else. If I ever learn the expansion, I'll probably make it a separate entry.


Société canadienne des études classiques. `Classical Association of Canada.' See CAC/SCEC.

South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Sounds scecsy!

Single-Channel Electron Multiplier. A low-power alternative to a photomultiplier tube (PMT). A small curved glass tube with a high surface resistance (at least on the inside wall) and a high secondary electron emission coefficient. Typical gain of 107.

Snow Control Equipment Manufacturers Committee. It ``has operated as a product-related organization under the NTEA since 1979. Its goal is to promote the manufacture and use of safe and efficient snow control equipment.'' Defeatists! Appeasers! ``Control'' is not enough: we must never compromise with the White Menace! Ever onward to victory! Victory! Snow shall be defeated.

(Global warming entry coming soon. Before 2050, at the latest.)


Second Century. Now called Journal of Early Christian Studies (JECS). Catalogued by TOCS-IN (search on JESC).

Soft Collinear Effective Theory.

Self-Consistent Field. Idea developed on intuitive grounds by D. R. Hartree, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 24, 89 (1928).

Standard Cubic Foot. A measure of gas quantity used in the drilling industry. A standard cubic foot of gas is the amount of gas that would occupy a cubic foot at a temperature of 60°F and a pressure of 14.7 psi.

Stem-Cell Factor.

Schottky Diode FET Logic. [A MESFET logic family.]

Standard Cubic FooT. Less common abbreviation than scf.


Separate-Confinement Heterostructure.

Student Credit Hours. The number of students times their average number of credits.

SubCortical Hyperintensity. ``Cortical'' as in brain cortex.

Pleasure in another's misfortune. A German compound noun that could be translated literally as `sadness joy.' Systematically capitalized in German because it's a noun; sometimes capitalized in English, depending on the degree to which one judges that it has been naturalized.

In principle, I suppose it could be pleasure in another's sadness of whatever provenance -- through specific misfortune or otherwise. Then again, sadness is usually regarded as some kind of misfortune in se. However, I think that the typical context involves ``another'' with whom one is not (or more like is no longer) in immediate communication. In this situation, the typical misfortune one is likely to know of is the substantive sort.

Cf. sangfroid.

German, `onomatopoeia.' Most European languages seem to convey this idea with some monster of a word or compound. Some representative examples:

French: onomatopée
Portuguese: onomatopéia,
Italian: onomatopèa (also -pèia),
Polish: onomatopeja,
Spanish: onomatopeya,
Norwegian: onomatopoietikon, lydmalende ord, and lydhermende ord
Dutch: klanknabootsing, klanknabootsend woord, and onomatopee,
Albanian: onomatopé and tingullimitim,
Hungarian: hangutánzás and hangfestés,
Russian (transliterated): zvukopodrazhanie (you will not complaining; adjective is being zvukopodrazhatyel'nii).

This is completely absurd; not only are the words insanely long, but many of them resemble the original Greek and therefore each other, reducing diversity and facilitating mutual comprehensibility among languages. These are problems that English can solve. The word should be something like the Dutch or Albanian outliers -- whizbang or zingptooey or tweetmeow -- but not suggest anything in particular. I think buzzpoppery would do nicely. The adjective would be anything totally different.

Schottky-Collector Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor. On a transferred substrate.

Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786) was the first person to produce oxygen (cf. Priestley). Scheele also discovered other elements: manganese, molybdenum and chlorine, but the discovery of oxygen led to the overthrow of the phlogiston theory, which is a colorful story. [Scheele was only the first produce oxygen; he didn't discover it because he could explain his results to his own satisfaction in terms of the phlogiston theory. His detailed reasoning is outlined at this site.] Scheele also discovered hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen fluoride [HF (aq)] and hydrogen cyanide. He tasted them, as chemists generally did then. He died young. Maybe for those chemists, there was a reason why the good died young. It has been proposed that Newton's madness or extreme unsociability came about from his alchemical experiments. During periods of intense alchemical research, he would eat and sleep in the same room where he evaporated mercury...

A popular early method of producing oxygen was by the reduction of mercurous nitrate [that's mercury (II) nitrate: Hg(NO3)2]. It was widely used in the making of felt hats in the nineteenth century. Over time, they would inhale or ingest enough to suffer mercury poisoning; thus arose the expression ``mad as a hatter,'' an expression possibly preserved in the language by Lewis Carroll's `Mad Hatter' character.

Scheele's detailed reasoning is outlined at this site.

German for `haddock.'

This is my proudest discovery.

The particular way a data model chooses to model its data.

One common sense of the word scheme is plan of action. This often has a negative connotation, as of a plan to achieve selfish or immoral goals, typically by means partly of concealed or secret actions. This is described in the OED2 (1989) as its current most prominent use, and one which colors the many other senses of the word to varying degrees. I guess one can see that in the hackneyed ``grand scheme of things,'' where scheme is no longer necessarily understood to imply a conscious plan. The dominant use doesn't seem to color the sense of ``color scheme,'' suggesting that scheme is a kind of lexical mordant.

Anyway, the description fits US usage well enough. A closely related sense of scheme occurs in the phrase ``pension scheme.'' That term is used widely in the UK and rarely in the US (the US term is ``pension plan,'' much less common in the UK). Thirteen other OED2 entries do include the phrase ``pension scheme'' within definitions or quoted examples, with the earliest dated instance occuring in 1935. This phrase and others like it (recording scheme, compensation scheme, ombudsman scheme, etc.) seem to account for most occurrences of the word (as noun, the verb disappearing) in UK usage (i.e., in .uk webpages). The occasional exceptions seem to be older texts. Another example of this new collocation pattern, or perhaps revived older sense, is in the phrase ``housing scheme.''

The new OED edition offers an additional sense of scheme as short for this phrase in Scottish colloquial usage, but that is not enough. The negative connotation of scheme should be identified as ``chiefly American'' or at least not British. (Of course, if you're in the opposition, loyal or otherwise, perhaps government schemes do seem to have a nefarious or at least misguided element.) Australian usage, as suggested by the expansion of HECS, apparently parallels UK usage. The word scheme also occurs in the phrase ``incontinence pad scheme'' quoted at our entry for the (Western Australia) AABIC. There seems to be a real divergence in usage under way here.

Now I'm going to give an example of the (incidental) use of the term ``housing scheme.'' The example comes from pp. 90-91 of G.N.M. Tyrrell's Homo Faber: A Study of Man's Mental Evolution (1951). (You may as well know that I'm only doing this to assuage the accountancy of my conscience, which knows it was a waste to have skimmed even this much.)

... Behind the working of our rational mind lie forces which rise up to it from the instinctive level and also forces which descend to it from the unadapted level. Both can influence the mind unconsciously. An example of the latter kind is provided by the building of the medieval cathedrals. The great and prolonged effort which was put into these permanent messages in stone can surely not be accounted for solely by the intellectual beliefs which their builders held. The real driving force must have been unconscious; for the cathedrals have a significance which cannot be expressed in language. They were not built to provide places of worship in the deliberate way in which a modern government might decide on a housing scheme. If one sits in a cathedral, especialy if it is empty, and, so to speak, feels it, the conviction comes home to one that it is the crystallization of a message that could not be expressed in words. No formal doctrine or dogma is enshrined in it but a reality which enters from beyond our life in time. It is this which must have inspired the planners and builders to carry on their long and laborious work--although they could not have said as much if they had been asked.

Other entries that mention cathedrals are those under the head terms

  1. Arrhenius plot (this link is actually worth following)
  2. Campanian Society
  3. WNC (strangely, this entry is relevant)

SCHF psychosis
SCHizophreniForm psychosis.

Schiff's Base
A good starting point for synthesizing the rigid molecules -- long, flat, twisted or some combination -- that exhibit liquid crystal (LC) phases:
         / ___ \
        / /   \ \
        \ \___/ /
               \          _____
                \        / ___ \
                 C==N___/ /   \ \
                /       \ \___/ /
               /         \_____/

Schiller, Karl
Karl Schiller, born in Breslau on April 24, 1911, was one of the most celebrated actors in German economic policy. Schiller served as Bundeswirtschaftsminister (`Federal Minister for Economic Affairs') during the ``Grand Coalition'' of 1966-1969, working closely with Finance Minister (Finanzminister) Franz Josef Strauss (long-time head of the CSU). In a later red-green coalition, he held the two posts simultaneously (in German: zusätzlich). Like Alex Moellers, whom he succeeded, he was for this reason (I've been reading too much German, ich glaube) called a Superminister (in German: Superminister).

German for `shilling,' descendant of the Roman solidus and hence worth 12 Pfennig (denarii) and one twentieth of a pound.

The situation was a bit more complicated in medieval Austria and Bavaria, which used a ``long'' Schilling worth 30 Pfennig as a unit of account. I'm sure at the time that someone thought this made things simpler. Eventually, it became the name of the currency of post-imperial Austria. It remained the monetary unit (currency symbol ATS) until replaced by the euro. The conversion was at a rate of 1 EUR = 13.7603 ATS, or approximately 1 ATS = 0.07267 EUR. See also Groschen, a subsidiary unit.

State Children's Health-Insurance Program. See long entry at CHIP.

SCattering of Heavy, Low-Energy Ions with CHanneling. A code written by Ned G. Stoffel of Bell Labs, which computes ion penetration distribution for energies in the kilovolt range. The code TRIM, which uses Monte Carlo path simulation in a jellium model (i.e, which ignores crystal lattice effects), predicts penetration on the scale of about 100 Å; with channeling in <110> directions included in this code, one obtains numbers more like 1000 Å, more consistent with experiment. Vide CHANDID.

Reported in 1992.

German: `to creep.' Schleich would be the imperative form.

Schmaltz, schmaltz
Cooked fat. Very popular with those who like it. The German word (always capitalized) refers to any fat, typically lard. The Yiddish word typically refers to chicken or goose fat since lard is treif (unkosher). I used to think that Schmaltz was only goose fat, until one day when I had a discussion with Bernie. Apparently Schmaltz was goose fat if your family could afford it. My mother loved goose fat, and for a brief period when she was a child in Weimar Germany her mother could afford it. A couple of years ago my mother started writing her memoirs and I read one vignette that had nothing directly to do with Schmaltz. It ended approximately ``and this shows that I was very interested in food even before it was scarce.''

Yiddish is written in Hebrew (originally Aramaic) characters, so capitalization is not an issue as it is in German written with (any more-or-less) Roman characters. In English I suppose you could capitalize the word to make clear that you're borrowing from the German, but then you could just as well write lard. I suppose if you want to emphasize that you're borrowing from the Yiddish you might write ``shmaltz,'' but that spelling is much less common. The shm and shn consonant clusters are common in German languages but rare in English words not recently borrowed from German or Yiddish, so I guess it's hard to naturalize the spelling.

Goose fat makes a good breadspread, but tastes depend on early childhood experience. I remember the first time someone suggested dipping good bread in an icky pool of green olive oil. Ah, but I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now. Cf. skwarka.

The much more common sense of schmaltz in English is a transferred sense from Yiddish: (often showy) sentiment, sentimentality. Most commonly predicated of popular music or maybe art, in a condescending way or in a sympathetic, nostalgic way.

The word has taken English inflections: schmaltzy, schmaltziness. That doesn't always happen with Yiddish words in English (contrast the noun meshuga, with adjective form meshugene). It's interesting how the transferred sense of schmaltzy compares with that of the materially almost equivalent greasy. They have similar connotation -- both are at least vaguely deprecatory, but different denotation.

Schmidt immer mit
This is a epithet that my mother remembers as having been common during her childhood in Breslau in the 1930's, but web searches suggest that it may have had only a local vogue.

This is an epithet in the manner of Johnny come lately, nervous Nelly, silly Billy, and simple Simon. A fair literal translation might be `Smith Always Along.' A reasonable English version might be `Tag-Along Smith,' although it carries slightly different connotations. At minimum, unlike the German ``immer mit,'' ``tag-along'' in English carries a suggestion of someone who follows a group.

The English epithet examples suggest that alliteration or rhyme contribute to their popularity. In case there's any doubt, therefore, I'll note that -midt is pronounced identically with mit. Generally speaking, final stop consonants are unvoiced, and final dt, tt, and t are equivalent. Indeed, the words statt and Stadt originally had the same spelling, and one of them (I forget which) had its spelling altered just to make an orthographic distinction.

In the literal translation above, I Englished mit as `along.' As English speakers generally know, mit is the German preposition typically corresponding to the English preposition `with.' However, in the head term mit is used as an adverb, and English with is rarely an adverb. Along is a fair translation of the adverb mit, and it works reasonably well for the translation of verbs with the separable prefix mit into verb-plus-particle constructions: mitbringen is `to bring along,' mitkommen is `to come along,' etc. For another contrast between mit and with, see ablative of association.

Just to be a little pedantic, I'll note that along used as an English preposition does not correpond at all well to the preposition mit. A better way to go is with the postposition entlang, which happens to be the closest cognate of along.

Beg with chutzpah. From the Yiddish word shnorrn, `to beg.' In English usage, of course, one applies English inflections, typically -- as in this case -- to the root of the verb: I, we, you, they schnorr; he, she schorrs; schnorred; schnorring. Our main entry for the various related words is schnorrer.

A German verb generally meaning `beg' in what we might call a nonprofessional or occasional way. A more precise translation of its current sense would be to `sponge' or `cadge' -- to wheedle small change or items like cigarettes, but never to reciprocate. The person who does this (the sponge) is a Schnorrer. Schnorren is part of Umgangsprache (that is to say, it's a widespread colloquialism) continuing one sense of the Middle High German verb schnurren.

The cognate Yiddish words, with slightly different senses than the German, appeared in English early in the twentieth century (see schnorrer). The German may have had some influence on the English spelling.

A slang word meaning something like smart-aleck beggar, or a beggar with chutzpah. The word is recorded as a Yiddishism (a word used ``among the Jews'') in the 1913 Webster's Dictionary, and has probably been more widely used in American English than the corresponding verbs (see schnorr).

There is a defining story that gives the precise sense of schnorrer. To have the full flavor, you should know that megillah is Yiddish for `overlong story' and tsuris is an uncountable noun meaning `troubles, problems, worries.'

A schnorrer sees one of his regular contributors, and comes up to buttonhole him for some spare change. The touch replies with a megillah about his own tsuris. He's going through a rough patch, so he can't help right now. The schnorrer complains in reply: ``Just because you've got tsuris, why should I suffer?''

Well, at least we've broken ground on this entry. Schnorrer is probably related, either as a cognate or parallel development, to English snore, so we've got a bit more to describe.


A journal published once annually from wherever the editor works, I guess. (Used to be South Africa; now New Zealand.) Full title: Scholia: Studies in Classical Antiquity (ISSN 1018-9017).

Scholia Reviews is an electronic journal that features the pre-publication versions of reviews that appear in Scholia.

school night
Parentese term meaning `schoolday eve.' Hence, an evening requiring some preparation, including the getting of one or more children into bed at a ``reasonable'' hour.


An Oxford classics exam explained at the Greats entry.

Schott Glass Technologies, Inc.
Call this company at +1 (717) 457-7485 and thank them for having a cool name.

Schottky barrier diode
The same as a Schottky diode, q.v.

Schottky diode
A metal and semiconductor junction in which the semiconductor is weakly doped. For most metals on silicon, the Fermi energy in the metal is pinned about 0.8 eV below the Si conduction band. The reasons are still in some dispute. Cf. ohmic contact; vide metal-semiconductor interfaces.

[Schroedinger Thumbnail Portrait]

Ernst Schrödinger.


German, `School war.' Term used in the last decade or so of the nineteenth century for a major row in the education establishments of the German-speaking world. Even Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany got involved. It was a sort of later battle of ancients and moderns, but it was more concerned with science than art. At the beginning of that period, the curriculum in Gymnasium (approx. ages ten to eighteen) was dominated by instruction in the classical languages (Greek and Latin). Reformers sought to refocus the curriculum on mathematics, science, and modern languages.

One of the major agitators for reform was the physicist/philosopher Ernst Mach. Out of kindness, perhaps, writers fail to mention that Mach's early encounter with the classical languages was traumatic. Like many children of the affluent in that time, he was home-schooled until he was ready to enter Gymnasium at age ten. He was very unhappy, particularly with the classical languages and also the religious instruction. Perhaps he suffered a nervous breakdown. He was withdrawn from Gymnasium and home-schooled for another five years, also doing a part-time apprenticeship. It was probably a much better education for a scientist than he would have gotten had he been kept in. He reentered the formal track (i.e., Gymnasium) at age fifteen. It's interesting to contrast the reactions of Mach and Ernst Schrödinger to the classical grammars. Mach was repelled by the memorization necessitated by the irregularity and by the semantically arbitrary distinctions of declension, etc. Schrödinger was impressed by the logic of the system.

A good place to read about Mach and Schrödinger is the wonderful Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Your library must have it. A good starting point to learn about the Schulkrieg is The Young Einstein - The advent of relativity, by Lewis Pyenson (Bristol and Boston: Adam Hilger, Ltd., 1985), pp. 1-3 (with extensive notes to the secondary literature). The reformers largely won the Schulkrieg, but the form of this success did not initially consist in a general change of curriculum, but rather in a change of status of different kinds of existing schools.

Existing high schools in the period fell into three categories. Gymnasien (that's plural of Gymnasium) were classical schools that taught Greek and Latin. Realgymnasien -- semiclassical schools -- taught Latin but not Greek, and Oberrealschulen -- nonclassical schools -- taught neither Latin nor Greek. Originally, only Gymnasium graduates could enter university and certain government positions. The other kinds of schools offered what one might think of as a nonacademic terminal diploma, or vo-tech training. A large part of the reform was the opening up of university education and higher government positions to graduates of all Gymnasien. The curricula changed more slowly. My cousin Franz, one of the older children to get out of Germany on the Kindertransport (and one of the last; his bus raced the back roads into Holland on the day Germany invaded Poland) had gone to a regular Gymnasium. The only languages he knew were German, Latin, and Greek. It was not unusual for Gymnasium graduates in those days to take a year off and travel Europe, learning a modern language or two and maturing. (That was before the war.)

Schwarze Haus
`Black House.' The German name of a famous old (1577) building in Lemberg (now Lviv), decorated with limestone carvings, that managed to survive both World Wars. Our central entry for buildings named for colors is colored houses.

Schwarzkopf, Norman
Implicated in neurological dysfunction: ``Remembering Norman Schwarzkopf: Evidence for Two Distinct Long-term Fact Learning Mechanisms,'' Cognitive Neuropsychology, 11 #6, pp. 661-670 (1994).

Scalable Coherent Interface.

Schurz Communications, Inc. A tiny media empire based in South Bend, Indiana, comprising WSBT-TV, WSBT-AM, and WNSN-FM in South Bend, and other broadcast, wire-line, and small-newspaper media outlets.

Science Citation Index. A product of ISI, q.v.


Scripta Classica Israelica. Yearbook of the Israel Society for the Promotion of Classical Studies (ISPCS). Founded in 1974, it ``has been devoted to the study of Classics and Ancient History. It welcomes articles in English, French, German, Italian or Latin on any aspect of the classical world.'' The journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

Spinal Cord Injury.

System Control Interrupt. A system interrupt used by hardware to notify the OS of ACPI events. Contrasted with SMI.

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia. ``Spinal Cord Injuries Australia was formed as the Australian Quadriplegic Association in September 1967 to provide suitable accommodation for young people with severe spinal cord injuries. Our services have expanded as the need and opportunity arose. We now extend our services to all people with physical disabilities.'' SCI's logo, as opposed to the abbreviated form of its name, is sci, with the i segmented to suggest vertebrae.

The name SCIA suggests sciatica, which is a pain down the leg caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve (the main nerve into the leg). The irritation is typically spinal, occurring where the nerve emerges from the lumbar vertebrae. After spending weeks on my back trying to decide whether to phrase the preceding sentences in the singular or plural, I've concluded that hey, did you know that Hebrew and Arabic have three grammatical numbers -- singular, dual, and plural? I think it's used more systematically in Arabic; in Hebrew it tends to be used only for things that are naturally paired, like, uh, legs. One leg is regel, a pair of legs is raglayim, more is regalim (stressed syllables bold). As noted at this LE entry, that's not exactly `leg.'

You recognize the Hebrew word regel (`foot, leg, lower extremity') because you remember the star named Rigel. That star marks the left foot of Orion. (He faces us, so that's on our right in the northern hemisphere. If you cross over into the southern hemisphere, the same thing happens that happened to Dante and his guide Virgilio at the end of the Inferno. No, not ``Towering Inferno''; this Inferno is deep.) The name is short for the Arabic rigl al-gauza, `foot of the central one.' (The definite article al in a compound like this means `of the'.) Rigel Kentaurus, the third-brightest star in the sky, is the foot of the constellation Centaurus. It is designated Alpha 1 Centauri, the alpha indicating that it is the brightest star of its constellation. The 1 is to distinguish it from two much dimmer stars that occupy what looks to the naked (earthbound) eye as a single (twinkling) bright point. Rigel (in Orion) is also close (9'' -- nine seconds of arc, not nine inches, you clown) to a dim companion, but apparently that's not quite enough to merit the 1 treatment.

Rigel is the seventh-brightest star in the sky (in apparent magnitude, of course), and the brightest in Orion. Bayer designated it Beta Orionis (implying the second-brightest of Orion) by mistake. Alpha Orionis is a variable star, so I guess it got named, or at least observed, on a good day. Alpha Orionis is better known as Betelgeuse. The latter star name, and you have my permission not to believe this, is a corruption of the Arabic yad al-gauza (yad, in Hebrew and Arabic, means `hand').

Old English and other Germanic languages also had a dual, most evident in the personal pronouns. With the exception of, I think, Icelandic (with dual and plural forms of we), modern Germanic languages do not preserve the distinction.

Scientific American.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease. Also called SCIDS (below).

Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R.

Severe Combined ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome. Bubble-boy syndrome. Also called SCID (above).

Sciences Po
Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris.

scientific instruments
I'm not going to try to define scientific instruments with any degree of precision. I just want to mention the existence of the Websters' Instrument Makers' Database, available online. Incidentally, we have an entry for the RSI.

A bulky object in solar orbit at about one a.u. A scientoid resembles a scientist in having had a scientific education and in being involved with science. Unlike a scientist, however, a scientoid does not contribute to progress in science. Instead, it becomes involved in national and international committees dedicated to naming and renaming physical objects and measuring units that do not need naming or renaming. The word scientoid is modeled on and inspired by plutoid.

Science Fiction. The earliest instance of the term science fiction found in the Oxford English Dictionary is in Little Earnest Book upon Great Old Subject, written by W. Wilson and published in 1851. Since then some science fiction has turned into fact. This was apparently an isolated instance, however.

The term really entered the lexicon in June 1929, with Hugo Gernsback, editor of Science Wonder Stories, who sponsored a monthly $50 contest for essays on ``What Science Fiction Means to Me.''

I think the magazine later became Amazing Stories. Hugo Gernsback also operated the radio station WRNY.

The term sci-fi, oddly enough, is used to describe a broader genre than science fiction proper, as once conceived. In contrast, SF, though in principle more ambiguous (as it fits science fantasy) has a more restrictive sense (see further discussion at SF).


Abbreviation for Latin scilicet, in turn a contraction of scire licet. Its meaning, of course, is `of course' or `evidently,' and evidently it introduces a writer's gloss on a report or quote. [E.g., ``Vladimir said he (scil. Pogio) could stick it where the sun don't shine.'']

This is also used to mean namely.

The shorter form, sc., is probably more common.

Self-Consistent Interstitial Method[s].

Silicon Coating by Inverted Meniscus.

Something between a dilettante and a poseur. Why does French have all the good words for this? A sciolist is someone with superficial knowledge who claims to be an expert. The word may be almost obsolete, but the concept is not. Use this word. Pronounce the first three letters as in science. Express opprobrium with brutality and joy. Here's a model to follow from Generation of Vipers, an almost recent book (p. 241):
These tousled wearers of the flat hat [the author refers only to professors], supererogated by the medieval magic of the cloister, and made additionally colossal by a little knowledge of some external or measurable facet of the universe, have failed wretchedly in their assignment of educating post-school Americans. They have so departmentalized knowledge that a quadrennium is not long enough to make a sciolist, and they have let the teaching of wisdom disappear altogether from the curriculum, because doubtless, they no longer have any to teach.

(Did he check the 500-level courses?)

A very well-known word meaning descendant or heir. Rhymes with lion. In sylvanculture, it also means a detached shoot or twig containing buds, used in grafting.

An offshoot of Toyota, detached in advertising, rolled out in Summer 2004 with lower-priced models and styling to tap the youth market (generation Y, in case you're keeping score). The provocatively unaerodynamic and somewhat clownishly unstreamlined styling owes a very little to lowriders and a lot to phat pants, or maybe to the successful Honda Element. The name is pronounced as two equally stressed syllables, like the elementary particle psion or ``sigh on,'' rhyming with ``lie on.''

Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals.

Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Iranian-backed. (Duh.) Shi'ites, concentrated in the southern half of the country, constitute a majority of Iraq's population. Cf. INC.


[Football icon]

SaCK. In high-school and college football in the US, sacks are counted against rushing yardage. (That is, yardage lost on a play that ends in a sack of the quarterback is counted against rushing yardage for the quarterback and the team, just as yardage lost in a running play is counted against yardage by the runner and team.) In the NFL, sacks count against passing yardage.

Sculptor. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.


Senior Classical League. At first I thought this was a joke. Maybe it is, but they have a website. Organizations should perform the functions that one would expect from their names. Therefore, the SCL should start running package tours for retirees who want to wander around the Roman forum and say Salvete! to the cats.

Also known as the NSCL. More information, and a raison d'être, at the JCL entry.

Serial CLock (line). Cf. I²C.

Space-Charge Limited. The early classic in SCL currents in bulk n-i-n (``double-injection'') diodes is N. F. Mott & R. W. Guerney, Electronic Processes in Ionic Crystals, (Oxford: Oxford U. P., 2nd. e:1948).

Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (partly at the prodding of Bayard Rustin), and headed by Ralph Abernathy after King's assassination.

Rhymes with SDLC.

Scanning Capacitance Microscopy. Yet another (YA-) Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM).

Single-Chip Module.

Stochastic and Computational Mechanics.

Sub-Carrier Modulation.

South Central (US) Modern Language Association. The official journal of the SCMLA is The South Central Review.

Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education. Known from its creation in 1983 until 1998 as the Conservation Analytical Laboratory (CAL).

Single Chip Network Termination 1.

Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. ``SCO is the world's leading provider of system software for Business Critical Servers that run the critical day-to-day business operations of large and small organizations, and the leading provider of software that integrates Microsoft® Windows® PCs and other clients with all major Unix® System servers.'' Their online support is called ``SOS.''

There's an FAQ of SCO UNIX newsgroups on the web.

As of mid 2003 I think they had lawsuit on claiming patent infringement by Linux. AFAIK, SCO is the software industry's leading provider of lawsuits.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Scorpius. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

SpaceCraft Office. NASAnese misnomer for an earthbound office concerned with spacecraft. The SCO construction should be parallel to SO/HO. How will they solve the inkwell and paperweight problems in a zero-gravity environment? What will keep white-out in the bottle? Which way will the hanging folders hang? When you press down on the desktop stapler with one hand and you're holding a Tang in the other hand, how do you keep from spinning or sailing across the room from the reaction force? Let's meet at Starbucks. What good is an ``overnight delivery guarantee'' when there are so many different day lengths? Is it okay if I telecommute this month?

Southern Conference On Language Teaching. ``Organized in 1965, the Southern Conference on Language Teaching is one of five regional affiliates of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages [ACTFL]. Thirteen states are in the SCOLT region: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. Some of these states, because of their [geographic] proximity to other regional organizations, are `shared' with the Northeast Conference, the Central States Conference, or the Southwest Conference.''

Structural Classification of Proteins. A database for the investigation of protein sequences and structures.

Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research.

Service Corps Of Retired Executives.

's corps. Press Corps. Slang given currency by Primary Colors, best-selling (a million hardcover) roman à clef about Clinton's 1992 campaign for presidency, written by Joe Klein as `Anonymous.'

A town in the Poconos (northeastern Pennsylvania), accessible from I-80. I just want to say that every time I drive between northern Indiana and northern New Jersey, I see signs for this place, and in the distance the name suggests a different word. It's not even funny any more. It's not a very important town, and the people who need to get there should know the exit. Is it really necessary for just every town near the interstate to be named in prominent signage?

I was going to wait until I had a minim entry to mention this, but I decided that making my opinions known was simply too urgent. Okay, now we have a minim entry so you can be enlightened.

John Duns Scotus, of course. The celebrated medieval schoolman also known by the epithet Doctor Subtilis (`subtle doctor'). The term dunce was coined to describe his epigoni.

Supreme Court Of The United States. This may not be an official US military acronym, but it is used jocularly. ``The Supremes'' is more common.

SCOTtish Vocational Education Certificate.

Jocular synonym for Liverpudlian. As if that were needed.

The etymology of this is suggested to be lobscouse, a mariner's stew, but no one knows the etymology of that. (Specifically, lob is an old word meaning boil, but no one knows the origin of scouse. I wonder if it mightn't be an unattested variant of souse.) As long as you've got all day to ponder stuff like this, you could do worse than browse the house entry.

Secondary Communications Processor.

Serial Clock Pulse.

[Phone icon]

(Telephone) Service Control Point.

Signal Control Point. A signal control point is a database containing information used for advanced call-processing functions in a Signaling System 7 (SS-7) network.

Single-Chip Packag{ e | ing }. As opposed to MCP.

Société canadienne des postes. See CPC.

Society of Christian Philosophers. ``[O]rganized in 1978 to promote fellowship among Christian Philosophers and to stimulate study and discussion of issues which arise from their Christian and philosophical commitments.'' And here I was thinking it was intended to stimulate study of issues arising from other peoples' Christian and philosophical commitments. I mean, surely serious scholars want to get a critical purchase on the matter, no? ``One of [the SCP's] chief aims is to go beyond the usual philosophy of religion sessions at the American Philosophical Association [APA] and to stimulate thinking about the nature and role of Christian commitment in philosophy. The Society is open to anyone interested in philosophy who considers himself or herself a Christian. Membership is not restricted to any particular `school' of philosophy or to any branch of Christianity, or to professional philosophers.''

Stacked-Chip Packaging.

I say, let the chips fall where they may.

SunLink Communications Processor.

System Control Program. IBM's term for operating system (OS).

Single Channel Per Carrier. Most popular mode for sending high quality audio and data signals by satellite.

Suppressed Clock Pulse Duration Modulation.

Sun Yat-sen Center for Policy Studies. At the National Sun Yat-sen University, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, R.O.C., nowadays.

Silicon-Controlled Rectifier. A pnpn device that functions as a gated diode. The gate functions something like a trigger: with bias across an SCR that is off, the gate turns the SCR on; with a current flowing through the SCR, it's hard to turn the device off by adjusting the bias on the gate; the SCR goes open, regardless of gate voltage, when the current drops to zero.

Solar Cosmic Ray[s].

SCR, scr
Space-Charge Region.

Sustainable Cell Rate.

Scrabble (R)
According to The Quotable Musician, Duke (raw value 9 points) Ellington said (p. 125 of cited collection) the following about Scrabble®:
Playing ``Bop'' is like scrabble with all the vowels missing.

Scrabble examining table
The logophile hypochondriac's delight. Except as otherwise indicated, in this glossary anything said to be found on the ``Scrabble examining table'' (such as diseases, morbidities, infections, foreign objects, conditions, syndromes, diagnoses, prophylactics, treatments, miracle cures and quackery, and forms of insurance) are accepted by all three major Scrabble® dictionaries.

Scrabble forest
A place with specimens from many lands. Except as otherwise indicated, in this glossary all trees and shrubs said to be part of the ``Scrabble forest'' are trees and shrubs whose names (as well as any plurals) as given are accepted by all three major Scrabble® dictionaries. Ditto woody objects or anything else in there.

Scrabble tablelands
A region of remarkable biodiversity, considering that it occupies an area of only 225 square tiles. (Okay, oblong tiles.) It may be above the tree line, but herbs and small shrubs are found there, as well as tropical, subtropical, temperate-zone, subarctic, arctic, and probably extraterrestrial plants. Also deep-sea fish, and anything else listed in all three major Scrabble® dictionaries (except trees; they go only in the Scrabble forest).

Scrabble toolshed
A commodious edifice convenient to the Scrabble forest and tablelands for the usual work one might want to do there. It seems to contain hand tools, mostly. Unless specifically indicated, its contents are approved for all three major Scrabble® dictionaries.

SCRAMble! Probably.
  1. Go away!
  2. Perform an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor! (See below.)

Safety Control-Rod Ax-Man, not. The debunking text that follows is from an article by David Baurac in ``logos -- A magazine about research at Argonne National Laboratory'' (ANL). The article reports anecdotes told at the ``Symposium Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Enrico Fermi and His Contribution to the Development of Nuclear Power.'' (The SBF Glossary Content Advisory Commission has recommended not describing this symposium at all.)
All over the world, reactor control panels have emergency shutdown buttons labeled "SCRAM." One often-heard story holds that the term is an acronym for Safety Control Rod Ax Man, an homage to Norman Hilberry, Argonne's second director, who stood poised with an ax during the start-up of the first reactor, ready to cut a rope and release the control rods that would stop the reaction should all else fail. But during the break after the symposium's first panel, [Volny] Wilson laid this myth to rest.

He said that he and Wilcox Overbeck were working in the squash court [at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field] where the reactor was under construction while an electrician wired the control panels. The electrician finished wiring the red emergency-shutdown button, turned to them, and asked how he should label it.

According to Wilson, Overbeck responded by asking, "Well, what do you do when you push the button?"

And Wilson replied, "You scram out of here as fast as you can."

More about the construction of the Stagg Field pile at the CP-1 entry. See also the Martinmas entry.

Static Column Random Access Memory (RAM, q.v.).

Supersonic Combustion RAMJET. Ramjet engine for supersonic plane (which must consequently burn fuel in supersonic airstream).

Scottish Council for Research in Education.

screening room
A projection theater where movies are screened.

screen room
A Faraday cage where RFI is screened.

South Central Review. ISSN: 0743-6831. It's the official journal of the SCMLA, and continues the The South Central Bulletin, which was published from 1940 to 1983, one volume per year. That started out modestly, with anywhere from 4 to 20 pages per number and one, two, three, or four numbers per volume (i.e., per year). In its current incarnation as SCRev, it publishes on the order of a hundred pages per issue, with three or four issues per year. (I think that in principle it's a quarterly, with Spring-Summer (number one), Summer-Fall, Fall-Winter, and Winter-Spring (number four) issues, but often a couple of issues are combined.


TB of the lymph nodes. The disease that the King's touch was supposed to cure. The word scrofula is Latin for `breeding sow.' According to Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (a great tool for etymology, BTW, although apparently the color illustrations in the new eighteenth edition are rather too much for some people), a ``variety of tuberculous adenitis...a secondary involvement of cervical lymph nodes as a result of a localized hematogenous spread from a pulmonary lesion.''

Dr. Samuel Johnson suffered from scrofula, as well as from gout and, to judge from Boswell's Life, Tourette's syndrome (TS) as well.

Robert Browning spoke of his `` scrofulous French novel.'' There's some more discussion of this [ (1) (2) ] in the archives of the classics list.

See also the syphilis entry.

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You mean screwed: a twisted application of the principle of the inclined plane or wedge. See the NC entry.

Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité. French for `Canadian Security Intelligence Service' (CSIS).

To scry is to gaze into a crystal ball.

Safety-Critical System.

Saudi Chemical Society. There's also a Saudi Arabian International Chemical Sciences Chapter of American Chemical Society.

South Central Seminar in the History of Early Modern Philosophy. The title often used to be shortened by omission of ``the History of.'' I'd have guessed that would be a critical omission, but I guess I'd have guessed wrong. The personal homepage of Stephen H. Daniel, a professor of philosophy at Texas A&M, seems to be the closest that this regular conference has to a permanent home on the net. (Scroll down there to the pictures of philosophers other than George Berkeley.) Some recent meetings:
  1. At TTU.
  2. At Saint Louis University.
  3. At Rice.
  4. At Baylor.
  5. At University of Arkansas.

Syrian Computer Society. Offers free computer courses. The fact that Bashar al-Assad was president of this modern organization proves that the new dictator of Syria is a liberal good guy, unlike his dynastic predecessor, the bloodthirsty Hafez al-Assad. Immediately the secret police and informer networks will be dismantled, and shortly after freedom of speech, assembly, religion and travel are implemented, there will be free and fair elections, an independent judiciary, military withdrawal from the colony of Lebanon, a forthright investigation into the unfortunate disappearance of the entire population of Hama in 1982, etc. Indeed, since I wrote this in June 2000, much of this has probably already occurred by the time you read it here. It was in anticipation of these changes that Assad family retainers and the Alawite-dominated military rallied round the promising young ophthalmologist, lowering the constitutional minimum age for dictator to his current age. They all chafed under the previous system that made them rich and gave them criminal impunity, and look forward to the accountability and loss of power that democracy will bring them.

Yes, they're coming to take me away.

South-Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Sexy name! (That's South-central US.)

Small Computer System Interface. No longer restricted to small-computer applications. (Pron. ``scuzzy''). There's an FAQ.

The latest specs are SCSI-2 (X3.131-1994), SCSI-3 Parallel Interface (X3T10/855D). All SCSI drives support built-in error detection.

FOLDOC has a bunch of stuff at its SCSI-2 and SCSI-3 entries.

Mike Neuffer serves a number of documents on SCSI and RAID, with a Linux orientation.

The fastest scuzzy interfaces are have always been faster than the contemporaneous fastest interfaces standard for PC hard drives, but those SCSI drives are typically not yet available for PC's. In any case, the speed difference has been shrinking. The one reason to get SCSI for a PC right now is if you need to access a large number of disks simultaneously.

Also known as Honda connectors. Yeah, they're really used in cars. That's all I know.

Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy. Founded at Clark College in 1968. In 1988, Atlanta University and Clark College consolidated to form Clark Atlanta University (CAU), the current institutional home of the SCSPP. The SCSPP publishes Status of Black Atlanta (SBA) and Georgia Legislative Review (GLR). See also SCSPP's sister institution DBI.


Standard Compression Scheme for Unicode.

Scarborough Campus Students' Union. That'd be the union for students at the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC).

Sub-Channel Status Word. ``Ain't''?

Scutum. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Southern California Tennis Association. The Southern California Section of the USTA.

Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers. As opposed to MCP.

Solar-Cell Technology Experiment.

Second City TeleVision.

Storage Control Unit.

[dive flag]

scuba, SCUBA
Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. A lightweight alternative to the heavy, bulky, difficult-to-use diving bells and suits previously available, scuba gear was invented by Jacques-Yves Cousteau with the help of various more technically proficient collaborators. Perhaps that's not the best word... JYC was an artillery instructor for the French Navy during WWII. He tested his invention secretly off the coast of Vichy France, with his wife Simone swimming on the surface above, and look-outs on shore. The English-language acronym scuba is apparently the universal international term, but those who want to stick to French can use the words scaphandre (`diving suit') and subaquatique.

Scuba is a great way to meet fish and slimey invertebrates, as you may see.

[dive flag]

A mailing list.

SuperCritical Water.

We live in a time of deep skepticism.

Special Collections & Western ManuScriptS. A department of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

(Argentina's) Secretaía de Cultura y Comunicación. (La Presidencia, the executive branch of the government of the Argentine republic, has two kinds of cabinet-level agencies: ministries, which are like cabinet-level departments in the US, and secretariats, which are like autonomous agencies with more specific tasks.)

The SCYC, whose expired existence is still atested on the web pages of some of its former subagencies, is now simply the Secretaía de Cultura. Well, you know, in the latest economic nightmare, there've been cutbacks all around. We've all had to tighten our belts and -- what? Now there's also a Secretaría de Medios de Comunicacón? Do I detect here the germ of the problem that besets the nation?

Within the SCYC there were, and within the Secretariat of Culture there are

International Solar Concentrator Conference for the Generation of Electricity or Hydrogen.

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