Beethoven's Fifth Symphony begins with three eighth notes (E) and one half note (G below that). It sounds like dit-dit-dit-daaaaaaaah, Morse Code for the letter vee, and in WWII the allies took it to symbolize (Allied) Victory.
There is a story to the effect that Beethoven characterized this opening phrase with the words ``das Schicksal klopft an die Tür'' (`fate knocks at the door').
NH \ / 2 \___/ / \ / \ === O / / HO
Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.
Hey you! Yeah, I'm talkin' to you! It ain't ``Via Della Rosa'' okay? It's Via Dolorosa! Jesus, some people...
I have found the old abbreviations v.a. and v.n. used in one work that was (in a certain manner of accounting such things) relatively recent: the New Cassell's German Dictionary, copyright 1958 and 1960. The use of those old abbreviations evidently reflects the conservative and derivative nature of translation dictionaries. This particular dictionary traces its genealogy through a sequence of revisions and re-editings going back to a New German Dictionary by Elizabeth Weir published in 1889. That might have been a first edition or not, and Miss Weir may have been the first editor or not -- the publisher's records were destroyed by fire in 1941 -- but she acknowledged ``the well-known dictionaries of Lucas, Flügel, Hilpert, and Köhler,'' all long forgotten by 1958. (For other examples of such dictionary bloodlines, see the discussion of Greek and Persian translation dictionaries in the Pakistan entry.)
The 1960 New Cassell's has a list of 228 abbreviations, and it is interesting to observe that three of those abbreviations are elucidated with terms other than the words they abbreviate. Okay, Max -- so maybe it's not so interesting to observe, but after I went to all the trouble to check, you better believe I'm gonna mention it to somebody! The three abbreviations are Semp. (``sewing''), v.a. (`transitive verb'), and v.n. (`intransitive verb'). Presumably it was not considered practical in that revision to replace (i.e., to reset the type for) every occurrence of the obsolete abbreviations. (Nouns are indicated by s., expanded in the key as ``substantive.'')
In chapter 8 of Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby, our hero begins work as an assistant to the master of miserable Dotheboys Hall. Here the master explains his pedagogical method:
`This is the first class in English spelling and philosophy, Nickleby,' said Squeers, beckoning Nicholas to stand beside him. `We'll get up a Latin one, and hand that over to you. Now, then, where's the first boy?'
`Please, sir, he's cleaning the back-parlour window,' said the temporary head of the philosophical class.
`So he is, to be sure,' rejoined Squeers. `We go upon the practical mode of teaching, Nickleby; the regular education system. C-l-e-a-n, clean, verb active, to make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder, a casement. When the boy knows this out of book, he goes and does it. It's just the same principle as the use of the globes. Where's the second boy?'
`Please, sir, he's weeding the garden,' replied a small voice.
`To be sure,' said Squeers, by no means disconcerted. `So he is. B-o-t, bot, t-i-n, tin, bottin, n-e-y, ney, bottinney, noun substantive, a knowledge of plants. When he has learned that bottinney means a knowledge of plants, he goes and knows 'em. That's our system, Nickleby: what do you think of it?'
`It's very useful one, at any rate,' answered Nicholas.
Officially it's become the ``United States Department of Veterans Affairs,'' but for everyone I know it is ingrained habit to expand the VA in ``VA hospital'' as ``Veterans Administration.'' VA hospitals closely associated with a nearby university are not so bad.
The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of Virginia state government links. USACityLink.com has a page with some city and town links for the state.
Gertrude Stein's people came from Baltimore (as you recall from the S.O.S. entry). Everybody remembers her comment about Oakland, but in Everybody's Autobiography, she recalled
... And then they asked me what I thought of Virginia and I said I thought it was uninhabited, and they all of them wrote about that did I mean spirits of others or did I mean something else and I meant nothing but that it was uninhabited.
The rest of America had been very much inhabited much more than I expected, roads and country were inhabited the country looked and was inhabited but not in Virginia no not Virginia.
I guess she would have agreed that reporters can be pretty dim sometimes.
For information about central headquartering issues of the Roman Catholic Church, see the USN&WR and 1999 entries. Some time in the coming centuries, we also plan to add information about Avignon.
There also exist ways of measuring dynamic VA and ambient VA. Ambient VA is VA across the whole visual field and includes ``peripheral vision,'' as opposed to focal VA (a/k/a central VA), which is VA at the center of the visual field. Ambient VA and dynamic VA are related, since depend on areas of the retina where most of the light receptors are rods rather than cones, and provide signals that are processed in the midbrain rather than higher cortical areas. Generally speaking, these are more primitive and robust parts of VA, operating at much lower light intensities but giving no color information. Another general contrast is that focal VA has more to do with shape, while ambient and dyanamic VA has more to do with direction and position.
Some there are who do not like the usage ``volts ay cee,'' because the expansion ``volts alternating current'' seems contradictory. It is not contradictory, and the usage is reasonable.
It's interesting that in Latin, special forms arose for some combinations
of the prepositional phrases corresponding to English
with + pres. pron. In Spanish, the first and
second person singular forms of this phrase also have contracted forms (which
are used exclusively): conmigo, contigo (instead of the forms
con mi, con ti that would be constructed regularly).
The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of this Commonwealth and all other able-bodied persons resident in this Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least sixteen years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than fifty-five years of age. The militia shall be divided into four classes, the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, the Virginia State Defense Force, the naval militia, and the unorganized militia.
The mission of the state defense force is to support the Virginia National Guard.
In Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, during a dinner party in chapter VI, one conversation turns to the navy. The following exchange is between Edmund Bertram and Mary Crawford. After the death of their mother, Mary and her brother Henry had been adopted by her uncle Admiral Crawford and his wife.
``Do you know anything of my cousin's captain?'' said Edmund; ``Captain Marshall? You have a large acquaintance in the navy, I conclude?''
``Among admirals, large enough; but,'' with an air of grandeur, ``we know very little of the inferior ranks. Post-captains may be very good sort of men, but they do not belong to us. Of various admirals I could tell you a great deal: of them and their flags, and the gradation of their pay, and their bickerings and jealousies. But, in general, I can assure you that they are all passed over, and all very ill used. Certainly, my home at my uncle's brought me acquainted with a circle of admirals. Of Rears and Vices I saw enough. Now do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat.''
The word admiral looks like it's derived from the Latin admirari, but the relationship is only accidental. Admiral is derived from the Arabic amir. (This is usually written, or perhaps we can say translated, `emir' in English, but a straightforward translation is `commander.' In Arabic, amara is `command, order.') Amir typically was part of a phrase like amir-al-ma (`emir of the water') or amir-al-muminin (`emir of the faithful'). The use of the definite article al in this way is parallel to the use of definite articles in, for example, German, Ancient Greek, and Hebrew (see USA). Because of the frequent collocation, Christian writers took amiral for a noun and Latinized it variously as amiralis, amirallus, amiralius, or amirarius.
Some words that begin with adm- in Latin begin with am- in French. An awareness of this fact, and the existence of Latin admirari, `to wonder at,' evidently led to forms of the word beginning in adm-, like the English word admiral. In Spanish, which has a great many loans from Arabic in which the definite article has been kept as a prefix, the initial am- became alm-, yielding almirante, which you might parse as containing `the-commander-th'.'
One might also wonder (okay: I wondered) whether valetudinarian was not sometimes a synonym of hypochondriac. For an example, Jane Austen describes eponymous Emma's father as ``having been a valetudinarian all his life, without activity of mind or body, [so] he was a much older man in ways than in years....'' At that point in the novel, he has not yet been described as being in poor health of any kind, so much as being overcareful of his health. Further on: ``His spirits required support. He was a nervous man, easily depressed....'' So one might suppose that he was merely a hypochondriac of some sort. But it seems the word was not used in this way, so Austen could use it in the confidence that her readers would not even temporarily draw that inference. On the other hand, the bar for valetudinarian-level frailty was not set so especially high. Emma's father would not contemplate walking the half mile to Mr. Weston's, but he got around his own house without assistance. Since a person's own self-perceived weakness was apparently taken as sufficient evidence, it may look like hypochondria to us. Sometimes it looked like hypochondria then, but that condition was not covered by the term: it was false valetudinarianism. For example, in Rhoda Broughton's Belinda (1883), a suspected case of what might have been called hypochondria (that word is old) is described as ``valetudinarian fancies.'' There was also this:
``You are implying,'' he says, with deliberate anger, ``as you have frequently and offensively implied before, that I am a malade imaginaire.''
A related issue is the broad degree of physical infirmity implied by the term valetudinarian. This was referred to explicitly by William Godwin. He distinguished the ``delicate valetudinarian'' [Things As They Are (1794)], and averred [St. Leon (1799)] that ``[i]n many cases [but not all] it is reasonable to bid a valetudinarian take care of himself.''
Here's a pointless (because ambiguous) but amusing (so what the hell) further example: In chapter 10 of George Meredith's The Egoist (1879), Sir Willoughby (the egoist of the title) happens to introduce the term that describes himself by way of anecdote:
... he turned to Clara and related one of the after-dinner anecdotes of Dr. Corney; and another, with a vast deal of human nature in it, concerning a valetudinarian gentleman, whose wife chanced to be desperately ill, and he went to the physicians assembled in consultation outside the sick-room, imploring them by all he valued, and in tears, to save the poor patient for him, saying: ``She is everything to me, everything, and if she dies I am compelled to run the risks of marrying again; I must marry again; for she has accustomed me so to the little attentions of a wife, that in truth I can't, I can't lose her! She must be saved!'' And the loving husband of any devoted wife wrung his hands.
``Now, there, Clara, there you have the Egoist,'' added Sir Willoughby. ...
Hey, not everyone can be valedictorian. Valetudinarian is something anyone can aim for.
I didn't just make up this entry out of hole cloth, hue no. I got the idea from a comment following up a blog entry. In November 2006, ``Casey'' reported having ``recently read a student essay wherein the student claimed to be the `Valid Victiorian' of his graduation class.''
Oh: VALUE MEAL!
Why does sign let tering slid ear ounds omuch?
The definition above is in the words of the original formulator, a shameless self-promoter (i.e., a businessman) named Yossi Vardi. He himself calls it the Vardi paradox, which is crass. ``Value'' is easier to remember anyway.
In Evil Sisters: The Threat of Female Sexuality and The Cult of Manhood, (Knopf, 1996), Bram Dijkstra argues that female vampirism is the governing Jungian archetype of the modern West. The reason is probably that his name is Bram. People with that name are predisposed to become obsessed with vampires (Exhibit B: Bram Stoker). If Dijkstra's childhood playmates had called him Abe (or perhaps the Dutch equivalent?), he wouldn't have gotten so bent out of shape. Then again, he teaches comp lit at UCSD, so he has a vested interest in finding major significance in the subject of his study. So, indeed, do most authors.
I'm particularly proud of the way the analysis of Dijkstra's claims, above, dove gracefully and directly into ad hominem attack, without the traditional double-joiner or absurd back-flipping fig-leaf of reasoned objection.
Latin (here I mean the ancient language) had a large number of abstract nouns ending in -tas. These became -tad/-dad nouns in Spanish (as mentioned in the D-ION-Z-A entry). The Latin -tas nouns evolved separately into -te nouns in Old French, taken over into Middle English and generally spelled with -ty in Modern English. Thus Spanish libertad, Modern French liberté, and English liberty.
The word French naïveté, spelled with a variable allotment of diacriticals in English, is a recent borrowing. The earliest example that the OED2 lists is from Dryden in the seventeenth century. The word is also spelled naivety in English. The Modern French word is derived from an Old French word naivete. That word in turn stems not directly from a Latin root but naif. Naif (Mod. Fr. female form naïve) comes from Latin nativus. The abstract -tas noun related to this, nativitas, yielded Middle English/Old French nativite in the usual way, with English nativity parallel to Spanish natividad. (When I get a chance, I'll try to see when and how navidad arose.)
The Preface begins thus:
When Robert Vann died in October 1940, his death merited only passing notice in national publications, if indeed it was noted at all. For white America, Robert Lee Vann never really existed. The man who built the Pittsburgh Courier into the nation's leading black weekly, with a circulation of a quarter million and an influence that touched every black community in the country, was not even mentioned in a 1937 work partly devoted to the press in Pittsburgh, published when Vann and the Courier were at the height of their power. Nor did the Dictionary of American Biography supplement of 1940 include ...
I figured I'd look into the coverage thing, since online databases make it much easier now than when Buni wrote. The Los Angeles Times gave Vann a couple of column inches on October 25, at the top of page 7:
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 24 (AP)-- Robert L. Vann, 61, prominent Negro publicist and for many years editor and publisher of the Pittsburgh Courier, died tonight. A native of Ahoskie, N.C., Vann for many years was a factor in politics of this community and of the nation. Numbered among President Roosevelt's most militant supporters in earlier days, he came out against a third term and gave his support to Wendell L. Wilkie.
The Washington Post published four grafs; from comparing these with the LAT's two, it appears that both probably both printed bits of the AP item largely verbatim. Among the interesting differences: the Post used ``colored'' instead of ``Negro.'' It's hard to remember that far back, but ``colored'' was considered a more polite word (hence ``NAACP'' instead of the palindromically attractive NAAN). WP also used the possibly less confusing ``his community.'' The New York Times reworked the first graf and published six grafs in total, perhaps including most of the information in the AP item.
Of course, one of the principal charms of traditional standards of measurement is that they are not standardized. They have local flavor (and flavour too). They are multicultural. For a variety of vara values, see the vara entry in Russ Rowlett's dictionary of units of measurement.
The original VAWA was part of a larger crime bill that made gun possession illegal for anyone under a restraining order. Since restraining orders can continue to be issued without evidence or finding of violent history or potential on the part of the person restrained, there is a prima facie case that this law violates the fifth (due process) and second (bear arms) amendments to the US constitution. The restraining-order gun provision was originally ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court judge in 1999. It was argued before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in June 2000. This panel ruled (by 2-1) that the Second Amendment was an individual right. (This has been a major point of contention, and the panel's finding was a major victory fot the NRA crowd. In the district court the Government claimed that it was ``well settled'' that the Second Amendment creates a right held by the states and does not protect an individual right to bear arms.) On the other hand, the panel held unanimously that the prohibition against gun possession during a restraining order was a reasonable restriction on that right, ``though barely so.''
In practice, there are two main types. One kind uses vertical blades that function as airfoils. Torque is generated by the azimuthal component of lift on the fins. The other kind uses drag: the wind is ``caught'' in cups or other structures designed to have greater drag resistance motion in one direction than in the opposite direction.
The experience at UB (home of the SBF alpha chapter) with that OS was none too happy, and by the end of 1996, all ordinary user accounts were on Unix machines.
At one time, obstetricians felt that a Caesarean section so weakened the tissues surrounding the placenta that all subsequent deliveries should be by C-section as well. During the 1980's or so, that attitude changed and most now feel that VBAC is safe ``if some additional precautions are taken.'' The reason for the precautions is that in 1% of cases, attempted VBAC leads to uterine rupture and hemorrhage. A C-section must then be carried out immediately, since decreased oxygen supply to the fetus risks brain damage and death. In many such cases the mother afterwards requires a hysterectomy.
Considering that in the US today about 20% of live births are by C-section, VBAC is a frequent issue.
There's a mailing list called ICAN that's ``[f]or people who wish to discuss cesarean section in a supportive environment. It is open to people who have experienced c-section, parents who wish to avoid a c-section, people who wish to have a VBAC ..., or professionals wishing to contribute. Trained counselors will be available to answer questions and facilitate list discussions.'' Subscription information for ICAN at PAML and Sabrina's Pregnancy Page.
You know, I must have been sleeping when I added the last three entries. Just in case I'm sleeping now, I'll leave them in.
See, for example, Su-Huai Wei, David B. Laks, Alex Zunger: ``Dependence of the optical properties of semiconductor alloys on the degree of long-range order,'' Applied Physics Letters 62, #16, p.1937 (19 April 1993). [See also Appl. Phys. Lett. 62, #9 p. 1292 (30 August 1993).]
The valence band in a III-V semiconductor can be split by externally applied stress. Zero-stress splitting in I-II-V's can be thought of as related.
Note that the node voltage VCC is not normally the same as the device voltage VC. The voltages are equal only if the BJT collector is hooked directly to the voltage rail (just mentioned) or if it's hooked through circuit elements with no voltage drop. (Like, if the collector is hooked to VCC through a diode or resistor and the collector current IC is zero.)
The VCR is NOT, as suggested in this glossary, ``the point at which half of the gross weight is above and half is below.'' The way to see this is to consider that a light weight can balance a heavy weight across a fulcrum closer to the heavy weight. In other words, if there is a dense concentration of weight at the top of the payload, the center of gravity is higher (and so less stable) than one would estimate from this halfway rule.
When it was new, it was also called NVCJD.
It's a standing joke that VCR clocks always flash <BLINK>12:00</BLINK> because the owner hasn't figured out how to program it. Sometimes it's pretty unintuitive -- a lot harder than digital wristwatches. Programming VCR's to record a program was considered such a chore that VCR+ was invented, in which each broadcast is assigned a code. This allows one to program the VCR to record that broadcast, instead of programming the VCR to record a time interval and program corresponding to that program.
In the movie Absolute Power (1997), Bartender Red says
Your life could be a whole lot simpler if you could learn to operate a VCR.
Generations hence, multimedia audiences will marvel at the many-layered subtlety of today's golden age of dialogue. Cf. AARP entry.
The Latin alphabet has only 24 letters. The letters u and v (like the letters i and j) in modern alphabets, arose by specialization of different glyphs of a single letter. A rounder form of the letter u came to be used within a word than at the beginning of the word. This pattern was general by the mid-seventeenth century or so, and reflected in the printing practice of the time, so complete fonts had two forms available for the one letter. What happened next was that the rule for using the different forms changed. The v was retasked for consonantal use, regardless whether it began a word or not, and u was used strictly as a vowel, even at the beginning of a word.
I've actually seen this abbreviation (VD) used. That's typically how I figure out that an abbreviation belongs in this highly selective <guffaw> (well, virtually selective) reference work. I found this usage surprising, not to say infelicitous. The person who used it felt it necessary to expand the abbreviation in immediate parenthesis. I see that the abbreviation is not catching on. (Good.) This is real-time etymology.
You may be asking: why not just use two probe points, and measure the current driven by a known voltage? The reason is that in an ideal 2D conductor with ideal point contacts, the current density and electric field diverge near the current contacts, and the voltage diverges logarithmically. Real contacts are not quite point-like, but away from real contacts, the current density and electric field look about the same as they would if the current contacts were ideal. The trick is to use that ideal theoretical pattern, which is accurate away from the current contacts, but measure the voltage elsewhere, where the voltage is nice and finite.
If the four probe points are four equally-spaced points on a line, and if the boundaries of the conducting surface are far from these probe points (``far'' meaning many times the distance between the points), then symmetry reduces to one the number of independent measurements one must make for van der Pauw's formula. This collinear geometry is the usual one for a ``four-point probe.''
Ahhhh, you ungrateful young whippersnappers don't know how easy you've got it. Why when I was a boy, we would do all our own overlays by hand, and then pedal a stationary-bicycle motor-generator unit to power the bead-based computing technology! After we cut our teeth on machine language, we would advance slowly until we reached FORTRAN II, the pinnacle of programming-language creation.
I still remember my first program with video output: I wrote an assembly language program that shifted the data registers in a regular pattern. The video output was on an array of LED's (at the top of the IBM 1130 processor unit) which displayed the register contents. I should have coordinated that with some line-printer farts for a multimedia experience. When I told Steve (the operator) I was looping (all the way) to 1000 iterations, he aborted the run.
Inoffensive data on Venezuela is found in the factbook entry from the latest edition of the CIA Factbook
Country known for women who win Miss Universe and Miss World beauty pageants. A major petroleum exporter that is sinking into despotism.
In one of Kurt Vonnegut's stories, overpopulation has reached such a point that men are required to take a drug that reduces their sexual desire and turns their urine blue, and suicide is encouraged by the state, which sets up special departure parlors. [Subject to the vagaries of memory. It does occur to me that Prozac side effects include both reduced sexual desire and increased suicide risk.]
A version of Vonnegut's state-encouraged-suicide idea occurs in Boomsday, a novel by Christopher Buckley. (This is the son of William F. Buckley, Jr., founder of NR, and mentioned at our reincarnated metaphor entry. Christopher Buckley, you'll want to know, is of the baby-boomer generation.) In Boomsday, a young woman named ``Cassandra Devine'' (without the quotes) becomes incensed at the injustices awaiting her generation: ``Someone my age will have to spend their entire life paying unfair taxes, just so the Boomers can hit the golf course at sixty-two and drink gin and tonics until they're ninety,'' she tells a TV reporter. She is on the news because of a public policy of ``transitioning,'' proposed on her blog, that would solve the looming entitlements crisis. The proposal is that retirees be paid to commit suicide. As in Vonnegut's version, the government would provide little enticements, such as ``a farewell honeymoon'' (a lavish last vacation) and a waiving of the estate tax.
Buckley's book was released on Monday, April 2, 2007. Kurt Vonnegut died on April 11, 2007, as a result of brain injuries suffered in a fall some weeks before.
We seem to have drifted away from the subject of visual emissions. Let's sort of drift back in the general direction. Copper sulphate solution is a pretty blue, and a pretty good algicide. In high concentrations it darkens the water, so it's a reflecting-pool two-fer. Copper sulphate poses no significant hazard to humans, ducks, or bacteria in pools.
Attends state funerals overseas and breaks ties in the Senate.
It was John Nance Garner who said in 1936 that the (US) vice presidency is ``not worth a bucket of warm spit,'' almost. The word spit is what the newspapers reported at the time. Since at least 1991, some news articles mentioning the quip have claimed that the word Garner actually used was piss. According to the ``Last Page'' feature in the November 1996 Texas Monthly (byline Anne Dingus), he complained afterwards that ``those pantywaist writers wouldn't print it the way I said it.''
If you manage to get a pitcherful of it together and let it settle, I suppose liquid spit (as opposed to fresh foamy spit) has about the same specific heat as urine, but the solutes are very different. Spittle has a lot of glycoproteins and I don't know what else. The gp's lubricate the inside of the mouth, and astringent substances apparently bind and precipitate them, making mouth surfaces feel ``dry'' (high-friction-y).
Urine has a lot of shit. Okay, maybe not the right word. It includes nitrogenous wastes such as urea, uric acid, and creatinine, and a bunch of simple ionic solutes: metallic cations like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and anions like bicarbonate and sulfate. Osmotic pressure limits the concentration of sodium in urine, and it limits it to a concentration lower than that in seawater. This is why drinking seawater is a counterproductive reaction to thirst: to maintain electrolyte balance, the body must eliminate sodium; it is eliminated via urine that is less salty than the seawater drunk, hence removing more water per unit of sodium than was taken in. Hello dehydration.
One of the most onerous tasks of trekking in inhospitable cold places like the Antarctic or the Himalayas is making water. Basically, you melt ice or snow with your body heat, or fuel heat if possible (engine exhaust pipes are also popular, and traditional with Eskimos). When you are moderately desperate, you can fill a jar with urine and stick a bag of ice into it. A little more desperate, and you can use a mix of about four parts ice and one part urine in direct contact. (This takes advantage not only of body heat but also of molal freezing point depression.) I think this is something that might bother anyone who is not Morarjee Desai (leader of the Janata coalition that beat Indira Gandhi out of office). You can understand that making water is a responsibility that every person has for him- or herself.
Garner, a Texas State Representative from 1898 to 1902 and then a member of the US House of Representatives until 1932, was Speaker of the House when he ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1932. He easily won the Texas and California primaries, but shifted his support to FDR and got the Veep slot as booby prize. He came to regret it; Garner and FDR disagreed over the New Deal, and in 1940, Garner again ran for the Democratic nomination. FDR was renominated and won an unprecedented third term, and Garner retired to Texas.
Garner survived tuberculosis as a youth, but smoked cigars all his life. He also enjoyed whiskey. (``I'm living a good Christian life. I don't get drunk but once a day.'') He looked like W.C. Fields with a triple order of eyebrows, and dressed like Tom Wolfe. Garner lived to be almost 99. (Almost almost 100.)
Garner interrupted his ninety-fifth birthday party to take a congratulatory phone call from President John F. Kennedy, who was in Texas that day. Garner promised to support JFK if he was still alive by the time Kennedy ran for reelection. Later that day, November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated.
There are many parallels and uncanny coincidences surrounding the assassinations of Lincoln in 1865 and Kennedy about 99 years later. One is that their vice presidents (hence successors) were Southerner-state senators named Johnson.
JFK's running mate Lyndon Baines Johnson, like FDR's running mate Garner, held the top Democratic leadership position in his chamber of Congress (Senate majority leader, in LBJ's case). LBJ was also a colorful Texas character like Garner. Serving out the remaining months of JFK's term, LBJ was nominated to run for president in his own right. Introducing Hubert Humphrey as his choice for running mate in 1964, LBJ described him as ``the man who will make the best Vice President since Lyndon Johnson.'' The Democratic ticket won in a landslide over GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
(Should this be a parenthetical remark? Is it?) Goldwater's running mate was William Miller. One small perk of being elected Veep, as opposed to -- indignity of indignities -- seeking that lowly office and falling short, is that you're ipso facto not obscure enough to become the answer to a trivia question during your own lifetime. Incidentally, a friend of mine is related to James G. Blaine of Maine. In his time he was a dominant figure in Republican politics, and in 1884 the party nominated him for the presidency. He became the first GOP presidential candidate to lose since John C. Frémont, the first GOP candidate for president, lost in 1856. Afaik, no one who regularly wrote his name with a diacritical mark has ever been president of the US. Heck, even Canada has only had one PM with so much as an é.
That election (1964, okay?) was one of the watersheds of American history. The Republican party was shocked by its poor showing, and within the party there were two main reactions. To simplify, the two reactions were the dominant responses of two important factions. One faction felt a crucial need to repackage the party's message, seeing the need to formulate positive programmatic alternatives to Democratic initiatives and to find attractive new candidates to carry the refurbished message. Very loosely speaking, this was the activist branch of the GOP. On the national level, this was the faction that triumphed in the long term.
The other faction was dominated by elected office-holders, and its approach dominated in the immediate aftermath of the Goldwater debacle. This pragmatic branch was in many ways much more moderate than you would ever guess from the political polarization 40 years later. Gerald Ford (R-MI) was the House minority leader at the time, and he crafted the sort of orderly-retreat strategy that was more-or-less necessary for a weakened opposition. (The Democratic party held, in addition to the presidency, a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress.) The GOP in Congress would offer alternative bills to match Johnson's initiatives, and expect party members to support these alternatives. On the other hand, the leadership would be understanding if members, in order to look constructive with their constituents, ultimately voted for Democratic bills that would have passed over their opposition anyway.
Johnson had an aggressive domestic agenda that was popular, but he became bogged down in a Vietnam war. How's that for snappy data compression? The GOP, chastened by its 1964 loss, nominated someone from its moderate branch for 1968: Richard Nixon. RMN prevailed over the Democrats' Humphrey (LBJ chose not to run for reelection). Despite dissatisfaction with the war, the election was close, and a crucial factor--
You know, I'm going to take a break from story-telling for now. Sorry, I'll be back later. Don't complain! The only reason I wrote this far was that I wanted to set the record straight (so far as I am able) on a witticism attributed to LBJ. Like that other Texan's famous remark, this one was excreta-related. Gerald Ford was still House minority leader in fall 1973, when Richard Nixon's first vice president Spiro T. Agnew resigned (in the face of charges that he took bribes when he had been Governor of Maryland). Nixon nominated Ford to replace Agnew under the terms of the 25th amendment, and he was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate and House in December. Eight months later, Nixon resigned and Ford became president.
In October 1973, after Nixon announced his choice to replace resigned vice-president Agnew, there was a profile of Ford that contained the following comment attributed to LBJ, who had died the previous January. I forget whether Newsweek or the New York Times was the first to come out with this, but it was repeated endlessly. The comment was that Gerald Ford was ``so stupid he can't chew gum and walk at the same time.'' Later there were reports that this had been bowdlerized, and that what LBJ had really said was that he couldn't fart and chew gum at the same time. I'll have to try that myself some time. Nowadays, most of the little skepticism that is ever expressed about the authenticity of this remark is just confused contention between the partisans of the fart recension and the walk version. Anyway, when you've got a ``corrected version,'' obviously the general fact of the remark (setting aside the detail) is beyond question...
Here is what David S. Broder has to say about it in his Behind the Front Page (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1987), p. 56:
The origins of this line are something of a mystery. Ford and Johnson often clashed when Johnson was President and Ford the House minority leader. But the archivists and scholars at the Johnson and Ford presidential libraries have no record of Johnson ever making the comment, and such former staff aides as George Reedy, George Christian, Bill Moyers, and Liz Carpenter said they had never heard it from Johnson's lips. Political writer Richard Reeves quoted a cruder version of it in his book, A Ford, Not a Lincoln, attributing to Johnson the assertion that ``Ford is so dumb he can't fart and chew gum at the same time. There are even more scatalogical versions around, but Reedy, a former Johnson press secretary, claimed they are ``apocryphal.''
FWIW, Reedy and Reeves are both thanked in Broder's acknowledgments. It's always possible that LBJ really said it within someone's hearing, and that we are the victims of a cover-up or something more innocent, but I do wonder what prevented Broder from getting some corroboration directly from the original publisher of the story.
In its early years, the children's cable channel Nickelodeon was so unpopular with its intended audience that it was called the ``green vegetable'' channel. Cf. peas.
The word vegetable is considered a little more seriously, in fact too seriously, at the legume entry. The only thing to add is that in modern usage, the noun's meaning has come to be restricted not just to edible plants or non-animals, but to complex multicellular organisms that are edible. I mean, yeast is not a vegetable, though even vegans eat bread. Someone ought to ruin their day by pointing out that on biochemical and even cellular morphological grounds, yeasts are much closer to the animal family than the vegetable family. To say nothing of Caesar salad.
We plan to discuss ``Mediterranean style'' as well.
Q.: If it contains meat and vegetables, is it vegetarian pizza?
A.: Generally no.
The volcano in Krakatoa, which lies between Sumatra and Java, erupted in 1883 and killed about 36 thousand people. It hurled ash to an altitude exceeding 20 miles and was heard 3,000 miles away. That was about a 6.
Velocity saturation! Gosh, I hadn't thought about velocity saturation in absolutely years! Then suddenly -- out of nowhere -- this glossary entry appears. Wow, sure brings back memories.
Since Roman aqueducts were (and in an instance or two still are) mostly open channels with a slight gradient to move the water along, they generally followed topographic contours. Where a valley had to be crossed, the level of the aqueduct could be maintained by elevation on a bridge.
The most ambitious and impressive aqueduct bridge is the Pont du Gard. This carried the open aqueduct that supplied Nîmes at a height of 48.8m above the River Gardon. This was not a venter bridge.
The Romans did not build any higher bridges than the Pont du Gard. When it was necessary to traverse a depression deeper than 50 meters, they built an inverted siphon, usually of lead pipe, sometimes terra cotta. Very often, the pipe did not descend completely to the bottom of the depression, but was instead held at some height above the bottom by a colonnade or viaduct. Those viaducts are the ones commonly called venter bridges. In profile they look a little bit like animal bellies when you consider them as rounding the slope of the fall and rise of the hills on either side. Often as well, a bit of sag was built into them. (It has been suggested that this made servicing easier, by preventing air pockets -- if they formed during filling -- from occurring in the middle rather than an end of the elevated section.)
The Spanish veo is not generally used in the sense `I understand,' as ``I see'' is used in English. However, English is not unusual in making this connection: the word video comes from the same Indo-European root as the Greek idol and idea. The latter meant both `idea' and `form,' so one begins to understand why Platonic Idealism is sometimes referred to as the ``theory of forms.'' Other words from that share this root are eidenic and history (both from the senses related to knowledge, which became the common in Greek).
Do not say ``Yo veo'' unless you mean to emphasize yo, as if you were saying ``I see'' in English. In Spanish as in many languages, the verb conjugation provides all the information that an explicit personal pronoun subject does, and the pronoun is elided conventionally.
In Japanese, the conjugation does not identify the subject, but the pronoun is often elided conventionally anyway: direct statements without an explicit personal subject can be assumed to have the speaker as implicit subject, and questions similarly assume a second-person subject. In general, however, things can get more complicated than this, since Japanese is a language which tends to put a much greater burden on the listener to interpret and disambiguate, and allows the speaker to omit almost anything (except grammatical particles).
In German, something similar occasionally happens with the compound verb, which because of the V2 structure is mostly at the end of the independent clause. Thus, for example, ``I can speak English'' is fully translated ``ich kann englisch sprechen'' (all words cognate), but usually produced as ``ich kann englisch.''
I suppose that one of these days, I ought to add a pro-drop entry to this glossary.
If your local gopher server does not host a Veronica (usually as a menu item labelled ``Other Gopher and Information Servers'') then you should access the Veronica home menu at the University of Nevada - Reno: <gopher://veronica.scs.unr.edu:70/11/veronica>! They serve a list of other Veronica servers, not one of which appears to be in operation as of 1998.03.08!
For some reason 2347 (occasionally 2348) seems to be the default port! This is odd, and strange too, since, although port numbers can run from 0 to 65535 [216 - 1], the IANA normally only assigns standard ports up to 1023!
Frankly, I can't find one working Veronica anywhere now! Instead try
The earliest use I'm aware of, of the name ``Vanity Fair'' itself, is in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. That book, very popular in colonial America, is an extended allegory of a man making his progress toward Christian salvation. One of the stops along the way is Vanity Fair, which seems at first to be a fun festival, but turns out on closer inspection to be an occasion of many small degradations and hidden sadness (so I recall, less than three centuries after reading the book). Vanity Fair is the world in microcosm. Thackeray chose the name for a famous novel set during the Napoleonic wars.
In September 2000, an FAA rule took effect giving airlines three years to train its flight attendants to use portable defibrillators and put the devices -- smaller versions of the ones in ER's -- on all planes configured to carry 30 passengers or more. The devices weigh about five pounds, and nonmedical personal are usually certified with five or six hours of training.
Two studies in the October 26, 2000 issue of the NEJM reported good results with portable public defibrillators. The survival rate in a study of their use in airplanes was 40%. In a similar study in casinos, the rate was 53%, a number whose wider significance is discussed in this glossary.
One of Kurt Vonnegut's books (Rosewater, I think) eulogizes volunteer firemen as embodying the true spirit of greatness in America.
In those days, much of my family was living in Breslau, but the men generally went in for things like the Society for Rowboat Travel, however named. Once when my mom was a little girl, one of Graf Zeppelin's airships came to town, docking at an airfield that really was not much more than a marshy field. My mother wanted to wear her nice patent-leather shoes to this important event, but her mother didn't want her to. The ensuing argument delayed them so long that my mom never got to see the Zeppelin.
There was a joke going around after the shock of Sputnik in 1957 -- the President of the United States called in his experts and asked ``What happened? How did the Russians get so far ahead of us in rocket technology?'' His advisors answered:
Wernher von Braun was a member of the VfR as an engineering student in Berlin. More von Braun content at the V2 entry.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the FAA banned VFR aviation over thirty US metropolitan areas. Aviation security legislation passed that Autumn included provisions for the lifting of those bans. In any event, on December 19 the FAA lifted the ban on most of those areas.
On that day also, firefighters stopped pouring water on the rubble at ground zero (the wreckage of the WTC), believing that the fire was finally, after 100 days, extinguished.
I will be the first to admit that I enjoy watching a weekly show where I find out that the guys from bands like Whitesnake or Kiss or Grand Funk Railroad wasted all their money on limos or women or drugs or all of the above and are now pasting up billboards or doing time or dead. But I hate it when they announce that they're going back to the studio, that they're planning a limited tour, that they're coming back. To me, the whole appeal of the show is to be reminded how terrific the present is precisely because none of these people are in it.
VH2 was a British sister channel of VH1. The main source of income for the channel was ringtone advertising. (My mind rejects this fact; I can't get even get it inside my head temporarily. I'm only just able to move it from one web resource onto this page. Thanks be to cut'n'paste.) Although everyone agrees that VH2 achieved a nonnegative audience share, the business model was apparently not cutting it in 2006, and on August 1, MTV2 was closed to make way for MTV Flux.
In the North American scheme, VHF channels are allocated in three smaller band segments within VHF: 2-4, 5-6, and 7-13, and the separation between adjacent subbands is smaller than the separation between adjacent channels within each subband. In other words, the frequency separation between channels 4 and 5, and between 6 and 7, is larger than those between other nominally adjacent channels.
Here's an FAQ.
It's not pronounced `six' and it's not supposed to be pronounced `vai.' It's `vee eye.' (Vai is the name of a West African syllabary.)
An introduction and a reference manual can be found here.
See also vim (a freeware vi clone).
And just in case you missed it the last time: It's not pronounced `six' and it's not supposed to be pronounced `vai'! It's `vee eye.' For further clarification, visit a pronunciation guide for unix.
The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of US Virgin Islands territorial government links.
VI also stands for six, which sounds like sex. A natural thought about virgin islands.
However, either to conserve Ink or In a baldly insincere effort to be politically correcter than thou, the standard expansion of VIAL (given at the top of this entry) uses only the female forms of the agent nouns and capitalizes the first letter of the suffixes that indicate gender. It's like writing ``hostEsses'' to mean ``hosts and hostesses.'' Further curmudgeonly ruminations on this sort of stuff can be found at the gender-inclusive and CLC-CTC entries.
Incidentally, the capitalization of the pronoun dich is conventional. (Dich is the singular familiar form of `you' in the accusative case, cognate with English thee.) In letters and some other texts, German capitalizes all second-person pronouns. (First-person pronouns -- like ich [`I'] -- are not capitalized except as required by other grammatical rules: at the beginning of a sentence, say, or in noun use such as Freud's ``das Ich'' [`the ego'].)
The formal second-person pronouns are always capitalized. I suppose that one reason it occurred to me to mention this is the pronoun Ihnen, the formal second-person personal pronoun. It has (as the spelling indicates) the long i vowel instead of the short one that occurs in the feminizing suffix discussed above (plural form -innen). So these don't sound entirely the same, as they also do not quite look the same. [I refer to standard German pronunciation. Educated native speakers of German from Switzerland and southern Germany are effectively bilingual in the rather different standard and home dialects. (The phenomenon is known as diglossia.) Vowel quantity distinctions are different in the local German.] Anyway, a quick reading of the acronym expansion above nevertheless gives the impression of `Society of Engineer Agronomist-to-you and Nutrition Engineer-to-you.' (Needless to say, the word ``engineer,'' with its cognates, is used here as an aggrandizing courtesy title, as in the euphemism ``sanitation engineer'' for garbage collector.)
For your convenience, the organization has changed its name to SVIAL.
Queen Victoria's birthday (May 24) was declared a holiday by the legislature of the united Canadas in 1845. It continued to be celebrated after Confederation in 1867, but in years when this fell on a Sunday, a proclamation was issued moving the celebration to the following Monday (viz., May 25). (Between 1845 and the end of the nineteenth century, I am pretty sure that May 24 fell on a Sunday in 1846, 1857, 1863, 1868, 1874, 1885, 1891, and 1896.)
The year she died (1901), the Canadian Parliament established the anniversary of her birth as a holiday. This continued until 1952. Since then, Victoria Day has been celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, which means that it can fall as early as May 18. I hate that kind of rule. Some dates you just know, and it feels silly to be celebrating almost a week early or late.
Victoria Day is celebrated primarily in parts of the British Commonwealth whose names begin with C: Canada, the Cayman Islands, and Caledonia. Regarding the last: it's actually celebrated in scattered parts of Scotland. When the Scots finally gain the complete partial independence they want -- complete self-government plus representation at Westminster, taxes no, subsidies yes -- I imagine they will celebrate not celebrating Victoria Day.
The famous Days I alluded to in the first sentence of the entry are Doris and Dorothy. Dorothy Day co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement with Peter Maurin in 1933. They advocated inefficient means of production (``worthy labor'').
Doris Day was a real famous actress, but she wasn't a real Day. She was born Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff and changed her name to Doris Day at the suggestion of band leader Barney Rapp sometime in the late 1930's. The name occured to him after he heard her sing ``Day by Day.'' Her signature song, however, was ``Que Sera, Sera.'' [That's the English spelling, by the way. In Spanish it's ``Que Será, Será.'' Any way you choose or look at it, though, her song involves two of something simple.]
A member of the Day family who is famous in Canada is Stockwell. He led the Canadian Alliance Party to second place in Canada's federal elections in November 2000. Canadian election campaigns are not perpetual, as in the US, but instead last only about a month. This might be going too far in the direction of brevity, leading to problems with name recognition. In the November 2000 campaign, Stockwell Day had only been party leader since July. A voter interviewed in Winnipeg, who said he couldn't vote for (Liberal leader) Jean Chrétien, was asked if he knew about Stockwell Day. He hesitated, and then asked ``when is it?'' Journalists live for these moments; they probably interviewed thousands of confused-looking street people just so they wouldn't have to make the story up. Therefore, I imagine that they also asked the obvious follow-up question, but that the interviewee did know about Victoria Day.
Even without the help of journalists, Stockwell Day kept his political performance well-stocked with opportunities for ridicule. (I make no claim regarding the fairness of the ridicule.) Two weeks before the election, a CBC-TV show called ``This Hour Has 22 Minutes'' found an amusing way to ridicule a CA reform proposal. As outlined in briefing books distributed to Alliance candidates, the proposal was that a petition by 3% of the electorate could force a national referendum on any issue, such as abortion, capital punishment, or immigration, or less pressing issues. On the show, comedian Rick Mercer urged viewers to log onto This Hour's website and subscribe to the proposition ``that the government of Canada force Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris.''
That 3% threshold then amounted to a bit under 400,000 voters. (I guess only registered voters count towards the electorate, and not those eligible to vote who might yet register in time.) The show has about a million viewers, the proposition was apparently popular with many of those viewers, and Canada is certainly among the most Internet-active countries. At one point, ``signatures'' were accumulating at a rate of 10,000 per hour, and in a few days the 400,000 threshold was far exceeded. It doubtless helped that there was no mechanism to prevent anyone from registering the same name and email address two or two hundred times. As the show's full name suggests, they might even be quantitatively challenged. Confusion can arise. Chrétien, who made the Day-name proposition part of his own campaigning, had occasional trouble getting the program name straight. At one rally, he called the show ``This Hour has 22 Hours'' until he was corrected by the audience. Later, at a MuchMusic interview, he tried ``This Hour has 20-20 minutes?''
Obviously, Canadian culture doesn't get any respect -- at least from some people. In fact, if you're an American, this is the first time you've heard of any of these people or events. They took place in C-A-N-A-D-A, a neighboring country. Canadian news is not reported in the US. Canadians consider Americans' inattention to Canada deplorable, either because it is inappropriate or because it is appropriate. Anyway, even without the news black-out, that month there was a riveting distraction stateside that sucked up the limited supplies of American attention: a close presidential election that took about four years to resolve.
Meanwhile back in Canada, Stockwell Day was getting walloped on the Doris issue. After a few days of this he decided to roll with the punches. The political counteroffensive seems to have begun on the Alliance campaign plane, which he'd dubbed ``Prayer Force One.'' (Hey, have I said anything about ridicule opportunities yet? I'll have to remember to mention that. Stockwell Day was made Minister of Public Safety in Stephen Harper's government.) Shortly after the plane took off on a flight from Edmonton to Brandon, Doris Day's voice came on over the intercom, singing ``Que Será, Será.'' Then Stockwell Day came dancing and singing into the section of the plane where reporters and cameramen were wearing their safety belts and facing their air-sickness bags. When they learned about this, the estimated 8.3 Americans who keep abreast of Canadian events all had the same horrifying flashback: Reform Party founder and presidential candidate H. Ross Perot dances to Patsy Cline's ``Crazy,'' election night 1996.
Shudder. Let's move on. Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday commemorating Queen Victoria's birthday or Monday, whichever comes sooner. We've covered Canada, now let's do Alexandrina Victoria. Crown Princess Victoria was 12 in August 1831 when, during parliamentary discussion of a grant to the Duchess of Kent (her mother), there was a suggestion that her name be changed to Elizabeth as something ``more accordant to the feelings of the people.'' There seems to have been some powerful support behind the idea, but the moment must have passed. In 1836, King William IV approved of a proposal to change it to Charlotte. To Victoria's delight and my relief, the proposal was dropped. ``The Charlottean Era'' doesn't have the same ring. The teenage princess acceded to the throne the very next year, and in 1840 married her beloved Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. In a future episode of this entry, I will relate the Kaiser's clever remark when he heard about the House of Windsor. If you can't wait, you can read it now at the UK entry.
Some Days not mentioned in the foregoing entry are mentioned at this other Day-related entry.
Even in Greenwich Village, this was known as the SAD campaign.
He seems to have a talent for putting words in other peoples' mouths that they didn't say.
The Buggles had a huge international hit in 1979 with ``Video Killed The Radio Star.'' On August 1, 1981, the video for this song became the first ever aired by MTV.
The definitions of the standards are general enough to allow, in principle, for arbitrary screen resolutions and field rates. In practice, however, each standard is used primarily in one mode: NTSC mostly uses 525 lines/frame and 60 Hz (i.e., 30 frames/sec); PAL and SECAM mostly use 625 lines/frame and 50 Hz. (Vide line frequency.) There are exceptions, however: Brazil uses PAL with 525 lines and 60 Hz (``PAL-M''). [The frame rate is half the stated frequency because alternate lines are interleaved: in successive raster scans the odd and even lines are rewritten alternately. This produces smoother-looking motion.]
It is not necessary that the frame rate equal the line frequency or divide it evenly or, in fact, that it have any particular numerical relation to it. For example, in 60 Hz NTSC encoding, a color sync signal is ``squeezed in'' by sending frames very-slightly-less frequently: the frame rate is 59.94 Hz.
The reason for using a frame rate equal to about half the line frequency is to minimize the effects of power line interference. For example, if power-line interference causes the image intensity to increase every 1/60th of a second and the frame rate is 30 per second, then the brightness is distorted at a fixed place on the screen. If the frame rate were 24/sec, common for movie film, then the bright region would drift up the screen (for a screen image that was scanned top-to-bottom). Note that the brightness distortion appears at one height rather than two, even though the frame rate is only half the frequency of the distortion signal; this is because of the way images are interleaved: at 30 frames per second, a full-screen image is projected every sixtieth of a second, but only at half density: odd and even lines are scanned alternately. A kind of line-frequency interference is seen in TV pictures of TV pictures: Given the 50 Hz that is prevalent in Europe, American television images recorded optically (i.e. by training a camera on a European screen) will show a pattern moving downward across the screen.
In Japan, which uses NTSC, half the country uses 50 Hz and half the country uses 60 Hz line voltage.
In addition to video encoding scheme, the broadcast encoding (audio signal) varies. PAL-I, -B, and -G are all PAL 625/50, but while -B is commonly used for VHF, for UHF Germany and the UK use -I, while Australia uses -G. [PAL-I uses 6 MHz sound-vision spacing; PAL-B uses 5.5 MHz (there are minor differences in the size of the vestigial sideband as well).]
Food for thought if you have a hard time imagining how speakers of East Asian
languages might have difficulty distinguishing /r/ and /l/. Note also that
in Czech, the sound we write
measure and vision) is written with a hachek on
And spare a thought (a nasty one; something involving their ancestors) for
those who pronounce régime as ``rih-JEEM'' with the
j of Jim.
Cooke was originally named Alfred, but changed his name to Alistair because that's more pretentious. In Britain, Alistair Cooke was known for LfA, which I'm not going to define here so you might as well make up your mind to follow the link. In the US, Cooke had a long-time gig as the introducer-shill for episodes of a made-for-BBC-TV drama series called ``Masterpiece Theatre.'' Masterpiece Theatre had a thick patina of culcha, but was so extremely tedious that only viewers like you and the terminally pretentious elite could bear to watch it, and that only for pride. It was the Emperor's New Clothes of television. A few high-speed car chases and some nudity would have improved the claustrophobic, dreary ``Upstairs, Downstairs'' immensely. MT-watching was a leading cause of depression, alcoholism, and suicide in the pretentious classes, so let's have more of it.
According to Barbara Tuchman's book about the terrible fourteenth century, however, the term referred to any kind of peasant, although it excluded serfs. Over time, of course, the term took an increasingly negative connotation, and then denotation, as it came to have its current meaning.
In origin, the word simply referred to someone from a ville.
The tenth character indicates the year:
Hmmm. It looks like they gave some thought to the distinguishability problem.
VIN is pronounced as an acronym sensu strictu (i.e., pronounced as a word, like laser) and also as an initialism (``vee eye en''). The acronym form often occurs as an AAP pleonasm. You could suppose it served as the model for ``PIN number,'' if heedlessness needed a model. Pronounced as an initialism, it is probably less likely to become (the corresponding entity) an a.-a.p. pleonasm. This unuseful paragraph is the electronic equivalent of motormouth -- just so you know.
In common usage, `vinyl' is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.
The most prominent use of vinyl, for many years, was in audio discs called ``records,'' based on a largely mechanical analog encoding. Hence ``vinyl'' was used as an uncountable noun equivalent to records. Expressions like ``record company'' and ``gold record'' continue in use, but the physical medium used for storing and selling new music is now rarely ``records.'' For a different kind of record altogether, see the AREA entry.
As written, this is a free radical. More commonly, the radical is bonded and ``vinylene'' refers to the CHCH functional group. One can't say that vinylene double-bonds, and its two bonds would each normally be sigma-type. Note, however, that in a molecule like cyclopropene (C3H4), both single bonds of a vinylene group are to the same atom (carbon, in this case).
The IUPAC-approved name is ethenylene, but no one really cares. All that matters is what Chemical Abstracts prefers.
As written, this is a free radical. More commonly, the radical is bonded (either double-bonded or twice single-bonded) and ``vinylidene'' refers to the CH2C functional group.
Most people are unaware of this, and municipalities have evidently begun (after a few short decades' delay) to make the system less mysterious. One approach is to use a longer, more explicit message than ``violation.'' Another, which I saw in the visitor parking meters at Purdue Calumet in August 1997, is making the VIOLATION flags the same color as the EXPIRED flags. Definitely check it out!
From what I can tell, ``very important personage'' was about as common an expression in the nineteenth century as ``very important person,'' and a novel published in 1946 gives ``very important personage'' as the expansion of V.I.P. (see the BF entry), but I think that today, the -age expansion is very aged indeed.
We have the preceding important information thanks to files released to APBNews.com under the FOIA. They also got some feedback from Hef, available in stream format at the site. He recalled ruefully that as a boy growing up in the 1930's, he had admired the FBI. A NYTimes article (page 7 of the October 8, 2000 Week In Review) picked up the story and mentions the apbnews item as a source; I'm not sure the NYT did any actual reporting beyond that. APBNews, also accessible at the domain apb.com, specializes primarily in crime and justice news, secondarily in safety issues. I had a hard time finding APBnews's Hoover/Hefner story with their search function, but I did learn about FBI vigilance to protect us all from Groucho Marxism. I suppose the name (apbnews, not Groucho) stems from the common police abbreviation APB.
To give the FBI devil its limited due, it was following up the groundless complaints of citizen cranks and repeatedly concluded that Groucho (which they often misspelled Graucho) Marx was not a subversive. In fact, he was a political coward, who quit some left-leaning Hollywood organizations when he heard that he was being described as a Cadillac Communist. Groucho Marx was not a Marxist.
Karl Marx once also said that he was not a Marxist. The comment is discussed in detail in Hal Draper's three-volume Karl Marx's Theory Of Revolution (1977), foreword of vol. 2, pp. 5-7. Karl Marx was objecting to the dogmatic or rigid application of his ideas by French Marxists whose discipleship he evidently did not approve. The quip was a favorite of Engels's, and it is only on his authority that we have it. Hmmm.
Eddy Mitchell and any number of others are credited with coining the witticism
Je suis marxiste -- tendance Groucho!
There was a common postage stamp in the Soviet Union, showing Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin standing shoulder to shoulder, at an angle to each other, each looking up into the inspirational distance at opposite corners of your envelope. After the fall of the Soviet Union, one of the former republics (Kazakhstan or maybe Uzbekistan, I think) issued a postage stamp that parodied that one, with Groucho Marx and John Lennon in place of Karl Marx and Lenin. One of the lyrics in Don McLean's ``American Pie'' was
And while Lennon read a book on Marx,
The FBI and the CIA investigated John Lennon more vigorously than Groucho Marx, trying to find an excuse to deport him. The FBI file on Frank Sinatra ran to 1275 pages and has been edited by Tom and Phil Kuntz into a 268-page book entitled The Sinatra Files: The Secret FBI Dossier. In one memo of that file, a G-man wrote ``Sinatra denied that he sympathized with Lenin and the Marx Brothers.'' More on Sinatra and the FBI at this point in the glossary, which for subtle reasons happens to lie within the KFC entry.
Given Vergil's signal service guiding Dante through Hell and back, it's not surprising that an Italian internet guide is called Virgilio.
The ``Virtual'' tag, which probably seemed kinda ``now'' when the original game appeared seven years ago, these days smells like a leftover of antiquated cyber-lingo.
This is from Videogames: The Ultimate Guide, based on reviews from Britain's best-selling game magazines. There's also an uncatty review of the original Virtual Pool, for a PS-1 platform, from February 1997. Those are the only games with names beginning in Virtual (not counting Virtua games).
It is now known that all these diseases, with the exception of pellagra, can be prevented and cured by the addition of certain preventive substances; the deficient substances, which are of the nature of organic bases, we will call vitamines; and we will speak of a beri-beri or scurvy vitamine, which means a substance preventing the special disease.
(Funk guessed, correctly, that pellagra was a vitamin-deficiency disease.) The neologism vitamine was self-evidently a compound of vita (Latin for `life') with -amine. The word vita is discussed at the CV entry and in detail at one A.M. entry. Its occurrence in the word vitamine was explained in an article in the Times Literary Supplement on, of all days, November 11, 1915: ``The point about vitamines is that without them the animal ceases to grow or becomes diseased on a physiologically pure diet.'' The ``physiologically pure diet'' referred to is one containing only the bulk nutrients -- protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
The amine business was a bit speculative on Funk's part. A reasonable guess, since the most common organic bases are all amines. Eventually it was recognized that not all of what Funk counted as vitamines were amines, and so the word vitamin was proposed and accepted. (A similar change could have been made in Spanish, but was not: amina is `amine' and vitamina is still the word for `vitamin.')
In English, the word vitamin is pronounced with primary accentual stress on the first syllable and perhaps some secondary stress on the last. The second and third vowels are typically shwas, but in careful pronunciation the third vowel is a short i. The first syllable has different vowels in British and American pronunciations. In Britain, the i is short; in American it's long. By ``long,'' of course, I mean that it is either the half-long i usually used before an unvoiced consonants by those who articulate different long i's, or it's just the undistinguished long i. (The half-long i is shwa followed by /i:/, the ordinary long i is /ai:/.)
Here is Edmund Wilson criticizing a practice of Van Wyck Brooks that he thinks Brooks borrowed from Léon Bazalgette.
``[Brooks] has attempted to convey the qualities of the literary personalities he deals with by compounding a kind of paste out of their writings. This paste he spreads on the page and expects it to give us the essence of his author. But, though sometimes, as in the case of an inferior figure like Longfellow, he does succeed in extracting thus a tone and a color which we should not easily catch in dipping into Longfellow himself, since it is necessary to boil down a good deal of such a poet in order to distinguish a flavor--on the other hand, with a first-rate writer like Emerson or Hawthorne or Thoreau, you simply get a sort of predigested sample which seems to have had all the vitamins taken out of it and which causes constant irritation to an admirer of these authors, because it gives the impression of a travesty that is always just off-key and off-color.
(This is from Wilson's essay ``Van Wyck Brooks's Second Phase,'' first published in the September 30, 1940 TNR, and reprinted in Classics & Commercials. Vide etiam obscure allusions.)
Still, these things don't make him a babe (in the technical sense, I mean) so how those blind Limey customs agents mistook LaToya for Michael on June 30, 1995, no one will ever understand.
Flash! According to the front page of the March 12, 1996 National Examiner, MJ's skin problem has gone into spontaneous remission! Stay tuned here, where we will not be keeping you posted! Send your own damn money to Lantana, Florida!
Okay, we relent. In November 1996, Jacko married his second wife, Debbie Rowe, whom he met and had known for fifteen years as an assistant to a dermatologist who has been treating him for vitiligo. (See, this entry really is about vitiligo!) Doctor and assistant often accompanied Jackson on his tours.
In 1984, before Elton John officially emerged from the closet, he married a sound engineer in Sydney. Interviewed on the reputedly ``nice'' Rosie O'Donnell talk show after Jackson and Rowe were married in Sydney, John commented that Australia was where ``all the loonies get married.''
According to vicious rumors [i.e., rumors that if true would be embarrassing, and if not true are still embarrassing] Rowe was impregnated artificially, and the marriage has not been consummated. [This situation suggests technical issues that we will not address.] If true, this would certainly simplify the matter of divorce. California is ``a community property state.'' It's not the only one. On the other hand, there was a prenuptial agreement (this is generally presumed, and frequently even described in detail).
This entry is losing its way. I disclaim any responsibility for this situation. I have an alibi. I was away at the time.
Michael Jackson is known by some as the ``King of Pop.'' Pop here does not stand for `father.' In any case, he seems to be some kind of royalty. For the story of another royal whose marriage was unconsummated, see the Audrey entry. For the story of one recent royal who appears to have consummated an LTR that is not a marriage (not that this is unusual) see the scurrilous nonsense at Stark Effect.
Oddly enough, there's another Kriman (cousin? Boris) on the web who has more to say about the treatment of vitiligo.
See also the Vitiligo Information Pages V.I.P.
Viz. is an abbreviation of the Latin adverb
videlicet, which originally meant something like ``clearly,'' and came
from the expression videre licet, meaning ``to be able to see.'' You
may ask: `where does the z come from?' What z? Oh! That
z. The one in the abbreviation. Well, this may be hard to believe, but
back in the Middle Ages, before the time when life started to get hectic, books
were reproduced by hand. Even monks, who have centuries to work, would get
writer's cramp, so they would come to another long and frequently-appearing
word like videlicet, peer down towards the end of it and think: `everyone knows
what the word is.' Like good sports they'd start out to write it, but by the
time they'd written
v i they would begin to LOSE HEART, so they'd
just sort of write a squiggle that looks like a resistor in a circuit diagram,
except that those things didn't exist yet. Instead, they saw that it resembled
a z (especially a script z), so they got into the habit of
v i z
The term VJ Day refers variously to the date (14th or 15th) commemorated and to the day of the commemoration or celebration. Out of a perception that fairness requires a formulation parallel to ``VE Day,'' VP has been substituted for VJ. This seems to have caught on primarily in Australia.
The hyphenated forms (V-E, V-J) were common in 1945, but seem to be rare in 2005.
The VLA is operated by NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), which serves a nice information page on it.
The SETI Institute runs a systematic search program called the Phoenix Project to find high-information radio signals from outer space. The movie Contact, with characters and search modeled on this, imagines the search successful. The Phoenix project is more interested in detecting weak signals rather than in resolving their origin precisely, so the radiotelescope at Arecibo is a better tool than the VLA (other telescopes have also been used). On the other hand, the VLA is more visually impressive, so that's the telescope featured in the movie. The VLA is also featured in 2010: The Year We Make Contact. The latter movie, a sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), was released in 1984, when the VLA was two years old.
More likely it's the instruction words which encode multiple (four or more) operations. These can be as much as 1Kbit long, and serve to parallelize ordinary user code on appropriate machines. The approach was invented in 1979 by Josh Fisher of Yale University. In 1984, he formed Multiflow to design VLIW supercomputers. Josh Fisher is related to SBF by marriage.
FOLDOC has some material.
VLIW is characterized as static instruction-level parallelism (ILP) because parallelism detection and scheduling occur at compilation rather than at run time.
Oh, alright: here's what you want to know. Sir Boss is the name adopted by a Connecticut Yankee who finds himself transported back in time to King Arthur's realm. He meets Merlin, who turns out to be an ignorant fraud, a pious charlatan. In chapter 22, the waters of a holy fountain (a spring-fed well) that are the main attraction at an abbey have failed. As chapter 23 begins, Merlin is failing to repair it by incantations, smoke powders, and ``pawing at the air'' as Twain puts it. Finally Merlin delivers the bad news to the abbot:
If any labor of mortal might break the spell that binds these waters, this which I have but just essayed had done it. It has failed; whereby I do now know that that which I had feared is a truth established; the sign of this failure is, that the most potent spirit known to the magicians of the East, and whose name none may utter and live, has laid his spell upon this well. The mortal does not breathe, nor ever will, who can penetrate the secret of that spell, and without that secret none can break it. The water will flow no more forever, good Father. I have done what man could. Suffer me to go.
(A big thank you to my fellow proofers at the Gutenberg Project. Choose your format for Part 5 here.)
Sir Boss offers to try his thaumaturgic hand, and allows Merlin to maneuver him into committing to utter the fatal word. The leaky masonry of the well is easily repaired, and the greater efforts of Sir Boss and his assistants go to preparing stage effects. On the appointed day, after the audience assembled...
We had a solemn stage-wait, now, for about twenty minutes—a thing I had counted on for effect; it is always good to let your audience have a chance to work up its expectancy. At length, out of the silence a noble Latin chant—men's voices—broke and swelled up and rolled away into the night, a majestic tide of melody. I had put that up, too, and it was one of the best effects I ever invented. When it was finished I stood up on the platform and extended my hands abroad, for two minutes, with my face uplifted—that always produces a dead hush—and then slowly pronounced this ghastly word with a kind of awfulness which caused hundreds to tremble, and many women to faint:
Just as I was moaning out the closing hunks of that word, I touched off one of my electric connections and all that murky world of people stood revealed in a hideous blue glare! [Greek fire.] It was immense—that effect! Lots of people shrieked, women curled up and quit in every direction, foundlings collapsed by platoons. The abbot and the monks crossed themselves nimbly and their lips fluttered with agitated prayers. Merlin held his grip, but he was astonished clear down to his corns; he had never seen anything to begin with that, before. Now was the time to pile in the effects. I lifted my hands and groaned out this word—as it were in agony:
—and turned on the red fire! You should have heard that Atlantic of people moan and howl when that crimson hell joined the blue! After sixty seconds I shouted:
—and lit up the green fire! After waiting only forty seconds this time, I spread my arms abroad and thundered out the devastating syllables of this word of words:
—and whirled on the purple glare! There they were, all going at once, red, blue, green, purple!—four furious volcanoes pouring vast clouds of radiant smoke aloft, and spreading a blinding rainbowed noonday to the furthest confines of that valley. In the distance one could see that fellow on the pillar standing rigid against the background of sky, his seesaw stopped for the first time in twenty years. I knew the boys were at the pump now and ready. So I said to the abbot:
"The time is come, Father. I am about to pronounce the dread name and command the spell to dissolve. You want to brace up, and take hold of something." Then I shouted to the people: "Behold, in another minute the spell will be broken, or no mortal can break it. If it break, all will know it, for you will see the sacred water gush from the chapel door!"
I stood a few moments, to let the hearers have a chance to spread my announcement to those who couldn't hear, and so convey it to the furthest ranks, then I made a grand exhibition of extra posturing and gesturing, and shouted:
"Lo, I command the fell spirit that possesses the holy fountain to now disgorge into the skies all the infernal fires that still remain in him, and straightway dissolve his spell and flee hence to the pit, there to lie bound a thousand years. By his own dread name I command it—BGWJJILLIGKKK!"
Then I touched off the hogshead of rockets, and a vast fountain of dazzling lances of fire vomited itself toward the zenith with a hissing rush, and burst in mid-sky into a storm of flashing jewels! One mighty groan of terror started up from the massed people—then suddenly broke into a wild hosannah of joy—for there, fair and plain in the uncanny glare, they saw the freed water leaping forth! The old abbot could not speak a word, for tears and the chokings in his throat; without utterance of any sort, he folded me in his arms and mashed me. It was more eloquent than speech. And harder to get over, too, in a country where there were really no doctors that were worth a damaged nickel.
You should have seen those acres of people throw themselves down in that water and kiss it; kiss it, and pet it, and fondle it, and talk to it as if it were alive, and welcome it back with the dear names they gave their darlings, just as if it had been a friend who was long gone away and lost, and was come home again. Yes, it was pretty to see, and made me think more of them than I had done before.
I sent Merlin home on a shutter. He had caved in and gone down like a landslide when I pronounced that fearful name, and had never come to since. He never had heard that name before,—neither had I—but to him it was the right one. Any jumble would have been the right one. He admitted, afterward, that that spirit's own mother could not have pronounced that name better than I did. He never could understand how I survived it, and I didn't tell him. It is only young magicians that give away a secret like that. Merlin spent three months working enchantments to try to find out the deep trick of how to pronounce that name and outlive it. But he didn't arrive.
When I started to the chapel, the populace uncovered and fell back reverently to make a wide way for me, as if I had been some kind of a superior being—and I was. I was aware of that. I took along a night shift of monks, and taught them the mystery of the pump, and set them to work, for it was plain that a good part of the people out there were going to sit up with the water all night, consequently it was but right that they should have all they wanted of it. To those monks that pump was a good deal of a miracle itself, and they were full of wonder over it; and of admiration, too, of the exceeding effectiveness of its performance.
It was a great night, an immense night. There was reputation in it. I could hardly get to sleep for glorying over it.
Here's a VLSI links page served by the Univ. of Idaho.
Physicians have developed drugs that stimulate the VMH and eliminate the need for agonizing diets and stomach staples. These drugs were suppressed when the doctors realized that this would reduce the sadistic joy they get from tyrannizing the increasing ranks of the obese (excuse the pun). As Shaw revealed before he died, all professions are conspiracies against the rest of us, so it was easy to suppress this knowledge.
There's a similar arrangement between suppliers and grocery stores, particularly supermarkets, where the supplier shelves the product in the market. This is particularly common with bread and soft drinks. I'm not sure if this is called VMI or something different.
If an electron is to absorb the energy of a photon, it must change its state (change to a state with a different energy). After absorbing the photon's energy, the electron leaves a hole (unfilled state) behind and occupies a new state of higher energy. Since two electrons can't occupy the same state, that final state of the excited electron must be initially empty. So what we need initially is an occupied state plus an unoccupied one that has an energy higher by the amount of the photon's energy. (Almost. A little energy does go into the phonon system -- into motion of the ions -- and allows momentum to be conserved.)
The occupied states are almost all below the gap (because that's where the electrons are in equilibrium; electrons find lowest-energy states about as balls roll down hills). The unoccupied states are above the gap. This implies that the energy separation between an occupied-unoccupied pair of states is greater than or equal to the band gap. Hence, if the photon has an energy that is less than the gap energy, then there's no way it can dump its energy into an electron. And hence transparency -- a quantum effect.
That was fun! Let's go again!
Vertical Motion Simulator.
Etymologically speaking, a ``verb neuter'' ought to be a verb that is neither. I suppose it might be neither active nor reflexive (v.r.).
There's a web page at http://www.vnn.vn/.
Inoffensive data on Vietnam is found in the factbook entry from the latest edition of the CIA Factbook
Their currency is called the Dong.
(Someone complained that he had trouble understanding this entry, so I repeated it. Now do you understand?)
In other mammals where it has been studied, the VNO apparently serves primarily to sense pheromones; it sends nerve signals to the amygdala. (In reptiles, the sensory feature identified as a VNO or Jacobson's Organ serves both for phermomone communication and hunting. Hmmm.) There is some limited evidence that steroid breakdown products found in the skin may serve as human pheromones and be detected (unconsciously sensed) by the VNO.
Here's a nice introductory page on the VNO (from Michael Meredith at FSU).
But here's something interesting to make you think again about the role of VNO. An article from 1997 entitled ``Sensitivity and behavioral responses to the pheromone androsterone are not mediated by the vomeronasal organ in domestic pigs.'' Published in Brain Behavior and Evolution, vol. 49 (#1), pp. 53-62, authors Kathlee N. (sic) Dorries, Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, and Bruce P. Halpern. The complete abstract:
Based largely on results of studies of laboratory rodents, the vomeronasal or accessory olfactory system is believed to function mainly in social communication, mediating the effects of stimuli such as urine or glandular secretions on the behavior or endocrine response of conspecifics. In the domestic pig (Sus scrofa), the steroid androstenone has been identified as a pheromone that facilitates expression of both attraction to the male and a receptive mating stance in estrous females. Though the domestic pig is one of the few vertebrate species in which the identity of a compound that functions as a pheromone is known, the role of the vomeronasal system in domestic pigs has never been investigated. We have examined the role of the vomeronasal organ in mediating the pheromonal effects of androstenone in pigs. In addition, we have examined the structure of the vomeronasal organ at the gross and light-microscopic levels. The vomeronasal organ appears functional, with sensory epithelium lining the medial wall, and has access to stimuli from both the oral and nasal cavities. To determine whether the vomeronasal organ is necessary for androstenone detection or attraction or receptive behavior in female pigs, access to the vomeronasal organ was blocked with surgical cement, and androstenone detection threshold and sexual behavior were measured. Experimental animals did not differ significantly in androstenone sensitivity, measured behaviorally, from untreated controls. Vomeronasal organ-blocked animals also did not differ from untreated controls in either androstenone-mediated receptive standing behavior or attraction to the odor of androstenone. We conclude that in the domestic pig, the vomeronasal organ is not necessary for androstenone detection or androstenone-mediated sexual behavior in estrous females.
Gertrude Stein spent WWII in a village in the Rhône valley (in Vichy France). In Wars I Have Seen (1945) she wrote (pp. 155-6)
The English always begin with here is London, or the B.B.C. home service, or the over seas service, always part of a pleasant home life, of supreme importance to any Englishman or any Englishwoman. 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. Then the Frenchmen, say Frenchmen speaking to Frenchmen, they always begin like that, and the Belgians are simple and direct, they just announce radio Belge, and the national anthem, and the Frenchman also say, Honor and Country, and the Swiss so politely say, the studio of Geneva, at the instant of the broadcasting station of Berne will give you the latest news, and Italy says live Mussolini live Italy, and they make a bird noise and then they start, and Germany starts like this, Germany calling, Germany calling, in the last war, I said that camouflage was the distinctive characteristic of each country, each nation stamped itself upon its camouflage, but in this war it is the heading of the broadcast that makes national life so complete and determined. It is that a nation is even stronger than the personality of any one, it certainly is so nations must go on, they certainly must.
I have double-checked my transcription from a first printing, at least nominally a wartime book. ``It is manufactured under emergency conditions and complies with the government's request to conserve essential materials in every possible way'' for the duration and perhaps a little beyond.
Look, I'm not going to pepper the transcription with sics. Another approach is taken by editor Gilbert A. Harrison in his introduction to Gertrude Stein's America (a book of excerpts and reprints published in 1965). Harrison quotes most of the above passage and silently introduced a number of changes (mostly punctuation and capitalization, and ellision of one very sic-making bit). And who can blame him? E.E. Cummings has often been cited as a typesetter's nightmare, but Gert was no editor's dream. Yet here's something. Also in Wars, Stein mentions that towards the end of the war, as the Germans are staying out of sight, Alice Toklas is beginning to type up her manuscript. For security they had left it in ms. before, since her handwriting is virtually illegible. How often is what we regard as a singularity of Stein is really the solecism of Toklas? As to Harrison's version, we can say with Borges that the original is unfaithful to the reprint. (Sure, Borges said that ``el original no es fiel a la traducción,'' but by his own reasoning that simply distorts what I just wrote.)
Many years ago, there was a popular customer-service slogan that ``the customer is always right.'' In reality, of course, and depending on the product or market, the customer is sometimes pretty reliably wrong. I'm thinking of the help desk.
As a child in Breslau, my mother had a cat. On account of the Nuremberg laws, the family lost its business, and they gave away the cat. As her grandmother explained to her, they hardly had the money to feed themselves. Anyway, some time before that, they had washed the cat. It was extremely difficult, and required three people to hold the cat, because cats have a violent aversion to immersion or anything approximating it. I guess cats can never be Baptists. When my mom told me about this, I wondered whether it caused problems later. Was the cat traumatized? Distrustful? Unwilling to be petted? My mom explained: ``What are you talking about? It's a cat!''
Mary used to feed her cat with Iams, a premium pet food. Earlier this year, a day after littering (not Mary but the cat: six kittens), she stepped out of her basket, she wobbled, staggered, and fell on her side. Mary resumed indirect payments on the vet's yacht. Major kidney and liver trouble. The vet wondered if perhaps she had gotten into some cleaning fluid, or transmission fluid or something. Mary loves animals (the nonhuman kind), and over the years she's had many cats, dogs, birds, a few of the less common pets, and part-ownership of a horse. On many previous occasions, vets had suggested putting down one of her ailing dogs. This was the first time she had a vet suggest putting down her cat. For one night she used an eyedropper to feed the cat and keep her (the cat's) cracked lips moist. A couple of days later, the cat poked up her head and looked around, and was soon back to her energetic old self -- jumping at the bird cage and attacking the mail carrier and the dogs. [A couple of weeks later, the melanine-contaminated pet-food story of 2007 broke, and Mary and her cat were interviewed on the local TV news. The kittens, incidentally, were adopted by a veterinary assistant; most of them survived.]
The connecting thread here is that afterwards, the cats acted as if nothing had happened. Cats are not prone to complexes. (Except the cats of one of my grandmothers, but she was a psychiatrist, so what do you expect?)
One day my friend Peter fired Bob, a host in his restaurant. As he explained to me afterwards, when a customer complains about the service, you don't respond with ``we have good people here'' and a stiff denial. The restaurant business is not a debating society. The VOC should be allowed a respectful venting, in one ear and out the other if necessary. Some weeks later, Peter's quarrels with his partners culminated in his buying them out. He was suddenly shorthanded, and he rehired Bob. I asked, ``didn't you just fire him?'' Peter said ``well, I encouraged him to leave.'' [BTW, the names in this paragraph are invented, and the quotes are only as accurate as I can recall.] So Bob's back, as if nothing had happened.
I'm away from my reference sources right now, but I suspect that these wheels are to be understood as ``flying'' in the sense of not being in contact with the ground, so the naming has more to do with elevation than angular momentum. Then again, in Italian the adjective is volante, but a flywheel or steering wheel is a volano, which means `they fly.' Having survived the streets and dangerously adjacent sidewalks of Rome, I think I might understand.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
He dies but fails to decay, and remains conscious but lacking in will. This state of suspended demise ends (Dorian Grayishly, minus picture) when he is brought out of the mesmeric trance. The parallel with JKR's Voldemort is loose but obvious, I think.
In the short story, Poe plays with the identity of Valdemar in a not-very-enlightening way. It's a little reminiscent of Swift playing with the name of Laputa (see ATC), and I suppose both expected the reader to ``get it'' when forced to contemplate the name for the duration of a paragraph. Valdemar is more of a stretch, but Poe was apparently unwilling to create such a novel name as Voldemort. Perhaps he simply expected more of his readers. I can't believe he chose that name (much less ``Rue Morgue'') oblivious to its morbid resonance (ditto JRRT choosing ``Mordor'').
Because certain Proto-Indoeuropean roots survived in essentially the same form in Germanic languages and Latin, there are many roughly equivalent ways to parse Voldemort. In various forms of Latin, in many Romance languages derived from Latin, and in various Germanic languages, the root vol- means `wish, desire, will.' (Recall that in German, w has the sound usually represented by v in English. In the Germanic languages, because the vol- root verb is ``strong,'' it undergoes a change of stem vowel under conjugation. The German verb with infinitive form wollen, for example, has first-person singular form will. The latter is the form the word ended up with in Modern English, though now the verb mostly functions as part of a future construction.) More later, okay?
(Actually, it's been explained to me that Voldemort really means ``flying ferret of death,'' but I didn't want to erase all the BS I wrote before.)
The River Volta in West Africa was given this name by Portuguese traders who
reached it in 1471. The word volta means `return' (like Spanish
vuelta), or in this context `meander.' The mouth of the river is on the
Ghanaian coast, and over 70% of Ghana is in the river's watershed. In north
central Ghana, the White Volta flows into the Volta. Upstream of this, the
Volta is called the Black Volta. The Black Volta rises in Burkina Faso, forms the northern third of Ghana's
western border, then flows east to join the White
Volta. The river originally extended 1600 km from its source in Burkina Faso.
Since completion of the Akosombo Dam, at least 400 km of the lower part of the
river has been submerged in Lake Volta, the world's largest artificial lake
(about 9000 sq. km).
Haute Volta, `Upper Volta' in English, was a French colony, part of French West Africa, which became independent on August 5, 1960. It changed its name to Burkina Faso on August 5, 1984. Three rivers -- Black Volta, White Volta, and Red Volta -- are poor, landlocked Burkina Faso's main resources (by some sloppy measure). The country's flag is a stack of three horizontal bars, black, white, and red from top down. Use of Volta waters is a major bone of contention between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Interestingly, the most common adjectival form of Volta used in Burkina Faso appears to be Voltaique. Likewise in English Voltaic is apparently the most common, with Voltan (perhaps especially as a gentilicial) apparently less common.
Radio Volta is a leftist radio station in Philadephia, named after the Philadelphia anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre. Why couldn't they have called it ``Voltairinairian Radio'' or ``Radio Cleyre'' or ``Volt Air'' or something?
The Mars Volta is a progressive rock band that has toured with or opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so they can be said to have broken through to mainstream. I suppose their name refers to the river, if anything. If you happen to know, tell me. Here's a link to their website.
``I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it''is widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude.
It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre. Chapter VII is devoted to Helvétius (1715-1771), whom she depicts as a kindly, generous person, with a hint of more talent to raise him above mediocrity. He married and settled in the sticks, with a new wife who was unfashionably old (32), and they were happy. This was ended by his tragic aspiration, to earn some small glory for himself as a philosopher.
In 1758, he published ``De l'Esprit,'' which Hall renders ``On the Mind.'' From the little Hall says of it directly, I take it that this was a moral-relativist tract, adducing bad social conditions as the cause of immoral behavior, regarding humans essentially as animals, and skeptical of the validity of moral claims generally.
This was unpopular with everyone - secular philosophers, all of the church, the government. It certainly got him noticed, but not by all at once. Voltaire immediately regarded the work as a serious disappointment from one who had been a somewhat promising protege. He was most insulted to have been compared in it with lesser intellectual lights (Crébillon and Fontenelle). It was widely criticized by other wits of their enlightened social circle. For a few months, however, it escaped the notice of the government.
Then the Dauphin read it.
The privilege to publish was revoked; the censor who approved its publication was sacked. A rolling wave of official condemnation began, culminating with the Pope (Jan. 31, 1759) and the Parliament of Paris (Feb. 6) and public book-burning by the hangman (Feb. 10), an honor shared with Voltaire's ``Natural Law.''
On the principle that anything so unpopular with the government must ipso facto be pretty good, the official condemnation permanently established Helvétius's philosophical repute among the fashionable salon crowd, and rehabilitated him among the intellectual elite as well, to a great extent. He became popular in Protestant Germany and England.
...The men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helvétius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. `What a fuss about an omelette!' he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! `I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' was his attitude now. But he soon came, as a Voltaire would come, to swearing that there was no more materialism in `On the Mind' than in Locke, and a thousand more daring things in `The Spirit of Laws.'(Boldface added here for emphasis.) Friends is not a scholarly work, but Hall is fairly scrupulous throughout the book to state within the text whether she is quoting speech or text, and whether various reports are first-person or likely hearsay. I believe it was reasonable of her to expect that `I disapprove ... say it' would be recognized as her own characterization of Voltaire's attitude. I think some readers were confused because of the way she follows this with paraphrases of his spoken criticisms.
In any case, the phrase was too eloquent, so it became quoted, and famous names attach themselves to quotes, to the detriment of the less well-known originators.
Hall herself claimed later that she had been paraphrasing Voltaire's words in his Essay on Tolerance:
``Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.''Hall died in 1919. In his A Book of French Quotations (1963), Norbert Guterman suggested that the probable source for the quotation was a line in a 6 February 1770 letter to M. le Riche:
``Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.''
then the call-number sticker should be placed just below the volume number, to obscure "Rubens" and "Somalia".
mass of air inhaled per cycle ηv = --------------------------------------------------------- . mass of air that would occupy the cylinder's swept volume(If you can read this text clearly, then your browser probably doesn't correctly display the symbol at left; it's eta-sub-vee.)
volume of ambient air inhaled per cycle per cylinder ηv = ---------------------------------------------------- . swept volume of cylinder
(I'm making the assumption here that the air is ambient in origin, and not from some self-contained automobile breathing apparatus. If you're interested in diesel-powered submarines, tough.)
A report available on line from the US Department of Education includes this finding:
No difference in the likelihood of volunteering 8 years after graduation was detected between young adults who performed only mandatory volunteer service in high school and students who performed no high school volunteering (28 vs. 26 percent, respectively) (table 2). Both of these groups - mandatory and nonvolunteers - were less likely to volunteer 8 years after high school than persons who were strongly encouraged to volunteer or did it for strictly voluntary reasons (43 percent).
One category of the informally voluntold is pre-med undergraduates, who need to demonstrate the personal moral characteristics that score a point or two in the medical-school admissions lottery.
It is to be understood here that it is the wheels that are supposed to roll. In airplane terminology, the motion of rolling over sideways (rotating about an axis oriented along the direction of motion) would technically be described as ``roll'' also, but it's Saab that makes planes. And of course, rolling about a vertical axis would be called ``turning'' (``yaw'' in planes). Those Scandinavians have a thing about vertiginous motion. See yrast.
VOM is susceptible to a variety of different expansions. In particular, volt-ohmmeter (the em in the acronym being assumed to be from meter) is a correct expansion in the sense that many people think that's what it stands for. It's worth noting how this renaming (which is what it is) came about. Back in the day, the elementary analog meter was a current meter -- a milliameter in the first instance (see EMF). By using a current divider (i.e., by putting the milliameter in parallel with a precisely calibrated small resistance), this could be made into an ammeter. By putting the milliammeter in series with a very large resistance, it could be used as a voltmeter, and by putting the milliammeter in series with a voltage source, it could be used as an ohmmeter. (See the zero-adjust for some explanation of how.) The old Simpsons and other analog multimeters were basically switchboxes that put different passive elements in series and parallel with a milliammeter. One function unlikely to be excluded from the multi-function meter was that of DC milliammeter, because that function was easiest to implement. The manufacturers described these meters in a way that emphasized their versatility. That's why the em in VOM refers to milliammeter. (Modern multimeters use op-amps, and so fundamentally they are voltmeters constructed from current amplifiers.)
On the other hand, it is understandable that milliammetry is the one function users would most likely forget. There are two common ways to use a VOM. The most obvious way is to measure an isolated element before it becomes part of a circuit, or after it is removed. That entails measuring the resistance of a resistor or the voltage of a battery. It's not very varied, but it can be very handy. (It would be nice to measure the impedance -- the complex-valued, frequency-dependent generalization of the real, DC resistance. Meters that do that are rarer than oscilloscopes on the home hobbyist's workbench.)
The second way to use the VOM is by probing a connected-up, functioning circuit. This is typically done by inserting probes at two nodes and measuring the voltage difference. That's a crude static version of what one does with an oscilloscope. It is also possible to use the milliammeter (or ammeter, passim) in a functioning circuit, but it requires opening one of the connections and closing it through the milliammeter. This is usually inconvenient, and doesn't often yield any more useful information than voltage measurements. For that reason, the milliammeter function is much less used and is likely to be left out of a recollected expansion of VOM. (AC ammeters can rely on mutual inductance to measure net AC current in a cable without breaking a circuit. Such meters are a common specialized tool for electronic technicians.)
Vorsitzender is one of those words that functions as (and is capitalized like) a noun or a title, but is declined as an adjective. (Titles preceding names are normally declined as nouns, as if the proper noun following were a postpositive attributive noun.) Hence, in the nominative, Vorsitzender is `chairman' and Vorsitzende is `chairwoman.' Other examples of nouns declined as adjectives are Reisende[r] and Abgeordnete[r] (for the latter, see the Abg. entry).
There is something very slightly jarring in this, about on the same low level of noteworthiness as Spanish ending in a and having male grammatical and natural gender. In German, the -er is such a common male agentive ending that one expects the corresponding female form (* Vorsitzenderin). Of course, in Spanish a large fraction of male nouns ending in -a are simply Greek (or Greekish New Latin) loans (e.g. lema, programa, tema) or with Greek endings (periodista).
Similarly, there is a good reason for the class of nouns following the Vorsitzender pattern. Since vorsitzen must mean `to sit in front,' the straightforward personal noun Vorsitzer would mean `he who sits in front.' This use of the -er suffix is still productive in German, as it is in English, and if there were not already another term for chairman, this one would be acceptable. However, the verb also has a present participle vorsitzend, `sitting.' In English the present participle can be used as a noun (see this paragraph under A.M.), but in German it is available for use only as an adverb or (appropriately declined) as an adjective. The practice evidently arose of describing the chair as ``sitting at the front.'' (That a German adjective is expressed by an English adjectival phrase corresponds straightforwardly here to the fact that a prefixed verb in German is expressed by a phrasal verb in English.)
Until this entry grows up, you can get a bit more information on vos conjugation from the pasa entry. The Usted has a bit more on second-person pronouns in Spanish.
Another use of the term is to indicate number of arches. If an arch is said to have two or three voussoirs, what is obviously meant is that the arch is two or three voussoirs thick.
I attended a small workshop on (mostly theoretical approaches to) amorphous materials there in the summer of 1983 or so. The campus was hosting a training camp for high school cheerleaders. Perhaps I was more amazed than I should have been.
Virginia Tech is at Blacksburg, in the forested mountains of western Virginia, which makes it relatively comfortable in Summer. It's a bit isolated. With nothing much on offer, Vlad and I drove to a few miles to dusty Princeton, West Virginia, capital of Mercer County. I bought a Princeton Tigers (high school) tee shirt. I've also bought a couple of Princeton Tigers (high school) tee shirts in Princeton, Illinois. The story of how the town of Princeton, Illinois, got its name is very interesting, and you can easily learn all about it in documentation at the town library.
[Oh, alright, you've twisted my arm long enough! The leading men of the new Illinois town all wanted to name it after the towns back east where they were from, or where they went to college. When they couldn't come to an agreement, they wrote the competing names on pieces of paper and put them in a hat, and they had a stranger pick the winning name out of that hat. It seems to me that if the pieces of paper were in proportion to the lengths of the names (I don't know that they were), then Princeton had a natural orthographic advantage. The Princeton in West Virginia, of course, is named after the General Hugh Mercer of the Continental army, a Virginian who fell at the Battle of Princeton. New Jersey created a Mercer County in 1838, and since then the New Jersey Princeton (Princetons, actually) has (have) also been in Mercer County.]
Dorothy Swanson is president.
There's also a VRML talk shop.
The questions are
The answer to each question in order determines which is the next question (in order) that must be answered.
The ``answers'' are of no conceivable interest.
In January 1998, yet another scandal began ``swirling'' (I suppose these things go around, but do they have net angular momentum?) about an extramarital affair of Bill Clinton, who was US president at the time. (When he first ran for president, new rumors of this sort were called ``bimbo eruptions.'') A week into the scandal, on January 27, First Lady Hillary Clinton stood literally by her man as he scowled and declared ``I did not have sexual relations with that woman.'' It eventually turned out that he was apparently upset that the term ``sexual relations'' would be used when all he did was irrumate ``that woman.'' Something like that. Anyway, the next day Mrs. Clinton sat for an interview by host Matt Lauer on NBC's Today (a morning show). Here is some of the unmemorable stuff she said in the interview:
Matt Lauer: There has been one question on the minds of people in this country, Mrs. Clinton, lately, and that is what is the exact nature of the relationship between your husband and Monica Lewinsky. Has he described that relationship in detail to you?
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Well, we've talked at great length, and I think as this matter unfolds, the entire country will have more information. [Oh gawwwd was she ever right.] But we're right in the middle of a rather vigorous feeding frenzy right now. And people are saying all kinds of things, and putting out rumor and innuendo. And I have learned over the last many years, being involved in politics, and especially since my husband first started running for president, that the best thing to do in these cases is just to be patient, take a deep breath and the truth will come out. But there's nothing we can do to fight this firestorm of allegations that are out there.
ML: But he has described to the American people what this relationship was not, in his words.
ML: Has he described to you what it was?
HRC: Yes. And we'll find that out as time goes by, Matt.
ML: Has he described to you what it was?
HRC: Yes. And we'll find that out as time goes by, Matt.
ML: Let me take you and your husband out of this for a second. Bill and Hillary Clinton aren't involved in this story. If an American president had an adulterous liaison in the White House and lied to cover it up, should the American people ask for his resignation?
HRC: Well, they should certainly be concerned about it.
ML: Should they ask for his resignation?
HRC: Well, I think that -- if all that were proven true, I think that would be a very serious offense. That is not going to be proven true. I think we're going to find some other things. ...
The next day's issue of USA Today commented -- err, reported -- that ``the first lady didn't make excuses for President Clinton or try to deflect questions.'' Also that day, the New York Daily News ran some comments of people who watched the interview. Glenda Sandusky, of Kansas City, had this instant analysis after watching the interview on a TV monitor: ``She's good. She's smooth, she's calm, she's very professional. I think she knows he's guilty, but she's got no choice but to stand by him.'' Okay, Ms. Sandusky had a few years on wet-behind-the-ears USA Today, but I think this demonstrates that instant analysis can be incisive.
Anyway, the really memorable part of the interview was this:
HRC: But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. This is, the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.
John Whitehead, a conservative lawyer heading the Rutherford Institute, a Christian civil liberties advocacy group in Charlottesville, Virginia, was understood to have been one of the ``very people'' referred to. He scoffed, but offered to investigate the charges if Mrs. Clinton would provide further details. Others, however, had harsher reactions. Paul Weyrich, then head of the conservative Free Congress Foundation, complained bitterly about not being explicitly identified: ``What do we have to do to get on her list?'' In a press release, he threatened to sue her for discrimination, but I guess it was settled out of court or something.
Look, I'm laying on the context because a thick cloud of protective amnesia and polite silence have obscured the entire, uh, unfortunate episode, and there are probably people today who don't get the joke. But that's enough; let's just skip over all the sordid stuff that perspired before or transpired afterward. Pres. Clinton survived the impeachment and trial, and almost immediately everyone resolutely forgot all about the affair. Hillary Clinton became a moderate centrist (I mean -- she always was!), and all that was really left was her lovely phrase, which is good for a laugh every so often. It has appeared in the titles of at least a few books. (These are listed below in order of decreasing prominence and total sales, as best I can determine. The number preceding each title is the year of first publication.)
There's a book with the title How the Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People: A Tactical Manual for Pragmatic Progressives (yes, it's over, that's all of the title), by John K. Wilson (2001). I think one of the tactics conspiracies left, right and ambidextrous use is putting people to sleep with long titles. This book has a chapter entitled ``The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Why the Left-Wing [sic] Needs One, Too).'' This book would rank second if it were on the list above. Another book that references a VRWC is The Left Stuff: How the Left-Handed Have Survived and Thrived in a Right-Handed World, by Melissa Roth. It has a chapter entitled ``The Right-Wing Conspiracy: the Historical Bias Against the Left Hand.'' Look, is it just me, or are titles growing out of control?
There's a music CD entitled simply Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, of sounds by Michael Conlon (analog) and Eric Ewing (digital). Don't ask me what this means; I'm just quoting the liner notes. It's distributed by Pine Tree State Mind Control, which explains that it ``uses subliminal messages and hypnosis techniques to create a happier, more productive society. The messages encoded on this CD will help you work harder, smile more often, and get the best out of your leisure time.'' There's a live track, ``Chronoplasty Live (a Cute Depression),'' which demonstrates that they managed to get a gig once in Rhode Island (``The Ocean State''). Other tracks include ``Acetic Pepsid,'' ``Enochian Deathmatch,'' and ``Declasse Posse.''
Lehigh University's student-run conservative newspaper changed its name at the end of 2005 to become The Lehigh Patriot in January 2006. As I suggested, some younger folk may be missing the joke these days.
There are also quite a few VRWC websites, possibly with associated membership organizations. They may be conspiring as they say, but coordinating they aren't:
That's just scratching the surface. A lot of blogs have names that play off VRWC. There's also LeftWingConspiracy.Com, and googling turns up a smaller but comparable number of hits for Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy than for Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. All right, that's it. This thoroughness has bored me out of my mind.
However, there is a ``Sausage Software -- makers of HotDog HTML Web-editor.'' It's difficult for leaping absurdity to stay more than half a step ahead of dogged reality.
Thus, for example, the excimer XeF2 is surrounded by five d orbital electron pairs: two bonding and three lone. Because the repulsion between the lp's is greatest, they arrange themselves in a triangle (120 degree bond angles) about Xe, which minimizes their repulsion. Next in importance are the lp-bp pair repulsions, minimized by placing the bond pairs on a common axis perpendicular to the plane of the lone orbitals (going through the Xe in the center of that triangle). This gives a bp-lp angle of 90 degrees -- smaller because in the competition to repel electron pairs, a large angle between the lone pairs is more important. In the present case, the weakest repulsion, between the two bp's, plays no rôle, but the bp-bp angle is 180 degrees. The bonds form a trigonal bipyramid, and the molecule is linear.
I think that's chemistry, and you're welcome to it. Give me a million-state-basis Hartree-Fock (HF) any day; I'd rather have numbers than insight.
[You know, that ``improved products'' thing above came as a real shock to me. I thought that all these companies always offered the best products at the lowest prices, and that the products only changed when there was a scientific breakthrough (you know -- new! improved!). It never occurred to me that there might be a correlation between price and quality; this could have ramifications.]
Anyway, the renaming was gradual, starting with Vidal Sassoon Redline products in fall 1998, and not yet completed by late 2001. However, the new company logo had a large vee ess over the name Sassoon in capitals, and the company apparently treated ``VS Sassoon'' and ``Sassoon'' as equivalent, sort of like Coke and Coca-Cola. This is one of those rare intentional AAP's. It wasn't not a very good intention, because the Sassoon brand's value was in its high-end-niche name recognition, and those who recognize the name know that ``VS Sassoon'' doesn't make sense.
Intentional AAP's seem to have been fashionable in the beauty and elective ``health care'' industries. Cf. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Anyway, P&G also raised its prices about 70%, and market share shrank. Duh. (Okay, maybe if they'd sunk some money into advertising, raising the prices might have reinforced the perception of upscaleness or whatever, and at least kept revenues up.) Late in 2001, there was speculation that P&G, which found itself with nine brands of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products, would sell off VS in the following year or two. In 2003 Sassoon (the guy) sued P&G for destroying his brand by skimping on marketing in favor of some of the company's other brands, like Pantene. (P&G spent only $90,000 in US ads for VS Sassoon in 2002, down from $34 million in 1998.) Things are pretty bad when you have to take your own holding company to court. By 2004 it seems Vidal was no longer head of the company that bore his name, and around 2005 the brand seems to have quietly disappeared. The interesting thing is that (in the opinion of industry analysts) P&G could still have sold the brand -- to a competitor like Unilever, say. P&G's reasoning would seem to have been that a brand is a weapon: even if you don't want to use it, it's better to destroy it than to sell it to your enemies and have them use it against you.
Anyway, P&G was arguing that the Sassoon brand had lost cachet with young people. Not so. You can take it from me: pleonasm killed the brand; the steps-on-its-own-letters ``VS Sassoon'' was unclassy, and everything went downhill from there. Soon ``Sassoon'' will evoke only the WWI poet.
There are still beauty salons bearing Sassoon's name. Some were started when Sassoon was still creatively dressing hair in Europe. More were started by the consortium of former colleagues who bought him out and paid for the right to use his name. In 2002 that group sold out to Regis Corporation, which (as of 2008) continues the Vidal Sassoon salons as one of its subchains (based in Western Europe, with salons in East Asia also). The models on their websites look ghastly.
With a growing population that stands at 600,000, it is surging to overtake shrinking North Dakota, which was one of only three states to suffer a population decrease from 1980 to 1990 (Connecticut and Rhode Island were the others). More information on the population of Vermont can be found at the C.U. entry.
The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of Vermont state government links. USACityLink.com has a page with very few city or town links for the state. What did you expect?
Wait -- you wanted to read something interesting about Vermont? What are you doing here!? You need to visit the manual transmission entry.
Okay, since this is a glossary, we're interested in words and names and such, rather than just any old facts. So here's what we wanted to know, courtesy of James B. Bell, possibly, or W. L. Gibson Jr. (less likely), or the anonymous compiler of ``Agricultural Economics at Virginia Tech --The First Sixty Years--.''
The university was chartered on March 6, 1872 as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. Before the 1896 academic year, the name was modified to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute. During the 1896 year, the college was first referred to as Virginia Polytechnic Institute, but with the subscript, Virginia's Agricultural and Mechanical College. Soon thereafter, the institution used only Virginia Polytechnic Institute and was commonly referred to as VPI. Not until March 16, 1944 was legislation enacted to change the official name of the institution to Virginia Polytechnic Institute. On July 1, 1970, the name was changed to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to better describe the scope and status of the institution as a university. Since that name change, Virginia Tech has emerged as the most commonly used name.
(See T. Kuroda, et al., ``A 0.9V 150 MHz 10mW 4mm2 2-D Discrete Cosine Transform Core Processor with Variable-Threshold Voltage Scheme'' ISSCC 1996.)
The designation indicates that the [input] impedance of the voltmeter is especially high (because the grid currents of vacuum tubes are small).
This is a relatively late entry in the glossary. The 11063rd, to be precise, not counting temporary entries that were removed beforehand. A lot you care, you say. [If you have not already said this, do so now. Go ahead: ``A lot I care.'' Something is facetious in here.]
I have been aware of this acronym for a long time, possibly even throwing it around some myself occasionally, when social pressures dictated, but I could never work up the courage to ask, and admit that I didn't know, what it meant. The trouble is, the longer you wait with these things, the worse it gets when you finally `come out.'
The other day, Gary was regaling me with the story of his latest savvy auction bid, or liquidation sale discovery, or theft or whatever it was, and it happened to involve some VTVM's. I decided that it was now or never: I would risk my reputation for general with-it-ness and ask, real casual-like, ``uh, yeah, uh, I forget now, what does VTVM stand for?''
My fears of public humiliation were instantly confirmed. A secretary poked her head out from behind a door, pretending to look for something. Two sociology majors tittered as they walked past, covering their mouths like Japanese schoolgirls. I studied my shoes intently. If they hadn't been velcro I would have retied them. With a look of pitying incredulity, Gary slowly explained the acronym, using small words so I wouldn't panic and become confused. ``[Expletive], Al,'' he concluded, ``the other day Matthew learned that in nursery school!''
``Uh, I guess I was sick back when my nursery school covered it,'' I replied lamely. ``Uh, anyway, uh, I wasn't following real good in those days; I was still learning English'' [vide ID entry for possible clarification]. ``It was quite a few years ago.''
Realizing my distress, Gary immediately tried to salvage the tatters of my self-respect: ``it's okay, you probably learned it and forgot. Happens to everyone. The problem is, the schools teach this without any context, so it's difficult to remember. Why, when Matthew's day school taught it, he came home and asked what `volt' was. Same thing with counting: they learn `one, two, three ...,' but it's all rote memorization -- no Peano's axioms, no transfinite generalizations, so they don't really understand! I dread when they do geometry. I can see it now: `circle, square, dodecahedron.' Nothing about Euclid's fourth postulate, no embeddings in higher dimensions, none of the real fundamentals. So, heh-heh, I'm sure you knew what VTVM stood for once, you just weren't given what you needed to heave it into long-term memory.''
``Thanks, Gary,'' I replied gratefully, as I brushed away a tear.
``So Al, is this going in the Stammtisch glossary?''
``Only if I can make it funny.''
``Funny? What could be funny about VTVM?''
``I'll make stuff up, but I won't say that. I'll say it's `enhanced dialogue' or `not verbatim' or something.''
Heraclitus of Ephesus is reported to have observed:
Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears.[The fragment is Diels-Kranz #101a, Bywater #15. The translation is that of Philip Wheelwright in his Heraclitus (Princeton U.P., 1959), p. 19.]
This page explains that a change had been suggested ``to find a compact name for the facility which is more attractive and easier to pronounce in different languages.'' FWIW, in German the acronym ``VUV-FEL'' ought to be pronounced to sound like ``Foof-fell'' in English. In every European language, afaik, it's heavy on labials.
Betatest some vaporware now.
Before he used her name in his play (discussed at the microscope entry), Edward Albee sought her widower's (Leonard Woolf's) permission. The story is told in Peter F. Alexander: Leonard and Virginia Woolf : A Literary Partnership (NYC: St. Martin's Pr., 1992), pp. 199-200.
The Beetle prospered and became an icon. I should probably say more about that.
In 1971, as sales were flagging, a relatively major set of changes was made, including a few-inches-longer nose. This was called the ``Superbeetle'' (175Kb noninterlaced gif). And the bumpers kept getting bigger. The Beetle surpassed the Model T Ford for the largest number of automobile units ever manufactured. Then in 1975, VW introduced the Rabbit model in the US (marketed elsewhere as the Golf, German word for gulf) and stopped selling the Superbeetle sedan in the US. In 1980, the Rabbit Cabriolet (convertible) model was introduced, and no more Beetles were imported to the US.
The Beetle continued to be sold elsewhere. It was made in Brazil, and later manufacturing was transferred to Puebla, Mexico. This Beetle model shared internal parts with the Superbeetle, but the exterior continued the shorter, less muscular style of the old Beetle. After the Superbeetle ceased to be made, the old Beetle continued to evolve in small ways. It was a little as if Homo Sapiens had become extinct and Neanderthals had continued to evolve, but a more relevant analogy would be with the Checker, which continued as a popular taxi-fleet vehicle (particularly in New York) for decades after the 1950's-style vehicle ceased to be sold as a passenger vehicle for personal use. The Beetle was very popular as a taxi in Mexico City, where owners typically ripped out the front passenger seat to facilitate entry to the back seat. VW tailored the vehicle to its market; externally, the most obvious change was that the number of chrome elements on the body was reduced.
In 1998, VW introduced the New Beetle (not to be confused with the Superbeetle). It had obvious Beetle bloodlines, or inspiration or something, but it was not mechanically related to the old Beetle. For the North American market, the car was manufactured at the same Puebla plant that continued manufacturing old Beetles for the Mexican market. I had the impression, after the New Beetle was introduced, that I was seeing a lot more of the old Beetles in mint condition. I suppose a few new old Beetles were making it over the border. Under NAFTA, I guess a Mexican who owns one of those in Mexico must be allowed to drive it into the US, but you couldn't register a new old Beetle in the US, because it is way non-federalized. It's basically a Trabant, and Mexico City has the air quality to prove it.
On July 30, 2003, the last old-style VW Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Mexico. The last hundred or so models were highly sought-after collectors' items. They were a little bit nonstandard -- spiffed up a but to resemble the earlier private passenger vehicles. They got whitewall tires, and they scrounged up some extra chrome trim somewhere.
The VW company still has the largest automobile market share in Europe.
Summer of '96, the Supreme Court finally ruled that separate-but-equal doesn't work for sex any more than for race. This basically affects only The Citadel and VMI, the two state-supported all-male military academies. The Citadel's governing body voted to comply immediately and vowed to embrace coeducation enthusiastically. (At least they didn't vow to embrace coeds enthusiastically.) VMI considered the option of using alumni funds to take itself private, but did not. Apparently they decided instead that what they would do was accept coeds but harass them mercilessly.
The Reichswehr's interest in rocket technology dated from 1930, and was partly motivated by the fact that post-WWI arms limitations did not regulate rockets (or gliders, which they also developed). The V-2 rocket was first used in September 1944, at first primarily against London and Norwich (about 1000 fired). The V-2 had a range of about 300 km. Later in the German retreat, they were used against continental European targets (about 2000 fired). The principal target became Antwerp, an important port supplying the Allied invasion.
Two booms were heard when a V-2 hit. First there was a sonic boom, then the explosion. Since the V-2's approached at supersonic speed on essentially straight trajectories, they could not be heard coming. There was no direct defense against them. An RAF attack (August 17, 1943) against the Peenemünde Rocket Research Center caused enough damage to delay the V-2 weapon program by an estimated one to six months. Once the V-2 came into use, the Allies were successful in destroying the fixed launch sites, but unsuccessful in destroying the mobile launch sites.
They would have bombed the factories if they had known where they were, but intelligence was never adequate to define a target. In fact, Allied bombings contributed to a German decision to reduce the three planned V-2 production sites to one. Peenemünde was one planned site for assembly, apparently judged to be too exposed. Another was the the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen, which was bombed on June 22, 1943, to damage Giant Würzburg production. The bombing also damaged the assembly factory there that had been planned to be used for V-2 production (something Allied intelligence did not learn during the war). In the end, V-2's were only manufactured at a large underground plant (Mittelwerke) near Nordhausen, where V-1's were already manufactured. [I think that V-1 production, originally decentralized, was eventually also concentrated at this facility. But since this is the V-2 entry, and we don't have a V1 entry, I don't have to check.] The Mittelwerke were manned by prisoner slaves and run by the SS. Between 1943 and 1945, 60,000 prisoners worked there; 20,000 of them were executed, starved, or worked to death, which is somewhat less than the number killed by V-1 bombs in England (about 25,000). V-2's killed about 2700 in England and 7000 on the continent.
Wernher von Braun led the effort that designed the rockets. After the war, the US, Britain, and the USSR all found the rocket technology verrrry interrressstink, and the scientists and engineers who developed them useful. Von Braun and many of his people became American citizens. The double-thinkish conversion of German scientists from service to the Nazi regime to service to the former enemy was satirized in the movie Dr. Strangelove (mentioned at the F entry) and in a song of Tom Lehrer. The V-2 itself is of central importance to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.
The V-2 carried an explosive warhead (Amatol Fp60/40) whose weight I have seen variously reported as
It is instructive to consider how one might get at the truth that might lie behind these numbers, but you could also skip to the table at the end of this entry. The likeliest a priori explanation of disagreement among sources is that some and possibly all sources were careless or misinformed. There are similar disagreements, and sometimes much more preposterous ones, regarding the range, maximum altitude, speed, and other details of the V-2.
There is rarely any indication of whether the stated figure is net (the explosive itself) or gross (including the case and perhaps the impact fuse). One tends to assume net, since the distinction between the immediate casing of the warhead and the rest of the missile seems a bit pedantic. On the other hand, if the casing weight is included it can make a significant difference: the highest charge-to-weight ratios in RAF bombs were about 80%, so the difference between net and gross might well account for the range of reported weights (i.e., might allow figures at two extremes to both be correct in some sense). This is consistent with the discussion in ch. 45 (``V-2'') of R.V. Jones's Wizard War. The chapter is concerned in large part with the struggle to get firm information on the V-2, with Jones estimating a warhead of one ton early on, and sticking to that estimate against the usually much higher and at one point lower estimates of mistaken experts. As he writes the story, his estimates were eventually vindicated. However, on page 438, before beginning this story, he quotes without demur Albert Speer's comments in Inside the Third Reich that ``... 5,000 long-range rockets ... would have delivered only 3,750 tons of explosives.''
Is there any other possibility? Well, the explosive was amatol, which is just a name for a mix of ammonium nitrate and TNT. Amatol is a weaker explosive than TNT, but tolerates a higher temperature. There were several attempts to use more powerful explosive mixtures, but in tests these detonated prematurely, at altitudes of a few thousand feet. It is conceivable that the volume allowed for the explosive was initially chosen to accommodate one ton of TNT, and was afterwards impossible to modify rapidly. However, ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) has a density of 1.725 g/cc, and TNT a density of 1.654 g/cc, so this could only explain an increase in explosive weight. (If -- an unlikely if for that time -- the explosive was described in terms of TNT equivalence, then it might explain the range of reported values.)
I don't know about you, but after considering all this I am inclined to believe that something like the 738-kilo figure is correct for the net explosive weight, though so far I only have (the linked) web sources (above) for it.
What, you're still not convinced? Okay, let's see what one of the designers, Dr. Walter Dornberger (wartime Commanding Officer of the Peenemünde Rocket Research Institute), had to say about it. He published a book entitled Der Schuss ins Weltall (in German, 1952), entitled V-2 in the English translation of James Cleugh and Geoffrey Halliday (New York: Viking Pr., 1954). Who knows -- there might be some relevant information there. The list of specs on page xvii gives the payload weight as 1000 kg, 2205 lb. The ``high explosive carried'' is 750 kg, 1654 lb. As he explained on p. 222:
The sheer momentum of a rocket weighing over 4.5 tons and traveling at 1500 miles per hour caused a crater 30 to 40 yards wide and 10 to 15 yards deep even without an explosive charge. Apart from fairly violent earth tremors, no lateral effects were produced beyond the edge of the crater.
The warhead of 1/4-inch steel was originally designed to hold an explosive charge of 1 metric ton. To lessen deadweight our first plans for the A-4 were based entirely on the use of aluminum and magnesium alloys. Calculations based on wind-tunnel experiments showed that the temperature of the skin would reach 1250 degrees Fahrenheit, and orders to avoid these alloys, which were scarce, compelled us to substitute sheet steel. Deadweight was thus increased. To get anywhere near the required range of 160 miles, we had to give up the idea of carrying 1 ton of explosive and restrict to that figure the total weight of the warhead including the steel casing. ...
Here's the entire table of specs offered at pp. xvii-xviii, very lightly edited. (Brennschluss is `close-of-burning.' The translators preferred this word to English terms then in common use because the latter, unlike Brennschluss, implied that fuel had been exhausted. It will be clear that many of the original metric data are round numbers, and that the precision implied by some of the converted figures is specious.)
METRIC U.S. Length 14 m 46 ft. Diameter of body 1.65 m 5 ft. 5 in. Diameter over fins 3.55 m 11 ft. 8 in. Weight, empty but with warhead 4000 kg 8818 lb. Take-off weight 12,900 kg 28,440 lb. Payload 1000 kg 2205 lb. High explosive carried 750 kg 1654 lb. Alcohol (containing 25% water) 3965 kg 8740 lb. Oxygen, liquid 4970 kg 10,957 lb. Fuel consumption, per second 127 kg 280 lb. Mixture ratio (alcohol/oxygen) 0.81 Burning time (max.) 65 sec. Thrust at take-off 25,000 kg 55,100 lb. Thrust gain near Brennschluss 4200 kg 13,230 lb. Acceleration at take-off (effective) 0.9 g Acceleration at Brennschluss (effective) 5 g Temperature in motor ~2700° C ~4890° F Pressure in motor 15.45 atm 227 lb./sq.in. Injection pressure (above motor pressure) 2.4 atm 35.3 lb./sq.in. Nozzle expansion ratio 15.45:0.85 Exhaust velocity 2050 m/sec 6725 ft./sec. Rocket stays vertical after take-off for 4 sec. completes tilt within 50 sec. attains angle of 49° from vertical at 54 sec. passes speed of sound after 25 sec. Velocity along trajectory (max.) 1600 m/sec 1 mi./sec. Impact velocity 900-1100 m/sec 3000-3600 ft./sec. Height at Brennschluss 22 km 13.7 mi. Distance from take-off point at Brennschluss 24 km 15 mi. Apogee of trajectory 80-90 km 50-56 mi. Range (max.) 320 km 199 mi.
I never had any trouble with this, possibly because I learned Spanish first, then a little German, and then English. When I heard about V2, I mistakenly thought it referred to the separation of the finite verb (in the V2 position) from the infinitives and participles at the end. Sorry. (I really mean that.) That bit is properly, or at least somewhat commonly, referred to as SVOV. SVOV is less common than V2. Swedish, for example, is a V2 language like German but an SVVO language like English. The SVOV structure does seem to be general in languages closely related to German. At least, it seems to be standard in the Plattdeutsch and Yiddish that I have heard. I've also heard Swiss German, but I could only make out one or two words.
I don't find V2 as interesting as linguists do, so the rest of this entry is dedicated to that other feature, since anyway I already wrote that up. In simple declarative sentences, German uses the SVO word order common among SAE languages. For example:
German English Sie erwartet einen Freund. She awaits a friend.
(For this and the next two examples, it's possible to give translations that are virtually word-for-word, and even cognate-for-cognate. That's why I don't use the more conventional wait-for locutions.) German, like English, has a system of verb aspects and tenses that is mostly analytic. That is, verb conjugations are mostly periphrastic constructions using modals. Here are two examples:
Sie kann einen Freund erwarten. She can await a friend Sie hat einen Freund erwartet. She has awaited a friend.
As you can see, the only thing preventing the German and English from corresponding cognate-by-cognate is that the second part of the verb has been moved (``translated,'' in the mathematical term) to the end of the sentence.
It's not just direct objects that get sandwiched between verbs. Indirect objects and adverbials are stuffed in there too -- the whole predicate. Only subordinate clauses escape. Have I mentioned that German sentences can become quite long? Here's a relevant passage from chapter 22 of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court:
I was gradually coming to have a mysterious and shuddery reverence for this girl; nowadays whenever she pulled out from the station and got her train fairly started on one of those horizonless transcontinental sentences of hers, it was borne in upon me that I was standing in the awful presence of the Mother of the German Language. I was so impressed with this, that sometimes when she began to empty one of these sentences on me I unconsciously took the very attitude of reverence, and stood uncovered; and if words had been water, I had been drowned, sure. She had exactly the German way; whatever was in her mind to be delivered, whether a mere remark, or a sermon, or a cyclopedia, or the history of a war, she would get it into a single sentence or die. Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
(``[T]his girl'' is Sandy. Eventually he (``Sir Boss,'' the book's eponymous Yankee) marries her. More on transcontinental railroads at the golden spike entry.)
Hmmm. Here's a very characteristic bit of prose from (a couple of pages into ch. 1 of) Gertrude Stein's Wars I Have Seen (1945):
And there was my mother and my brothers on horseback and there was a Czech tutor, one did not realise [spelling sic] how important all these nationalities were going to be to every one then and a Hungarian governess, and there was the first contact with books, picture books but books all the same since pictures in picture books are narrative.
The infinitive form of most verbs, and the past participle of strong verbs (which constitute a large fraction of the most common verbs) end in -en. All the rest of the past participles end in -t. So if all you want to do is make rhymes, in German it's easy.
56K modems are asymmetric by design: they can receive at 56K (provided that all other things, particularly cabling and the mux on the other end, allow it), but can send at a maximum speed of 33.6 kbaud.
[ A ][ B ][ C ][ D ][ E ][ F ][ G ][ H ][ I ][ J ][ K ][ L ][ M ][ N ][ O ][ P ][ Q ][ R ][ S ][ T ][ Þ (``thorn'') ][ U ][ V ][ W ][ X ][ Y ][ Z ][ Numbers ]
[ Thumb tabs and search tool] [ SBF Homepage ]
Oops! Overshot the pointers.