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United Jewish Appeal.

You fell asleep and hit your head on the keyboard again. It's a qwerty. Go home.

[column] Aristotle used to write while holding a heavy weight in his other hand. When he fell asleep, he would drop the weight, which would wake him up so he could get back to work. They said that Socrates was ugly, but Ari must have looked like a crab. Rube Goldberg was a later philosopher who also was a less-than-ideal upstairs neighbor.

UniJunction Transistor. How do they do that?

United Jewish Welfare Fund. An earlier name for the United Jewish Appeal still used in some communities.

German military jargon, in use since about 1875, abbreviating the unabkömmlich, `indispensable.' Refers to people indispensable in their civilian roles, who are not called up for military duty.

(Domain code for) United Kingdom (UK). International telephone access code 44.

UK, U.K.
United Kingdom. Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A king is a male monarch. Britain has had a female monarch for ages, and probably promises to do at least until either Prince Charles or Prince William grows up, whichever comes first, but they still don't call it the ``United Queendom.'' In America, we spell queane (British for /kwi:n/ of the drag variety) the same way as the regal variety, so it might occasion an extra snicker. Still, no one can gainsay the House of Windsor has been at least, and perhaps exactly, as much fun as a barrel of monkeys.

The House of Windsor began its reign in Britain, and the Communist party its rule in Russia, in 1917. The House of Windsor has won the endurance contest, but by how much?

Actually, in England it was the same old house, with a duplex division put in during a family feud called World War I (WWI). What happened was that the royal houses of the UK, Germany, Russia, and many other countries were connected through marriage. Just a few years before the war, in fact, Britain's King George V and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were guests at the wedding of a daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II. (If you missed this when it was in the society pages, you can find details in A Distant Thunder, memoir of the Kaiser's children's English tutor.) At the time, George V's dynasty took its name from his grandmother Victoria's beloved consort Prince Albert (grampaw): the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. During that hemorrhagic war that began in 1914, the family connection between George V and the Germany Kaiser came to be perceived as a source of anti-royal feeling in Britain. To address this, it was decided to sever formally the royal link with Germany. There was a brainstorming session at the castle to come up with a new name for the royal house, and finally someone (you could look up who) suggested ``Windsor.'' Everyone immediately recognized the fitness and Englishness of it. Windsor Castle had served as one of England's royal residences since at least the year 1110. Kaiser Wilhelm II (also a grandson of Victoria) had visited Windsor Castle in November 1899; he irritated the Prussian officers accompanying him by pointing to the Round Tower and saying ``Gentlemen, from that tower the World is ruled.'' Three days after Bastille Day, 1917, George V proclaimed that ``all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name Windsor.'' He also surrendered some of his hereditary titles. When cousin Willi heard the news, he quipped that he could now go to the theater and see ``The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.''

You can read a little about ``The Merry Shrews of Venice'' at the KSV entry. (Incidentally, if you're not getting these jokes you can be fairly well assured that you are a philistine.) You can also read some self-indulgent nonsense concerning Windsor, Ontario, at the London entry.

Unless you subscribe to some of the wilder conspiracy theories (and even if you do) the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 at Yekaterinburg, the night of Bastille+1. (Still under construction.) (I mean the entry. The entry is still under construction. The Bastille was mobbed and destroyed on July 14, 1789.)

One observation that inclined Thomas Jefferson towards revolution was the realization that the British royal succession was so often interrupted and diverted that revolution, in some form, could be regarded as a method of electing rulers that was sanctioned by hoary, if not holy, tradition. Of course, Conor Cruise O'Brien, better known for other things than introducing the acronym ACROV, would probably argue that Jefferson didn't need much convincing.

International calls to the UK begin with the international access code (you probably knew that) followed by 44.

University of Kentucky. Never ``KU.''

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

United Kingdom Baton Twirlers Association. For similar organizations, see the majorette entry.

University of Kentucky Computing Center.

UK Consortium for Photonics and Optics.
Welcome to the home page of the UKCPO, the voice of the UK photonics community. This is your starting point to find out about the UK capability in optical techniques and technology-from light curtains to laser cutting via medicine, communications and non-destructive testing.

The UKCPO was founded by Professor Colin Webb of the University of Oxford and Chairman of Oxford Lasers. The consortium is currently led by the President, Professor Julian Jones, and is driven by a board of members drawn from a wide range of industrial and professional organisations.

UKCPO is not a member of the ICOIA (as of 4/2008). SOA, a founding member of UKCPO, is also a founding member of ICOIA.

United Kingdom Federation of Majorettes. Reportedly, this `` is the only baton twirling association that is recognised for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.'' If this is not a pressing concern, then you might look into a number of similar organizations listed at our majorette entry.

UKIP, Ukip
United Kingdom Independence Party. A conservative party that advocates the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

United Kingdom Kant Society.

United Kingdom Meteorological Office.

United Kingdom Office for Library and Information Networking. I suppose that to the people who work there, this acronym doesn't bring to mind the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), just as for students and faculty at the University of Kentucky, UK normally doesn't summon the words ``United Kingdom.''

UKRainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

UK Society for Sartrean Studies.

UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. See AAO.

United Kingdom Warehousing Association.

University of KwaZulu-Natal. Capitalization thus. The result of the merger of the University of Natal (with campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg) and the University of Durban-Westville, which officially took place on January 1, 2005.

Ulice. Polish word meaning `street, lane.'

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. A nongovernmental technical safety certification organization. Lately there's been some controversy over whether their standards aren't too lax.

University of Louisville. Apparently when there is space to spare for a couple 'more letters, they prefer ``UofL.''

Upper Level. In a hotel or shopping mall, that would be above the first floor somewhere, ask at the info kiosk. In statistics, it would typically be the upper limit of a confidence interval (cf. LL).

Urban Legend. Modern folklore. Likely and unlikely stories. Discussed on AFU and archived at TAFKAC. There's a popular web-based forum on UL's at <Snopes.com>. (This used to be branded the ``Urban Legends Reference Pages'' and sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society.)

Back in the 90's, it seemed that the majority of virus alerts were hoaxes. Some achieved the status of legends. The Good Times virus was perhaps the most legendary virus hoax. I haven't seen ``Good Times Virus! It's the real thing this time!'' yet, and by now I guess I never will.

If you receive a virus alert in a personal email message, take a moment to check it against the list of hoaxes compiled by Symantec or by McAfee. Do this before you pass along the warning; good intentions alone are not enough.

Uncommitted Logic Array. A programmable gate array.

University of London Animal Welfare Society. See UFAW.

Université Libre de Bruxelles. [`Free University of Brussels.'] Brussels, the capital of Belgium (.be) is a Francophone island surrounded by a Flemish sea. As a nod to bilingualism, there are English index pages leading to French content. Cf. ULg. There's another Free University of Brussels: Vrije Universiteit (VUB).

Underwriters Laboratories of Canada. An affiliate of UL.

Urban Libraries Council.

Ultra-Low-Density PolyEthylene.

Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle.

European Ultraviolet Laser Facility. It is part of IESL.

Université de Liège, in Belgium (.be). [University of Liège.] Liège is a Francophone city near the German and Dutch borders. Belgium is a bilingual country, as evidenced by the fact that in both Walonia and Flanders, universities offer many of their pages in both the local language and English. This sort of thing wouldn't happen in Quebec. Cf. ULB.

Unfair Labor Practice[s]. A worker is also said to ``file a ULP'' when he or she files a grievance alleging that a ULP has been committed. Of course, punishing a worker for filing a ULP is itself a ULP. An employer could be found innocent of the charges in a ULP initially filed, but guilty of ULP in connection with mistreatment of a worker who filed that ULP. It's like committing a foul away from the basket, but there's a free throw even if you weren't over the limit.

Ultra Low-Penetration Air (filter).

Uniform Limited Partnership Act.

Ultra-Large-Scale Integration (>1,000,000 transistors; vide integration).

Ultra-Large-Scale Integrated Circuit (>1,000,000 transistors). integration).

Ultimately, justice was served.
An innocent man was harshly punished and his family suffered, but he didn't have to serve out all of his original sentence. The criminally obtuse prosecutor insists he was guilty.

Ultimately, the system worked.
The system all but failed, and if not for all the unwanted publicity, it would have been just another routine outrage.

ultraviolet divergence
A divergence at short wavelength. Most crudely resolved by an ultraviolet cut-off. Cf. infrared divergence.

Upper Limb Tension Test.

Ultra-Low Volume. Pesticide application of no more than a few gallons per acre.

This Ulysses is never coming home.
This Ulysses has ambitions beyond the home island.
This Ulysses is Irish but not especially literary.
Here you can find a literary Ulysses, and whether or not it's close to Irish, it is close to Ireland.

Underground Man. Anyone like the protagonist of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes From the Underground (1864). Originally designated a rather specific sort of literary protagonist, but the definition was expanded by Edward Abood in his critical analysis Underground Man (1973).

The U.M. is a frustrated idealist immobilized by his intellect: able to see not just the imperfections of the world but also the imperfections of reformers, revolutionists and all committed idealists, he is without faith and isolated. Post-heroic. A cynic only in his perceptions, not in his sensibilities.

Something like that, anyway.

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man lived underground as well.

University of Michigan. See U of M.

University of Montana. It's in Missoula. Hence (and for another reason) the appropriate initialism is MUM, q.v.

U-M, U of M
University of Michigan. Campuses at Ann Arbor (the flagship campus), Dearborn, and Flint.

Utilization Management.

Arabic and Hebrew word meaning `nation.' There's some more information on this at the USA entry, but you may want to use your browser's search function.

Japanese for `horse.' Tane uma is `seed horse' or stud. Cf. umami.

Uma Thurman appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair for January 1996. She didn't seem to know what to do with her right hand, really, but two cigarettes would have looked too odd. A lighter might have worked. Maybe a blow-torch.

According to a widely disseminated humor collection, Tyra Banks has remarked that

I don't know what to do with my arms. It just makes me feel weird and I feel like people are looking at me and that makes me nervous.

I guess the humor part is that people are looking at her.

Uma's father is a Buddhist scholar, and Buddhism is practiced in Japan, but I don't know how he came up with the name (vide uma)...

The Hindu earth goddess. One of the consorts of Vishnu. Also named Kali. In Ancient Greek, kallos means `beautiful' and kalli- is a productive root with related senses, as discussed at the more-honored-in-the-breech entry.

Unified Memory Architecture.

Union du Maghreb arabe. Also, in English: Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and Union of the Arab Maghreb. Maghreb transliterates the Arabic word for `west.' Sunset is ghurub. (But ghurab is `raven.')

Upper Memory Area. MS-DOS memory access extended to addresses above 640K but below 1Meg. Oh, thank you.

Ursa Major. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation. Genitive form of the name: Ursae Majoris. Remember that, it'll be on the test. Cf. UMi.

Japanese for `tastiness, savoriness.' Noun form of the adjective umai, etymologically unrelated to the Japanese word uma.

The scientific understanding of taste is still a stew. Taste, strictly construed, excludes the olfactory and mouthfeel (tactile) elements of flavor. Traditionally, taste has been regarded as comprising salt, sour, bitter, and sweet sensations. However, there is not a simple one-to-one relation between different kinds of taste cells and different taste components, and various theories have plausibly posited five, six and more taste components. FWIW, as of 2001 the one added taste that has the greatest support among researchers is umami, excited by MSG, q.v.

University of MARY. Not Maryland, not ``Our Lady of Holy This'N'That,'' just Mary. First-name basis. It sounds like a regular possessive, as if it could as well have been ``Mary's University.'' It's a Benedictine institution in Bismark, North Dakota. ``The University of Mary, the only Catholic university in North Dakota, was founded in 1955 as the two-year Mary College by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. It became a four-year degree-granting institution in 1959 and achieved university status in 1986.''

They have a thing about leadership. They are ``America's Leadership University,'' and here I'd never even heard of it. I guess I haven't been following that stuff. The sisters' old monastery-and-girls'-high-school complex houses the university's Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership, which sounds like an oxymoron and in principle is not. Sr. Thomas Welder, University President, writes: ``Your future as a leader is our deepest concern. At the University of Mary, we have always measured our success by the success of our graduates.''

The Harold Schafer Leadership center provides model value-based educational experiences for present and future entrepreneurs and leaders.

The inspiration for the Harold Schafer Leadership Center comes directly from the life and career of North Dakota entrepreneur Harold Schafer.

Did you ever see the movie ``Back to School'' (1986), starring the late Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004)? Harold Shafer has that look. (An unnecessary remake has been penciled in for a 2006 release.)

University of Massachussets, Boston.

Upper Memory Blocks. Writers' blocks and readers' blocks, all together in one convenient electronic location.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

United Methodist Church.

University of Missouri, Columbia.

University of Michigan-Dearborn. Locally `U of M,' but see also ``U of M.''

University of Minnesota (at) Duluth.

UNI Management Entity.

University of the Middle East Project. It ``is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organization promoting educational leadership for critical thinking, open inquiry, cross-cultural understanding and regional cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa.''

Understanding Modern European and Latin American Literature. According to the editor's preface in each of the volumes, ``a series of guides for undergraduate students and nonacademic readers. Like the volumes in its companion series, Understanding Contemporary American Literature, these books provide introductions to the lives and writings of prominent modern authors and explicate their most important works.... [The series volumes] do not provide detailed summaries of plot because they are meant to be used in conjunction with the books they discuss, not as a substitute for study of the original works.''

Oh well, in that case I'll take the Cliff's Notes, the report is due tomorrow.

German adjective and adverb: `comprehensive, fully.' The present participle of the separable verb umfassen, `embrace.'

Upgraded Metallurgical Grade. An upgraded grade. Hmmm.

Université de Mons-Hainaut. At Mons, in the French-speaking Belgian province of Hainaut.

We mention this school a number of times at the FUCAM entry. FPMs is yet another school in Mons.

I think it used to stand for University MIcrofilms. Their website is an object lesson in the unreadability that results when you refuse to summarize.

The corresponding organization for France, Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses, stocks microfilms of French theses and (if authorized by the author) sells hard copies of them. Kind of pricey; on something approximating A5 paper; no credit-card orders. Try different searches -- the engine is hit-or-miss.

Ursa Minor. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation. The name means `little bear' in Latin. The Latin genitive form, meaning `of the little bear,' is Ursae Minoris. Remember that -- it could come in handy one night.

University of Missouri-Kansas City. Part of the University of Missouri System.

Unified Modeling Language. As of 2007, the most widely used graphical modeling language for designing object-oriented systems.

Unified Medical Language System.

Hmmm, yeah, uh, well, nn. I, umm, guess you should go to the uhh... entry for more about, ummm, filled pauses.

University of Minnesota. Main campus at Twin Cities.

University of Maine at Orono. The once and current plain ol' ``University of Maine.'' When Maine's universities were organization-charted into a ``University of Maine System,'' this one became its flagship university and got tagged with the ``at Orono'' moniker. (Orono is near Bangor.) In 1986, they got their old name back, but a lot of people still call it UMO, which is a lot more distinctive than UM.

U-shaped groove MOS. U-shaped grooves make me think of glacial valleys.

Umpire. The final arbiter of official opinion in a particular sport contest. The designated abusee thereat.

UMP, ump
Union pour la majorité présidentielle. Original name of the UMP.

UMP, ump
Union pour la majorité populaire. A coalition on what passes for the moderate right in French politics.

Sorry, that should be Oompa-Loompa.

A large but undetermined ordinal number. In practice: second or third.

University of Missouri-Rolla. Part of the University of Missouri System.

University of Missouri-St. Louis. Also ``UM-St. Louis.'' Part of the University of Missouri System.

UM System
University of Missouri System.

Universal Moynihan Theory. A foredoomed attempt to explain the passions and opinions of the erudite senior senator from New York State [Ftnt. 5]. Mickey Kaus gives it a shot in a New York Times review (Kristallnacht anniversary edition (see Martinmas, 1996) of Moynihan's Miles To Go.

Universal Mobile Telecommunication System. Third generation cellular communication standard under development by ETSI or ITU, I'm not sure which, maybe both. Intended as a successor to GSM, to be based on direct satellite linking. It's expected to be operational by 2003, combining a global minimum speed of 384kbit/s with 2Mbit/s in areas of high population density (compared with 9600 bits/s today).

University of Maryland University College. This isn't the worst university-name acronym I've encountered; it's only the worst one I can recall seeing used by the university it describes. (They also use the personalized ``MyUMUC.'') ``University College'' does not appear to be a toponym: ``Headquartered in Adelphi, Maryland, UMUC has classroom locations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, Europe, and Asia, and provides award-winning online classes to students worldwide.'' It's unclear what information is supposed to be conveyed by the second instance of ``University'' in the name, or by ``College.'' Nervous insistence, perhaps. They should create a ``University of Maryland University College University Program.''

United MineWorkers (union). A union that is usually led by a Hoffa, much as Chicago is usually led by a Daley.

University of Mary Washington. I can't think of any other colleges with a name of the form ``University of First_Name Last_Name.'' For more fascinating observations, see the sister-school entry. If you wanna ride, see FRED.

Spanish: `one' [male]. More detail at uno entry.

un-, UN-
A productive negating prefix for modifiers and verbs, but not for nouns. Examples of incorrect or informal usage (for noun inflection) are ``Seven-Up, the Uncola'' and the United Nations excuse for a ``protection force'' in Bosnia, called ``unProFor.''

Toni Braxton had a hit in 1996 with ``Unbreak My Heart.'' The music and lyrics were written by Diane Warren. It was first released as a ``single'' on a two-track CD. The other track was a Spanish version. Stupidly, the title lyric was translated as ``No Rompas Mi Corazón'' (`Don't Break My Heart.') Unstupid people familiar with Spanish know to coin a nonce word corresponding to unbreak, obviously desrompe in Spanish generally (tú conjugation) and desrompé (vos conjugation, used fairly consistently as the standard familiar form in Argentina and Uruguay; also used, but not always exclusively, in parts of Central America and western Colombia).

Also in 1996, David Faxon, a pioneer in angioplasty techniques, was named one of the best doctors in LA by Los Angeles Magazine. A 1997 story on him by Christopher Tedeschi was entitled ``Unbreak My Heart.''

Teresa Hill borrowed the title for a book in 2001.

I don't think the Elton John/Kiki Dee duet ``Don't Go Breaking My Heart'' has been recorded in Spanish by anyone, but the song title is sometimes glossed in Spanish as ``No Vayas Rompiendo Mi Corazón.'' That's ordinary Spanish and fairly accurate. The extended sense of go not referring to movement is paralleled in Spanish by ir and andar (these have somewhat overlapping ranges of meaning that can often be translated `go,' and both can be used in the sense needed here, though ir is more common in this function). The only thing that keeps the translation from being strictly word-for-word is that negative commands are handled differently in the two languages. English uses the auxiliary do and not followed by an infinitive; Spanish uses no (meaning `no' or `not') and a subjunctive (vayas here is a subjunctive form of ir).

United Nations.

The UN and its current Secretary General, Kofi Annan, shared the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. They were recognized for ``their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.'' They join the ranks of such previous laureates as Yassir Arafat.

The United Nations existed as a concept during WWII, forming a prominent part of how the American government presented what it was doing in the war. See, for example, the VOA introduction quoted by Gertrude Stein (quoted at the VOA entry, just to confuse you) or the quote from Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo under DOOLITTLE. The following occurs at the beginning of Masuo Kato's The Lost War (bibl. details at for the duration): ``The world's newest and most devastating of weapons had floated out of the summer sky to destroy a city at a stroke, but its arrival had small effect on the outcome of the war between Japan and the United Nations.''

Gertrude Stein spent WWII in Vichy France. Here is her description of how American wartime broadcasts would begin: ``The Americans say with poetry and fire, this is the Voice of America, and then with modesty and good neighborliness, one of the United Nations, it is the voice of America speaking to you across the Atlantic.'' (More context at the VOA entry.)

For those who are getting tired of the monochrome UN standard, there's a new ``Worlds Flag'' (sic). The flag background is like the French tricolor, but the vertical band at the right (red in the French flag) is green in the Worlds Flag. In the center, the flag features a projection of the globe into a circular map. (This is doubtless intended to stand as a symbol of distortion.) Two yellow eagles face off from opposite upper corners, hovering and pooping four stars apiece.

Well, some people say it doesn't look like the French flag at all, but like the Ivory Coast flag, with the left vertical band blue instead of orange. A third group says it's really like the Sierra Leone flag, rotated clockwise 90 degrees and then stretched horizontally. The partisans of these different views are quietly lining up allies.

The Worlds Flag was put forward in 2002 by an organization that ``believe[s] that the first and most important step towards a truly global outlook is the creation of a world flag.'' This is manifestly preposterous, but it's a better premise than that a parliament of delegates from the world's dictatorships will promote world freedom. A point in favor of the Worlds Flag proponents is that, for one reason at least, you can't call them ``silly one-worlders.'' Another point is that unlike the UN, their idea has not yet been tried and found wanting, unless you count the UN flag. In fact, there has been at least one accidental experiment of sorts, and it was a success of sorts.

The first national flag of the Confederate States of America was the stars and bars. It looked much like the thirteen-star flag of the 1776 rebels, except that it had three bars instead of thirteen stripes. (The blue square had a height equal to two bars.) The arrangement and number of stars in the blue ``union'' field was specified thus: ``In the center of the union a circle of white stars corresponding in number with the States in the Confederacy.'' (The Confederacy soon counted 13 states: the 11 that officially seceded, plus two states with secessionist legislatures that had fled or formed outside their state capitals. In practice, the number of stars varied from 1 to an optimistic 17, and the patterns varied also.) From a distance, this flag was too easy to confuse with the Union flag. This confusion probably led to some hesitancy, and perhaps caused fewer shots to be fired. Soon enough, the Confederacy adopted a ``battle flag'' that bore a closer resemblance to the British flag. (Good thinking: the distinguishability of that flag from the stars and stripes had been battle-tested.) The battle flag replaced the blue-field-with-stars in subsequent national flags of the Confederacy. Based on the American experience, it is clear that the Worlds Flag will be especially effective in promoting peace when all nations are required to use it and no other. That will happen on the same day the UN becomes effective.

``The idea for The Worlds Flag is a determinative step on the road to universal peace - a single emblem to unite people everywhere.''

On the subject of unrealistic schemes for world peace, it may be remembered that one of the putative advantages of an artificial world language (such as Esperanto, though the claim has been made for others) is that it would lead to worldwide understanding and reduce war. It would be hard argue that this hypothetical pacific effect is an absolute one, or a few wars would be hard to explain. Just off the top of my head, that would include the Peloponnesian War, the wars among Alexander's generals for control of his empire (after his death), the war between Prussia and Austria-Hungary, virtually all Latin American wars, many wars for independence, and most civil wars. Someone will say, ``at least they were civil.'' They weren't.

Spanish: `one' [female]. More detail at uno entry.

Utah Nurses Association.

...unable to recall at the present time.
...have not been granted immunity from prosecution.

UNiversity and Airline BOMber.

Look, this entry is not mostly about Ted Kaczynski, okay? I'm sure you can google a more appropriate webpage. This entry is about the origin and usage of the term UNABOM. The investigation into these issues is ongoing. This entry represents an interim report.

The term was coined some time between 1979 and 1985, and apparently only filtered into widespread public usage some time between 1987 and 1990. As I write this in January 2003, it's difficult to reconstruct the early usage history without a certain amount of old-fashioned visual searching, as many electronic databases tend to peter out in the early 1990's or mid-1980's. Another problem is simply confusion. For example, one database keyword list includes unabomb and unabomber, but not unabom.

The earliest hits I can get on LexisNexis are in three USAToday articles from 1990. They apparently took the approach of using the term Unabomber for the person (January 2, August 7, October 6) and Unabom as an adjective or attributive noun (``Unabom task force'').

According to a WPost article, June 26, 1993,

[f]ederal officials coined the code name UNABOM after the 1980 bombing of [then-United Airlines President Percy] Wood, according to Rick Smith, spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco. Short for "United Airlines bomber," the moniker also alludes to the suspect's penchant for targeting academics.

Alternate name of unau, q.v.

Joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS.

Universidad Autónoma de México.

United Nations Advance Mission In Cambodia. Preceded UNTAC.

United Nations-African Union Mission In Darfur. Also called the ``UN-AU hybrid mission.''

Rodolphe Adada, the civilian head of UNAMID, told the BBC that the force would be only one of ``two legs for finding peace in Darfur.'' On the BBC's Network Africa program, he said ``I'm sure it will be one of the main tools for forwarding peace in Darfur, but it's only a peace operation, you need to have peace to keep.'' In the meantime, they're allowed to protect civilians.

United Nations Assistance MIssion for Rwanda.

``UNAMIR was originally established to help implement the Arusha Peace Agreement signed by the Rwandese parties on 4 August 1993. UNAMIR's mandate and strength were adjusted on a number of occasions in the face of the tragic events of the genocide and the changing situation in the country. UNAMIR's mandate came to an end on 8 March 1996.''

Not a model of effectiveness.

A relatively small and fast-moving sloth of Central America having two long claws on each forefoot and three long claws on each hindfoot. Other names: unai, two-toed sloth, Choloepus didactylus, and Choloepus hoffmanni. Unau is useful in finishing off a crossword with an ambitious number of Q's. Unai too. Choloepus hoffmanni? Great clue!

United Nations Angola VErification Mission. If they're there now they can verify that the war has started up again.

University of New Brunswick in Fredericton [sic, no k] NB, in a faraway land known as Canada.

unbalanced drilling
Less common and less specific name for what is usually called underbalanced drilling.

Not believably. The word sometimes seems to be used with uncanny and unintended accuracy. For example, in 2011 on December 7 (a day that lives in infamy for another reason), former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (``Blago'') appeared at his sentencing hearing in US District Court and made a final plea for leniency. [He had been convicted on 18 corruption charges. He was found guilty, among other things, of attempting to sell (for money or other considerations) an appointment to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the election of Barack Obama to the US presidency.] His plea included the words ``I am unbelievably sorry.'' The sentence handed down was 14 years in prison, though the judge told reporters afterwards that he did believe that Blago was sorry. Because of his truly unbelievable hairpiece, federal sentencing guidelines require that he serve at least 85% of the nominal sentence. Illinois being what it is, it is possible to gather statistics on gubernatorial convictions, and Blago's is the longest so far. It is among the longest ever for any Illinois politician.


United Nations Border Relief Operation (for the Thai-Cambodian border).

Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina (.ar). This site actually has an interesting, modern-artsy homepage graphic. It's one of the few non-US institutions (all of them universities) in the .edu top-level domain. Those few were grandfathered-in; there won't be any more.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels.

United Nations Compensation Committee. This was set up in 1991 to direct Iraqi monetary compensation to victims of Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The UNCC was merged into the Oil for Food relief program when that began operation in late 1996. The UNCC took a 30% share of U.N.-approved Iraqi oil revenues through 2000, and 25% afterwards. The party ended with the US-led invasion of the Saddam fiefdom in March 2003. The Oil-for-Food program ultimately made sales totaling about $65 billion, and UNCC skimming of this produced most of the $18.8 billion disbursed by UNCC through 2004.

United Nations Capital Development Fund.

UN celebrity advocates
The UN employs a variety of celebrity advocates, including over a hundred goodwill ambassadors, selected by individual UN agencies, and nine Messengers of Peace, appointed by the secretary-general.

The first UN goodwill ambassador was Danny Kaye, who pimped for UNICEF starting in 1954. Now I don't feel so guilty about extorting small change for those little orange Halloween boxes when I was a kid. Today, UNICEF employs three main kinds of official celebrity advocates: Goodwill Ambassadors, Special Representatives, and International Spokespersons.

Since a lot of people still have a net positive opinion of the UN and even of UNICEF, being a UNICEF celebrity advocate is sort of like being in a joint marketing agreement to promote oneself and UNICEF. Current and recent goodwill ambassadors well-known in the West include Richard Attenborough, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Audrey Hepburn (from 1988 until her death in 1993), Julio Iglesias, Angelina Jolie, Roger Moore, Liv Ullmann, and Peter Ustinov.

Vendela -- one of those one-name supermodels has been an International Spokesperson. Or maybe not. Is Vendela Thommessen the same supermodel as Vendela Kirsebom? Excuse me while I go study the photographic evidence. Special Representatives: Susan Sarandon and Vanessa Redgrave.

United Negro College Fund. When this was founded, it had a hard time just renting office space in New York City. The white secretary, Betty Stebman, would look a place up, and space would be available; then as soon as she explained the identity and purpose of the prospective tenants, the space was no longer available. Finding a decent restaurant where founder Frederick D. Patterson could take prospective donors was, so to speak, no picnic either. You can read about it in the secretary's memoir, ``Recollections of the United Negro College Fund'' in the Appendix to Chronicles of Faith: The Autobiography of Frederick D. Patterson (Tuscaloosa: Un. of Alabama Pr., 1991). Prepare a handkerchief. And in case you're wondering, yes, the ``D.'' was for Douglass.

Really, subtle racism is a bad thing, but blatant racism is worse.

Hypocrisy is the homage paid by virtue to vice.

[The above quote is Maxim #218 of Duc François de La Rouchefoucauld (1613-1680).]

University of North Carolina -- Greensboro.

United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network.

United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. The good guys' organization in ``The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'' The main good guys were Napoleon Solo (US) and Illya Kuryakin (USSR). That's right, US/USSR peace-keeping cooperation in 1964. Visionary. The name of the bad guys' organization, T.H.R.U.S.H., is not just a bunch of capital letters and periods, as I had thought.

A TV show that was primarily a send-up of ``The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'' was Get Smart. It first went on the air in 1965 and outlasted it by two years. The good guys' organization on that show was CONTROL.

Uncle Miltie
Milton Berle. From 1948 to 1955, he starred in, hosted and co-wrote the Texaco Star Theatre. The show was a hit from the start. The first broadcast was on Sept. 21, 1948. Less than two months later, it was the only program not preempted on election night for the returns of the Truman-Dewey presidential race.

Well, okay -- it was a bit early to preempt on the east coast in those days. The show aired on NBC at 8PM on Tuesday nights. (That's in the eastern time zone; I don't know about elsewhere, but the time was actually part of a song he sang at the end of each show.) In Milton Berle, an Autobiography (1974; written with Haskel Frankel) he recalled that ``crazy things started happening all over the country.'' Nightclubs changed their closing to Tuesday nights from Monday, restaurants were empty for the hour he was on the air, and business in movie houses and theaters plummeted. He retold a widely circulated story: ``In Detroit, an investigation took place when the water levels took a drastic drop in the reservoirs on Tuesday nights between 9 and 9:05. It turned out that everyone waited until the end of the 'Texaco Star Theater' before going to the bathroom.''

According to Life magazine, in 1947 there were 17 television stations in the US, broadcasting to 136,000 sets. By the end of 1948 there were more than 50 stations and 700,000 sets, and Berle got much of the credit. NBC showed its appreciation in the sincerest possible way. His salary the first year was $1500 a week, but by the 1950-51 season it was $11,500/wk. On May 3, 1951, he signed a ``lifetime contract'' with NBC: $200,000 guaranteed per year, for the next thirty years.

Berle's was basically a vaudeville variety show, cleaned up for a family audience. The same stuff he'd been doing for thirty-five years (since he was five) on stage and radio. Berle earned the reputation, cheerfully conceded, that he would ``do anything for a laugh.'' He also earned the reputation of being unusually unoriginal -- of stealing more jokes than was decent. Fred Allen described him as ``a parrot with skin.'' Milton Berle happily conceded that like all comedians, he borrowed good stuff he thought would work. He also earned a reputation as an egomaniac and a tyrannical perfectionist. He happily -- now look, enough concessions! I remember watching a callow TV reporter interview him some time in the 1990's, all but asking Berle what he had ever done. Berle's reply wasn't funny enough. Berle was the first star of the new medium, and was known unironically as ``Mr. Television.'' He was so often in drag that maybe they should have called him ``Mrs. Television.''

Alright, maybe audiences were not so sophisticated in those days. The jokes were -- let's just say the whole family could enjoy them, including the five-year-old. Here's how Larry Gelbart excused what he described as ``caveman comedy'': ``But, by God, you find yourself laughing at the silliness of it, the manic-ness.'' Gelbart, a long-time comedy writer, is best known for MASH -- not the movie, but the smarmy, smug TV hit loved by everyone. He also reprised the drag shtick with the movie Tootsie.

To tell you the truth, I'm feeling less good about this greatness with each successive paragraph. It seems to have worn Berle down too. The first year, in addition to the 39 shows he did on Tuesday, he did 39 shows as the headliner for Texaco's Wednesday show on ABC radio (9-10 pm). The radio show had been very popular, particularly when Fred Allen was host, but after Allen quit for health reasons they had gone through a couple of hosts. In 1948 when they auditioned for hosts for the TV version, Texaco still considered the radio show to be more important than the TV show. The next year, they cancelled the radio show and Berle did only the TV show. (I have read the claim that during the first year Berle was part of an emcee rotation. I think this is a garbled version of the fact that in the Summer of 1948, three test shows were done, one with each prospective host. However, Berle won the job and did all 39 TV shows in the 1948-49 season.)

By 1951, Berle insisted on the right to take every fourth week off. He later regarded this as a big mistake. Perhaps, but it's hard to know what if. Television programming was beginning to bulk up. Tuesday night prime time saw Gene Autry and Red Skelton, and finally Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko. Like everything else, the show got old. In 1953 Texaco let Buick take it over (it became the Buick-Berle Show, and then then finally the Milton Berle Show for its last year). The final show of the seven-year run was broadcast June 14, 1955. A couple of attempted revivals (one as early as 1958) were canceled after a year or less.

Milton Berle died on Wednesday, May 15, 2002. He had been a fixture at the Friars Club in Los Angeles for many years. [Okay, okay: to be specific he was a water faucet, with buck teeth and make-up and a skirt. Also, one of his autobiographies was B.S. I Love You: My Life as a Friar (1988).] Reached that day by phone, Friars Club of California President Irwin Schaeffer said that Berle had been at the club as recently as three weeks previously. Then he passed the phone to Buddy Hackett, who recalled how Berle got him to become a Friar in 1947. Hackett summed up Berle's contribution to comedy this way: ``Whatever you see on television, Milton did it first. We used to have a lot of variety shows on television. No one knew what they were doing, no one knew how to do it. He showed them how to do it.'' Incoherent. Vintage Hackett.

Texaco Star Theater was broadcast live. (Pretty much all the major shows were, back then. I think I Love Lucy was the first prerecorded show, but don't quote me.) So one day live on the show, Berle reached out to rip a specially-designed tear-away suit off of guest Red Buttons. This was supposed to leave him exposed in his underwear, but the underwear went too. (If this doesn't ring a bell, see the SB entry.)

One night in 1949, to fill some air time, Berle addressed himself to the children in his audience, saying: ``Since this is the beginning of a new season, I want to say something to any of you kiddies who should be in bed, getting a good night's rest before school tomorrow. Listen to your Uncle Miltie and kiss Mommy and Daddy good night and go straight upstairs like good little boys and girls.'' That's how he came to be known as ``Uncle Miltie.''

Berle had a part in the star-packed ``It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'' (1963). He also had generally forgettable guest appearances on scores of subsequent TV shows.

United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development.

United Nations Conference on Trade And Development.

University of North Dakota.

Undecided Rule
The Undecided Rule is that in a political race, undecideds break for the challenger at the end. It's a rule of political science, so it's as much a rule as politics is a science. It was formulated by Nick Panagakis, who called it the Incumbent Rule and published it as the conclusion of polling research in ``Incumbent Races: Closer Than They Appear'' in the February 27, 1989, edition of The Polling Report.

``Incumbent races'' are, of course, races in which an incumbent is running. If there is no incumbent or if the incumbent does not run, then it is often (particularly in the case of a legislative race) called a race for an ``open seat.'' The research of Panagakis concerned how to call elections on the basis of polls taken during the campaign. Such polls usually find a number of prospective voters who are undecided, but election ballots do not have a corresponding place to mark that option.

under a hundred dollars
$99.99 plus tax.

underbalanced drilling
This is a technique used in oil drilling. If you don't know what drilling mud is, you should visit the ODC entry first and find out about rotary rigs. Now then, drilling mud is normally under pressure. The hydrostatic pressure in the drilling mud at the depth of the bit is normally comparable to the formation pressure. Formation pressure is simply the pressure of the fluid in pores at that depth (due, of course, to the weight exerted by the soil, stone, etc. of the geological ``formation''). Underbalanced drilling uses drilling mud at reduced pressure. The reduced pressure is typically achieved by injecting gas into the mud by any of a variety of techniques. Underbalanced drilling has various advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious disadvantage is that drill cuttings are cleared less efficiently. One of the more interesting advantages is that it allows cavitation bubbles to be formed by the turning bit, and the implosion of these bubbles causes shock waves that break up target rock. (Cavitation is a common problem with ship propellers, which are gradually eroded by cavitation implosion shocks.)

Overlap underneath. Term used to describe diffusion of dopants under the edges of a diffusion mask. Oxidation under an oxidation mask is usually called encroachment.

It may suffice to give some examples.
  1. ``Knowledge is good.'' [Sage words quoted beneath a bust of Faber College founder Emil Faber, a prop in the opening sequence of the movie ``Animal House.'' Tee shirts and other merchandise with the fictional school's name and this quote are avaiable from cafépress.]
  2. ``If a child does not master reading, his chances for a successful life are less than average.'' [Joseph Wingo, Jr., a ``group facilitator'' in the Voyages Program, quoted in an article by Amber Travis in the South Bend Tribune, June 26, 2008 (pp. B-1, B-2). The Voyages Program, created in 1996, teaches fundamental reading and writing skills to young black boys in the South Bend, Indiana, area. The program runs for a month each year after the end of the regular school year.]
  3. ``[T]he overwhelming majority of great French writers have had a reading knowledge of French.'' [Something I pointed out once, en passant.]

undisclosed recipients
Fellow spammees.

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. Observing disengagement on the Golan Heights since 1974.

United Nations Development Program.

University of New England. In Armidale, New South Wales. Armidale is a ``city'' of 22,000, located ``roughly half-way between Sydney and Brisbane.'' This sounds an awful lot like the middle of nowhere to me. Cf. GR.

University of New England. In Portland, Maine. This sounds an awful lot like the middle of nowhere to me.

United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe.

United Nations Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT). International standard for EDI. (Cf. ASC X12.)

United Nations Emergency Force.

United Nations Environment Program.

They're not supposed to be concerned about the environment at the UN.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Here's a gopher site on the UNDP server.

UNESCO is best known for its history of political and economic corruption, which has been remarkable even in comparison with the other filthy arms of the UN.

True but.

University of North Florida. It's in Jacksonville. Great place to study tropical storms and hurricanes from the discomfort of your own back yard. I guess the only way you can get through is to develop a philosophical attitude about the whole thing. Back in 2002, I read that they were developing an M.A. program in ``applied philosophical studies.'' Hope that wasn't washed away.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

As of October 5, 1999, 84 countries have signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCC (negotiated 1997), but only 15 have ratified.

United Nations Force In CYPrus.

United Nations Fund for Population Activities. Original name of what goes by the same initialism but is now called the United Nations Population Fund.

Uracil N-Glycosylase. Has a somewhat technical application in PCR.

German: Literally `monstrous[ly].' Less literally, and more commonly: `enormous[ly].'

German: `monster.'

In his Jenseits von Gut und Böse [`Beyond Good and Evil'], Friedrich Nietzsche wrote

Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird.

[`He who battles monsters should watch out, lest he himself become a monster thereby.']

University of New Hampshire.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Has gopher site on UNDP server.

In the media, UNHCR is often expanded ``UN High Commission for Refugees.'' This is understandable -- when there is a commissioner one expects there to be a commission. A former UNHCR staff member has assured the SBF staff that no such ``commission'' officially exists. The official name of the organization headed by the high commissioner is ``Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.''

Gil Loescher, who has served in various official advisory capacities to the UNHCR (and is not the ``former UNHCR staff member'' mentioned above), has written what is described (probably correctly) by the flap copy as ``the first independent history of the UNHCR,'' The UNHCR and World Politics : A Perilous Path (Oxford: OUP, 2001).

UN Human Rights Office.

Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione. `Italian National Standards Body.'

UNIversity. Not an abbreviation so much as slang, and not English so much as German (okay, so I should have expanded that as Universität). Actually, in the English-speaking world it seems to be widespread in Australia and New Zealand, and not unknown in the UK. It's positively strange in North America.

University of Northern Iowa. To get right with the universities of northern parts of I-states, see the NIU entry.

User-Network Interface. Term especially used in ATM.

United Negro Improvement Association. An early black-nationalist organization created by Marcus Garvey.

United Nations International Computing Center. Their homepage has a number of useful UN links.

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. I don't think they like the original expansion of their name; they now style themselves ``UNICEF -- United Nations Children's Fund.'' In addition to http above, there's also a gopher site.

Wait! Wait! Don't hit the back key! It's not another wretched UN organization. It's an Italian-American service organization. Unico means `unique' or `only one' in Italian (and Spanish). The letters stand for Unity, Neighborliness, Involvement (in community service), Commitment (to same), and Opportunity (ditto). Oh, sorry: that's what it stands for to the Scotch Plains-Fanwood (NJ) chapter. Over in nearby Fairfield, IC stands for Integrity (of character) and (true, unselfish) Charity. Anyway, you get the idea. Right now all I want to know is, do they accept furniture donations?

Unicode is like ASCII: not a font but a conventional assignment of ``code points'' to characters. Code points are non-negative numbers, normally written in hexadecimal digits. As of late 2005, the highest code point used was at least U+1D7FF. In some fonts a character may appear as glyphs for more than one code (e.g., ``H'' for upper case Latin aitch, Greek eta, Cyrillic en, ...), much as the Arabic numeral 1 has often been represented by small-cap i or lower-case el.

UNique Identification CODing SystEm. A system used by Purolator Courier to, as they explain somewhat opaquely, ensure ``accuracy in directing freight to the proper destination terminal using Postal Codes.''

UNIversal COmpiler FORTRAN compatible. No idea where the ess is from.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Clever: the English acronym represents (in Spanish and some other languages) the singular masculine adjective meaning `united.' The singular form of the adjective is rare.

UNIted Nations Development Fund for Women.

United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon. You can't say they don't do anything. During the 2006 war they broadcast details of Israeli arms and troop movements.

The ``Interim'' began in March 1978. How time flies.

United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission.

This is a thesaurus entry for the notion of emotionally uninvolved or unengaged. I can't seem to care enough about these words, and sometimes I need them.

desultory, perfunctory, more later.

oh, uncommitted, uncaring, I guess. maybe disinterested.

In the context of Northern Ireland: of the opinion that it should remain part of the United Kingdom. I.e., pro-Union-with-Great-Britain. Cf. nationalist.

Of an employing organization: contracting for labor through a union. Of a chemical species: the same as un-ionized. (Cf. Neuromantik.)

A ``closed shop'' is a workplace in which contracts forbid the hiring of non-union personnel for specified (usually all nonmanagement) positions. In organizations that are not closed shops and not fully unionized, but in which a union has won the right to represent employees, management negotiates with the union to establish compensation and benefits. Some benefits may be administered through the union, and the union have dues (in compensation for ``services'' including representation) deducted directly from the paychecks of all employees, whether they are voting members or nonmembers. Under US law, nonmembers can be refunded only the part of their dues attributable to certain political expenses.

At the University at Buffalo, faculty are represented by UUP, which is the tail of a much larger dog called the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The AFT was the late Albert Shanker's personal poodle.

union shop
A shop in which employees are required to belong to a union. See the longer closed shop entry for more.

UNIversity of South Africa.

UNIversity of South Australia.

United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

You already know what unison usually means. You're reading this entry to find out what else it means. (I can read your mind.) In music, ``the unison'' is a null interval. That is, just as a major third and a second are musical intervals of two whole tones and one whole tone, unison is an interval of zero whole tones (also zero half tones; zero is special that way).

União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola. Portuguese: `National Union for the Total Independence of Angola' (apparently the official expansion in translation). Created in March 1966 by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, who had been foreign minister in Holden Roberto's FNLA. Encarta Africana offers a very brief history of UNITA stopping in 1997, one year before Savimbi abrogated the 1994 agreement with MPLA and returned to military activity.

Following is an excerpt from a 419 I received in 2004, purportedly from a nephew of Jonas Savimbi. NOTE YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

You may know that my Uncle was recently killed in a battle with the
government troops of Angola led by President Dos Santos on friday 22nd
February 2002 Now Mr Antonio Dembo who was my Uncle's second in command
has assumed office as leader of UNITA In spite of this UNITA is like a herd
of cattle without shepherd Prominent members like Carlos Morgado are still
lobbying to oust him and assume office as leader to enrich themselves
and some of them who see me as a threat to their ambitions including Mr
Dembo are planning to kill me For more information check www.angola.org

Well, if all you get is spam, make spamwiches. Anyway, I had to check the accuracy of the claims before I invested. According to a spokesman for Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Savimbi was killed around 3pm on that 22nd in a gun battle between government troops and UNITA in rural Moxico province, about 480 miles southeast of the capital, Luanda. A couple of days later they displayed the bullet-riddled corpse on Angolan TV, just so everyone would know that this report was finally for real. On February 26, UNITA spokesman Carlos Morgado announced that the group's Vice President Antonio Dembo had taken over interim leadership. Later that day, dos Santos met US president George W. Bush, who was expected to urge dos Santos to offer an immediate ceasefire rather than to press for victory.

General Dembo, a 58-year-old Swiss-educated engineer, had at one time been UNITA's representative in Kinshasa. This was a key post, because the military and other supplies for UNITA's war against the MPLA came mostly through Zaïre. He was reportedly successful later as a commander leading operations from forests to the northeast of Luanda. Savimbi, 67 at his death, was often described as ``charismatic,'' and as founder/leader of UNITA he had built a kind of personality cult. To go with this, there were periodic purges. When Savimbi fell, Dembo was widely considered to be the last capable commander left in the organization, partly because of defections and partly because of the purges. One reason given to explain why he had not been killed in any of the purges was that Savimbi needed him for ethnic reasons: Demba was a northern Kikongo, from outside UNITA's southern Ovimbundu heartland.

The first reports of Dembo's death came in early March, so it seems possible to date fairly precisely the redaction of the urgent 419 missive I received in 2004 to a ten-day period two years earlier. I think I'll put off answering.

This part of the spamwich is going to be about hunger. I haven't written this bit yet; I just wanted to whet your appetite. (Or wet your apatite, if you're a geologist.)

Here's something that was reported in the New Straits Times, Nov. 7, 2002. A 27-year-old lawyer in Kuala Lumpur, who for some reason wished to remain anonymous, said she was taken in by an e-mail received on Aug. 8. The sender, one ``Hasan Johnson,'' claimed to be the son of an assassinated Minister of Exterior Affairs in Angola called Jonas Savimbi, and asked for help to transfer US$18.5 million (RM70.3 million) out of South Africa. She ended up parting with about RM40,000 before discerning that she'd been scammed.

I guess this isn't so much a spamwich as a 419 Dagwood.

An Internet Company and a legendary quarterback (Johnny).

The UNinitiates' Introduction To Engineering program. Why do I have a feeling that this name was contrived to expand a preselected acronym? Note: while initiates are indeed those who have been initiated, those who have not been initiated can, following a standard pattern of English noun construction, be called the uninitiated, and this can be used as a count noun. UNITE is an ARO-funded, JETS-run summer program to ``introduce [high school] students to an academic experience which closely parallels that of a first-year student in a university engineering program.''

Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees. Successor to the ILGWU. Merged with HERE in 2004 to form UNITE HERE.

As explained on a link from the homepage (when I visited in April 2005), ``UNITE (formerly the Union of Needletrades, Textiles and Industrial Employees) [sic] and HERE (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union) merged on July 8, 2004 forming UNITE HERE. The union represents more than 440,000 active members and more than 400,000 retirees throughout North America.'' Hah -- and you thought Social Security was demographically unbalanced!

Bad spellers of the world: UNTIE!

``Needletrades and textiles,'' eh?

unit pricing
One of the irritations of buying microelectronic parts is that very often the part is not available from any retail distributor, and you have to buy in lots of 1000 or 10,000.

UNIVersal Automatic Computer. A company founded by Eckart and Mauchly, who built ENIAC. They delivered the first UNIVAC I to the census bureau in 1951.

There was an original estimate that the market for computers was five, but for a long time the only sales were three government orders in 1948. At the time there were a number of realistic estimates of market size in the single digits, for this and other machines. These always seem so ridiculous and short-sighted, in retrospect, that they become the seed of stories. The stories usually degenerate into a version which features Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

The degree-granting subsidiary of an NCAA football team. Often abbreviated U.

Actually, there are some other universities in the US, but no one has ever heard of them. Here's something I read about in my spam filter: ``fast track diploma plan; no books, no courses, no tests, no studying; We've been helping people since 1957 obtain the recognition they deserve for their life experience. Through established relationships with distinguished non-accredited Universities and Colleges, we can help you too.''

Here's Henry Rosovsky from his The University: An Owner's Manual (New York, London: Norton, 1990), p. 18, n. 2:

... In a recent interview, the distinguished linguist Noam Chomsky described those who run our university as ``commissars of the mind.'' Given Chomsky's political views, it is not immediately clear whether one should take offense at this description. ...

university library
No one needs a definition, but some people could use an introduction. Today (December 6, 2006), in addition to being the eve of the anniversary of the day that has been living in infamy, is also the last day of classes at a well-known university. The library is nowhere near as crowded as yesterday, but Chuck (a guard who's been on since late afternoon) is seeing the usual upsurge of newbies -- undergraduates who are disoriented because their shadows had never yet darkened the library entrance. Eight so far, these past 4 or 5 hours. ``Are there bathrooms here?''

(It's probably worth noting that the dates that have to skulk around in the shadows, shunning television retrospectives, are different for different countries. As it happens, December 6 is the anniversary of the ``École Polytechnique Massacre.'' It was even reported in the US at the time.)

On April 24, 2007 (thanks to the miracle of text editing, that's ``yesterday'' forevermore), a fellow I've seen around the first floor of the library all year asked me a question. He was looking lost in the general vicinity of the reference stacks and finally showed me his puzzle -- a code on a piece of paper. He said he'd gotten it from the online library catalog, and wanted to know what it was. He had had the good judgment not to copy the library's fax number or zip code, which also appear on these webpages. In fact, he had managed to copy the call number of a book. I explained that the books were shelved in alphabetical order (I hope that wasn't too technical), and that a sign by the elevator would tell him which floor to go to for books with call numbers beginning in E. He seemed grateful for the information.

Unix, UNIX
Name is an in-joke: a jibe at the earlier Multics. ``Open Systems'' means ``using Unix instead of some proprietary OS.''

Real men use Unix. Spoken out loud in the wrong context, this sounds intriguing.

Unix for the PDP-11. What else?

This term has a little-known specialized sense. There is a definition of it en passant in F.R. Allchin's article ``India: The Ancient Home of Distillation?,'' in pp. 55-63 of the journal Man (publ. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1979), on p. 58:
The critical historian, basing himself on textual evidence, can hardly be blamed for concluding that while fermentation was commonplace from very early times in India, distillation was `unknown' (the infelicitous term often used by textual scholars when they mean `not mentioned in texts') before the twelfth century...

University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

unlike many other
This is a commercial. We are about to describe an attribute of our product that is not shared by some other products that might arguably be regarded as intended for a similar purpose.

Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina (.ar).

University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

University of New Mexico. Based in Albuquerque.

United Nations Mine Clearance Programme. Started out as the MACTP, eventually became MAPA.

Merciful Heavens! Why would anyone use this double-affixed word when the more terse, graceful, yet pungent merciless is available? Ming the Merciless is to Ming the Unmerciful as The Prince of Darkness is to Scott Adams's Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light. [Which reminds me, Goethe's last words were supposed to have been ``Mehr Licht!'' (`More light!')]

According to Thorndike and Lorge (1944), the word unmerciful used to occur at a frequency between 1 and 2 per million words, while merciless and merciful both had frequencies between 5 and 6 per million. (The -ly adverbs formed from these clocled in at 2-3 per million. Mercifully, the word unmercifully was beneath the one-per-four-million threshold of notice.) In a search in September 2007, I got 353,000 ghits for unmerciful and 3,990,000 for merciless. That's encouragign, but you should get with the program too, and I'll try to read a better class of literature.

United Nations Mission In Kosovo.

United Nations Mission In Liberia.

United Nations (UN) Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan.

United Nations (UN) MOnitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

University of Northumbria at Newcastle.

Spanish, `one.' That's the cardinal number one (like eins in German) or the pronoun one (like man in German) or the predicate adjective one (like the inflected forms einer, eine, eines in German. The word that translates English one occurring as an ordinary quantifier preceding a noun is un. This form (un) is also the male indefinite article. The uno/un distinction disappears in the feminine -- both have the form una. I suppose it must seem slightly odd to an Anglophone that unos and unas mean `a few.'

The name of a chain of pizza restaurants. I heard a radio ad for them the other day. (No, not that day, the other day. Hint: it was early September 2007.) On the ad, the name was pronounced with initial palatalization, like ``YOU know.'' I suppose that's standard when an initial letter u represents the long-u sound /u:/ in English (unit, utility, etc.), but it sure sounds strange to me.

Università degli Studi di Napoli ``L'Orientale.''. Founded in 1742. See the A.I.O.N. entry for more, mostly about the school's name.

Occasional alternative acronym for UNOCHA.

United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance.

University OF Louisville. Probably not pronounced ``you awful'' or even ``you offal.'' Probably more like ``you oval,'' but with some other stress and a southern accent. Liouville always presents pronunciation problems. The home page instructs: ``dare to be great.''

Occasional alternative acronym for UNOCHA. (You know -- name misremembered as ``UN Office of Humanitarian Assistance Coordination.'')

United Nations (UN) Observer Mission In Liberia.

United Nations (UN) Operation in MOZambique.

United Nations Operations in SOMalia. The sequel was called UNOSOM II.

Bill Walsh, the avenging copy editor, does not mention UNOSOM here, but I can guess that he would take a dim yet politically neutral view of it, or at least of its name.

UN peace-keeping forces
Troops from various third-world countries, wearing UN-blue helmets, whose job is KEEP observING the PEACE at places where non-UN FORCES face each other, unless there doesn't happen to be any peace to observe, in which case they run and hide. But see UNIFIL.

United Nations PeaceKeeping Operation. Someone I met who's writing a Ph.D. dissertation on these tells me that there are about a couple of dozen UNPKO's currently active. (``Active'' should probably not be understood very stringently here.)

UN PROfessional Force. Also, and not necessarily less accurately, UNPROfessional FORce. That's what it suggests to me, anyway. And this force does what, exactly? Cf. FORPRONU.

Union pour la nouvelle République. French for `Union for the New Republic.' The Gaullist party's name, 1958-62. See UDR.

unreasonable effectiveness
Eugene Wigner (1902-1995) wrote in ``The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences,'' Comm. Pure Appl. Math., vol. 13, pp. 1-14 (1960):
The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.

United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund.

I was going to make a big deal about how people often write or say unrelenting when relentless would be the better word, but after writing the unmerciful entry I decided to do my research first and then write the entry. For the word unrelenting, searching only ``English [language] pages'' I got ``about'' 2,240,000 ghits, while for relentless I got 3,120,000. In better times, as recorded by According to Thorndike and Lorge (1944), the word unrelenting occurred at a frequency between 1 and 2 per million words, while relentless occurred at a frequency of between 4 and 5. As we see, then, the relentless decline of English continues unrelentingly.

unrequited love
``Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.''
(Words uttered by Charles M. Schulz's ``Peanuts'' cartoon character Charlie Brown, who's been carrying the torch for that cute little red-headed girl for most of the forty-plus years that he's been going to elementary school. In all this time, she hasn't noticed. He should think about Patty.)

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Not only is this difficult to pronounce, it's ungainly to call out as an initialism.

United Nations Special Commissioner.

United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.

United Nations Security Council Resolution.

The word unseen is used as a noun in the UK for what in the US is called a sight translation exercise.

University of North Texas.

United Nations (UN) Transitional Authority in Cambodia. Preceded by UNAMIC.

United Nations (UN) Transitional Administration in East Timor. ``Administration'' here, ``Authority'' there.

United Nations Trade Data Elements Directory.

Untied States
I dunno...this might not be what the writer intended to write.

This was a joke even before the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton, for which commemorative pens were made and distributed to senators, bearing ``Untied States'' in fine lettering.

An obvious truth that isn't true. Every untruism is a truism, but some truisms may not be untruisms. It is obvious that the situation calls for multivalued logic.

United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.

United Nations University. The name does not honor Burmese independence leader U Nu, who served as his country's first, third, and fifth prime minister. It gets old after awhile, doesn't it? U means `mister'; these guys had actual given names also. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Nu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Thant The name also does not honor fourth UN Secretary General, U Thant. U Thant's older brother was U Khant, so things may be more complicated than that. United Nations University (UNU) Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, has named their premier conference facility after U Thant. A tiny island in the East River opposing the headquarters of the United Nations, U Thant Island, is named for him. Belmont Island, in New York City waters across from United Nations headquarters, has been unofficially renamed U Thant Island and dedicated to the late Secretary-General's legacy.

An Icelandic music group created in 1993 by the musician, journalist, and renaissance man Dr. Gunni and the guitarist of the then-recently defunct Sugarcubes, Þór Eldon Jónsson.

unusual hair
Albert Einstein and the romance novel cover model Fabio both were born in Europe on March 14. Fabio dislikes being thought of as a dumb blonde.

United Nations Volunteers.

Universal Nubian Voices. An R&B vocal group from Detroit, Michigan.

UN Watch
United Nations Watch. ``UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. UN Watch was established in 1993 under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Morris B. Abram, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. UN Watch participates actively at the UN as an accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). UN Watch is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee (AJC).''

I visited their website in 2007 and found that it was no longer entirely a doormat. When I first put in this entry (some time between 2000 and 2005), it read roughly as follows:

``United Nations Watch aims to promote the balanced, fair, and non-discriminatory application of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and to encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, gender, culture, language, or religion.''

Kofi Annan [then the Secretary-General of the UN] was quoted here as having said

I deeply appreciate the valuable work performed by UN Watch. I believe that informed and independent evaluation of the United Nations' activities will prove a vital source as we seek to adapt the Organization to the needs of a changing world.

I can promise you that I will pay close attention to your observations and views in the years ahead.

On the basis of this, you might reasonably conclude that UN Watch, based in the UN-mooching city of Geneva, is just a UN lickspittle organization, and you'd be wrong. It's merely ineffectual. Also, it's mostly concerned with Middle East issues, so it had no comment, for example, on the whitewash of the UN's derelictions in Rwanda, where Annan acquitted himself badly. And naturally, it hasn't had anything to say about the infamous corruption of organizations like the UNESCO kleptocracy. (That the UN is an effectual, honest, and fair contributor to the steady progress toward peace in the Middle East goes without saying. I certainly wouldn't say it.)

Gee, the ``published work'' (an editorial in The Forward) ``Surprising News on UN Dues'' kinda missed an opportunity to mention some of the reasons that countries perfectly capable of paying their dues might be unwilling to do so. No wait, I take that back! It says

But the fact that 27% of UN Member States have accumulated such steep debts, either implies an inadequate respect for the UN, or a problem with the UN's budgeting methods.
(My emphasis.) So you see, it's really a hard-hitting editorial from a credible organization, yeah. Uncle Fritz had an opinion on the UN Charter as well. (Not your uncle Fritz, probably. Not really mine either.)

UN Watch ``published works'' also appear in the International Herald Tribune (back when this was based in New York and still had readers, Karl Marx accepted pay to report for this newspaper), the Cape Cod Times (``UN: Dream and Reality''), The Earth Times (``Here's an Operation of Which to be Proud'') and Tribune de Genève (``The Significant Uses of the Secretary-General''). Now you know where you can get your first big break in big-time journalistic editorializing.

Once upon a time, there was an organization called the World Tourism Organization, abbreviated WTO. It was called by other names, but these weren't not-nice names. They were mostly translations of the name into different languages important in tourism, like Russian. The WTO has a friend called the UN, which is concerned with global warming caused by hot air. One day a big hairy monster called the World Trade Organization came and took away the World Tourism Organization's abbreviation. The World Tourism Organization cried and cried, and called out to the UN for help. The UN sprang into action and ran to help the World Tourism Organization. After just seven short years (plus three long ones), the UN arrived panting and said ``There, there. You can be the `un-WTO.' That's a nice short abbreviation too.''

Upstate New York Oracle Users Group.

Odor Unit[s]. That's what they're normally called, but it's likely few will object if you call them units of odor to conform with the abbreviation order. The odor unit is, in effect the concentration of a volatile chemical at the threshold of detection. That is, the concentration of a volatile ``in Uo'' is the concentration of the chemical divided by the threshold concentration for the chemical.

Typical threshold values for the acids, esters, ketones, and aldehydes that give fruits their odors are within a factor of a thousand or so of ppb concentrations (i.e., in the range 10-12 to 10-6).

University of Oklahoma. In Norman. And Tulsa.

University of Oregon. In Eugene.

United Ostomy Association. It ``is a volunteer-based health organization dedicated to providing education, information, support and advocacy for people who have had or will have intestinal or urinary diversions.'' (Colostony, ileostomy, urostomy, and continent diversions. We have an ostomy entry.) Cf. IOA and UOAC.

United Ostomy Association of Canada. Cf. IOA and UOA.

Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

U of A
University of Arkansas.

U of C
University of Calgary. I don't plan to itemize all of the universities referred to as ``U of C.'' I imagine there're quite a few. I may put in entries as U's of C happen to come to my attention. This one came to my attention when ISIS was mentioned in a ScienceMode article about determining an ``edge of space.'' There, now you know all my secrets.

U of C
University of Chicago. [column] Visit the Classics at Chicago homepage to learn about, uh, Classics at the U of C, including upcoming public lectures.

U of G
University OF Guelph. Guelph is ``a vibrant community of 100,000 with a lively downtown, good shopping and a dynamic cultural core.'' If it were built on an active fault it would be a vibrating community with a deadly downtown and a dynamic geophysical core.

U of M
University of Minnesota or University of Michigan (see U-M). And probably quite a few others.

U of T, UofT
University of Toronto. Most of our information about U of T is at UT.

UCAR Office of Programs. (UCAR stands for University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.)

You think I care? You think this is a site I visit often enough to have bookmarked? Do you think I need this glossary entry? No. I did it for U.

University of Reading. Well I for one think it'd be cool if there were a UoR Gaol. Sort of a minimum-security ``Club Read'' for writers down on their legal luck.

An adverb meaning ``in an UPward direction.'' For those with a working knowledge of gravity, little further explanation may be needed. Those of you in free-fall may wish to keep reading.

Metaphorically, going up often means increasing in quantity. If we collected things by floating them on the water, so they formed a deepening raft as we accumulated more, then perhaps going down might have this meaning, but we don't and it doesn't. Check with the Polynesians.

In some cases, the metaphorical use of vertical directions is less obvious. One case is antiquity. At least in the case of paleography, higher apparently means older, of greater antiquity. It seems that here age is thought of concretely as something one can have more or less of. It makes sense to imagine that age is something that accumulates over time. I'm certainly not getting any younger. The metaphor occurs with various quantity and direction words: Here are some examples using high, reduce, downward, and raise, (all boldfaced for your convenience below) in articles by Frank Moore Cross. They're from papers 52 and 53 of his Leaves from an Epigrapher's Notebook: Collected Papers in Hebrew and West Semitic Palaeography and Epigraphy (Harvard Semitic Studies 51, 2003).

Paper 52 -- ``The Origin and Early Evolution of the Alphabet'' (published in Eretz-Israel vol. 8 (1967) -- includes these examples:

As these texts were collecting, it began to become apparent that the earliest of the series gave the appearance of being more archaic or at least as old as the pictographs from Sinai; the latest of the group, from the late thirteenth or early twelfth century [BCE], seemed to be evolving toward linear Phoenician. These data contradicted the high dates proposed for the Proto-Sinaitic group on the one hand, and the high dates assigned to linear Phoenician epigraphs from Byblos on the other.
A number of scholars ... had attempted to reduce the thirteenth century date attributed to the 'Ahiram Sarcophagus by the excavators using both archaeological (ceramic) and paleographical arguments.
Dunand capitulated in part, reducing the date of the key 'Ahiram Inscription to about 1000 BCE on the basis of Iron I sherds found in the tomb shaft.
[A]nother barrier [to understanding the evolution of the Proto-Canaanite script] was removed by the redating of the Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions downward to the early fifteenth century.

Paper 53 -- ``Early Alphabetic Scripts'' (delivered at a 1975 symposium, apparently revised for the 1979 publication) --

From Raddana comes an inscribed jar handle from the late thirteenth century or the beginning of the twelfth century. Happily its date is controlled by the stratified context in which it was found as well as by paleography. ... Aharoni's attempts to raise the date of the little epigraph to the fourteenth century are, in my opinion, unsuccessful ....

Of course, the high middle ages is something else again. What about the alphabet? Look, this entry is bursting at the paragraph breaks. Let's have another glossary entry!

Microprocessor (µP).

UltraPure (Ge semiconductor grade).

Union Pacific. ``Union Pacific reorganized its corporate structure in 1969, and now comprises three operating companies: Union Pacific Railroad, Overnite Transportation, and Union Pacific Technologies. Union Pacific Railroad, the continent's largest, is responsible for more than 90 percent of the parent corporation's revenue. Overnight is also called ``Overnight Trucking.''

United Press. Original name of UPI, q.v.

United Provinces. Old name of the area that became Uttar Pradesh (U.P.).

Universidad Politécnica in Castilian Spanish; Universitat Politècnica in Catalonian (and Valencian, if that is regarded as sufficiently distinct). UP is sort of an acronymic bound morpheme. Like TU, UP almost always occurs in combination (UPM, UPV, etc.). In my vast experience, polytechnic universities are not necessarily any more technical than technical universities.

UP, U.P.
University Press.

Unknown Public.
[B]oth a journal and a compilation CD, packed in a brown cardboard box [so the postman will think you're receiving a pornographic DVD] with notes, correspondence, essays and images and mailed to subscribers in 50 countries. It draws on the creativity of hundreds of musicians: the performers, composers and producers who contribute master tapes to Unknown Public - in much the way that writers contribute manuscripts to a literary publication. With the support of a network of loyal subscribers, UP uses recent innovations in computer and audio technology to produce a professional product. Nearly every aspect of UP's operation makes use of the latest technology, but it remains a `cottage industry' based in Notting Hill [in the UK], where the boxes are packed and labelled by hand. Unknown Public is not available in conventional record stores.

The name Unknown Public refers to the [subscribers]....

Upper Peninsula. The part of the state of Michigan that's on the northern side of Lake Michigan. AKA irredentist Wisconsin (q.v.).

Uttar Pradesh. Current name of the Indian state formed from the ``United Provinces (U.P.).

Uniform Partnership Act.

Uniform Prenuptual Agreements Act.

Uniform Probate Code.

United Poultry Concerns. ``Promoting the Compassionate and Respectful Treatment of Domestic Fowl.'' In the immortal words of Dave Barry, I am not making this up.

``O honorable Duck! I am come to convey thee clean across the foul river Styx, to a Better Place and a more permanent Condition.'' (Okay, that I did make up. It's just a suggestion. For multiple duckpersons, use plural ``Duck'' or ``Duckth'' in the salutation, and change ``thee'' to ``ye fowl.'' For domestic turkey, the proper salutation is ``Hey stupid!'')

UPC apparently came up with the idea of ``International Respect for Chickens Day'' (every cuatro de Mayo) in 2005. They might be the only people who get choked up about the annual ``pardon'' of a Thanksksgiving turkey by the US president. They would probably agree with me that ``pardon'' is an inappropriate term. (It reminds me of an 11th-grade English teacher whom I once surprised -- ``Wait, you agree?'') I would be satisfied with ``commutation.'' UPC runs a bird sanctuary; I don't know what they call it, but this gives a whole new felicitous meaning to the term ``Funny Farm.'' I prefer my chicken promotions to be associated with a different UPC...

Universal Product Code. Merchandise barcode (``zebra'') system.

Explanation by Marshall Brain at HowStuffWorks.

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. `Peruvian University of Applied Sciences.' In Monterrico.

Usage Parameter Control.

UPC code
Universal Product Code Code. Also ``UPC bar code.'' Similar locutions at this entry.

The file http://www.plexoft.com/SBF/updates.html lists recently updated files of the glossary. It's crude, but it'll do.

Now he tells us!

Uganda People's Defence Forces.

up do
A hair-do with the hair up, usually something complicated for an event. High-school girls are the worst: they come in with a picture and they want their hair to look exactly like that.

University of Prince Edward Island. In Charlottetown, PE, Canada.

It was 2002 host for the ARPA annual meeting (October 18-19). Other stuff probably happens there too. The theme of the meeting was ``Evolution [apparently the biological kind] & Philosophy.'' The keynote speaker was Michael Ruse, author of such books as Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction? and Can a Darwinian be a Christian? The Relationship Between Science and Religion. This is a borderline case -- he almost made the nomen est omen honor roll.

UCL Primary rate Interface. If this information should ever come in handy for a reader of this glossary, please notify my descendants.

United Press International. A worthy also-ran wire service, for a long time. Time ran out in the early 90's. I thought most of the pieces were bought up by AP, so how does it happen still to be in business? Hmmm, it's owned by something called ``UPI Acquisition Corp.''

Originally founded in 1907 by E. W. Scripps as UP. Merged with William Randolph Hearst's International News Service in 1958 to become UPI.

Universal Programmable peripheral Interface. For 8051-series microprocessors and clones.

Types C and St have been identified.

Union des Patrons et des Professionnels Juifs de France. `Union of Jewish Business-Owners and Professionals of France.'

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Umklapp process. A collision of quasiparticles or excitations (e.g., electrons, holes, phonon, photons) within a crystalline solid, in which quasimomentum is not conserved in the strictest sense. Instead, the initial and final total quasimomenta differ by aitch-bar times a reciprocal lattice vector.

Thermal conduction is single-crystal insulators is ultimately controlled by the frequency of U-type collisions among acoustic phonons. Since the velocity of low-energy (and thus small-wavevector) phonons is proportional to the momentum, a complete absence of U-processes would lead to a conserved heat current and infinite thermal conductivity. (In principle, point defects would prevent this, since scattering by these does not conserve quasimomentum. In practice, however, U-processes are the dominant cause of non-infinite thermal conductivity.) (Note, proportionality of phonon velocity and momentum is through a tensor coefficient. Nevertheless, since no sound velocity is infinite, there is a lower bound on the heat current for a given (conserved) quasimomentum.

Umgekehrte Polnische Notation. German for ``Turned-around (Reverse[d]) Polish Notation'' (RPN).

United Paramount Network. A defunct television network. See CW.

Universal Product Number.

UvuloPalatoPlasty. A surgical treatment used for some sleep apneas, with about 50% success. Cf. Laser-Assisted UvulaPlasty.

Ultraviolet Photoemission Spectroscopy. Vide ESCA.

Uninterruptible Power Supply. A unit that passes along line power in normal operation and smoothly switches to battery backup when voltage falls out of acceptable range or fails altogether. Typical units filter out voltage line voltage surges and sags.

United Parcel Service. A private parcel delivery company. Unlike the US Postal Service (USPS), a semipublic company they compete with, they do not have the right to put mail directly in your mailbox.

A backpage article by Stephen Glass, in the November 4, 1996 New Republic (TNR) reveals that those brown UPS uniforms are babe bait, while FedEx togs are a turn-off. He cites anecdotal evidence (Drew Barrymore lines in the movie Boys on the Side; the song ``Drive By Love''). He backs this up with a scientific survey of two or three therapists and other evidence. On the other hand, it later turned out that there were, uh, problems with Glass's reporting (the main problem being that he made stuff up, especially the most interesting stuff; see the CSPI entry).

Univeral Press Syndicate.

University of Puget Sound.

upside down
Among pollsters, a public figure is said to be upside down when his or her name-recognition ``unfavorables'' exceed ``favorables.'' (If the extreme favorables and unfavorables are both large, on the other hand, the person is ``polarizing.'')

University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. Cf. MODSIT.

Universal Personal Telecommunications. A way of communicating with individuals or entities regardless of location, through a fixed address at the point of use. True ``person-to-person.'' Still in the development stage.

up the alphabet
What direction is ``up the alphabet''? Most opinion appears to fall into one of two schools of thought, indicated by the numbered examples below. My unsystematic impression is that by more than a factor of two, ``up the alphabet'' is taken to mean in the direction called alphabetical order. Cf. down the alphabet (coming soon).

    Reverse alphabetical order:
  1. progressing up the alphabet from Z
  2. Animals are housed by health status and, in general, by vendor. Six levels of health status are maintained in the facility, designated A (most clean) through F (contaminated). ... Personnel may descend the alphabet when going to more than one animal room per day, but not move up the alphabet. (I.E., you can move from A to B to C, etc., but not from C to B to A.)
  3. should start with Z for the first child and progress up the alphabet for all other participating children. [Granted, this is from ``Glossary of Adult Basic and Literacy Education Program Data Collection'' and therefore suspect.]
  4. This is intended to replace the old rule of hiring only the A crowd and firing the the C's (while the B's madly tried to move up the alphabet chain). [Okay, there might be some metaphor admixture.]

    Alphabetical order:
  1. ...(moving up the alphabet as in the case of the Caesar cipher). In the above example, the first `t' would become a `b' (shifted up by 8, since `h' is the eighth letter of the alphabet).
  2. The following meeting, we move up the alphabet. For instance, if Deborah Ramirez goes first at Monday's meeting, Tom Sander will go first on Wednesday.
  3. Since the Enterprise-D bit the dust (literally) in "Star Trek Generations," it was time to move up the alphabet, so Eaves and Zimmerman together designed the Sovereign-class Enterprise-E for "Star Trek: First Contact."
  4. int main() {
    	char capital = 'A';
    	capital+=5; /* Move up the alphabet */
  5. The grades start at "A" for the most junior and move up the alphabet accordingly. When the grading system was originally set up, nurses were still being trained in hospitals rather than studying in university. So the grades A, B and C were assigned to first, second and third year students. However since nurse training moved to university in the UK, the A, B and C grades are now used for health care assistants.
  6. Move up the alphabet through flaxseed, oats, quinoa (pronounced kween-wa), rice and wheat...
  7. ...you guys need to move up the alphabet a few notches from gchat to ichat...
  8. After 2nd finger "C#" is 3rd finger "D" and after 3rd finger "D" is 4th finger "E." 4th finger "E" matches "Open-E." We continue going up the alphabet

up to
Less than.

up to ... or more
We have the R&D department working on this one. I'll enter a definition if one is found.

Preliminary result: ``up to 30% or more off!'' means that `at least one item discounted 30% and at least one item discounted more than 30%, but they were both sold before you got here, which is good for you because they're shlock.'

Universal Postal Union. l'Union postale universelle in French; Unión Postal Universal in Spanish. Founded in 1874, now a specialized agency of the UN, under the aegis or whatever of the UNDP. The question is, how much opportunity is there to skim off the top? What's the cash flow?

After my father's father emigrated to South America early in the twentieth century (before WWI), he would send care packages back to his family in Ukraine. He would send one of his brothers a package containing two bags of sugar, and the package would arrive with one bag. Within certain constraints, sending two equal-size bags must have been the unique optimal solution. If you figure the Tsar's postmen were smart enough to destroy all motivation but too greedy to allow more than the minimum of motivation, and if you assume they couldn't be bothered to do too much rebagging, then any other number of bags, in any combination of sizes, would have had a lower shipping yield for my family.

See, uh, see CP.

When the UPU was created, it was considered a sacred rule that each postal administration retained the charges it collected. It was assumed that between any two countries, the mail volume was approximately the same in each direction. Under this ``reciprocity assumption,'' it could be argued that any equitable revenue sharing would have a net effect too small to be worth the accounting trouble. The assumption of bilateral symmetry was always known not to be exact, and over the years the asymmetries grew.

Generally today, delivery is free and postal systems collect most of their revenues from senders. Hence, the postal services of countries with net outflows (generally the industrialized countries) would benefit from a policy of not sharing revenues. In response to this situation, starting in 1969, financial compensation (called terminal dues) began to be paid by national postal systems with a surplus of sent mail. The postal systems that are on the net receiving end of mail are also on the receiving end of the terminal dues. The formulae for the dues have undergone various changes over time. In addition, part of the remuneration is being routed through a general ``Quality of Service Fund'' (QSF) for improving mail services in developing countries. For more details, see this article.

Universidad del País Vasco. Spanish: `University of the Basque Country.'

Universitat Politècnica de València. (In Spanish, i.e., Castilian, the name is Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.)

UPV/EHU. (Obviously.) See? It's not just Canada. Multilingual start page for The University of the Basque Country here.

Ultra-Pure Water.

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Université du Québec. A province-wide system with 76000 students and 500 faculty as of 2003 or so.
École national d'administration publique. ``National'' is an interesting word.
École de technologie supérieure. (En Montréal.) It's fascinating that the ÉTS and TÉLUQ get an accented vowel, but ENAP (particularly), UQAC, UQAM, etc. do not. (Well, they apparently heard my plea. Mere weeks later, 31 January 2004, I've received a quasi-announcement from ``UQÀM.'')
Institut national de la recherche scientifique.
Télé-université du UQ (also written Téluq). (Distance-learning university.)
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.
Université du Québec à Hull. Well, I've seen references to this. It seems to be the old, hard-to-pronounce name of UQO.
Université du Québec à Montréal.
Université du Québec à Rimouski.
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The only branch of UQ that is completely under water.
Université du Québec à Outaouais. It's in Gatineau (and Mont-Laurier and Maniwaki), in the heart of Outaouais. If you can pronounce the G-word, you're admitted. If you can pronounce the O-word, you graduate.
What's this?
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

Université du Québec à Montréal. I have no idea what this means, but it's got a lot of accents, so check it out!

Unconstrained Quadratic Problem.

Unbalanced Quadrature Phase-Shift Keying. Nope -- don't bother looking, I already checked: it's not explained at the QPSK entry. Nothing is.

Looks kinda Polish, dud'nit?

Umm al-Qura University.

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