January 16, 2022

Short Squeeze

GameStop short squeeze

In the stock market, a short squeeze is a rapid increase in the price of a stock owing primarily to an excess of short selling of a stock rather than underlying fundamentals. A short squeeze occurs when there is a lack of supply and an excess of demand for the stock due to short sellers having to buy stocks to cover their short positions.

Shorting means to bet that an asset will lose value. This can be done by borrowing the asset, selling it at a higher price, and then returning the asset once you can buy it back at a lower price.
Continue reading

January 11, 2022

The High and the Mighty

The High and the Mighty

The High and the Mighty‘ is a 1954 American aviation disaster film, directed by William A. Wellman, and written by Ernest K. Gann, who also wrote the 1953 novel on which his screenplay was based. John Wayne stars as a veteran airline first officer, Dan Roman, whose airliner has a catastrophic engine failure while crossing the Pacific Ocean.

The film was produced nearly two decades before ‘Airport’ and its sequels (along with the ‘Airplane!’ parodies, the first of which featured Robert Stack lampooning himself). The ‘High and the Mighty’ served as a template for later disaster-themed films such as the ‘Airport’ series (1970–79), ‘The Poseidon Adventure’ (1972), ‘The Towering Inferno’ (1974), ‘The Hindenburg’ (1975), and ‘Titanic’ (1997).

Continue reading

Tags:
January 7, 2022

Birds Aren’t Real

Conspiracy theory

Birds Aren’t Real is a satirical conspiracy theory which posits that birds are actually drones operated by the U.S. government to spy on American citizens. In 2018, journalist Rachel Roberts described Birds Aren’t Real as ‘a joke that thousands of people are in on.’

The movement argues that all birds in the United States were exterminated by the government between 1959 and 1971 and replaced by drones (the specifics of these theories as reported in news articles are not always consistent, not unlike actual conspiracy theories). They claim that birds sit on power lines to recharge themselves, and that bird poop on cars is a tracking method. Continue reading

January 5, 2022

Italian Sounding

Denominazione di origine controllata

Italian Sounding is a marketing phenomenon consisting of words and images, color combinations (the Italian tricolor) and geographical references for brands that are evocative of Italy to promote and market products – especially but not exclusively agri-food – that are not actually Made in Italy.

The phenomenon is described by the Office of the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) called ‘Directorate General for the Protection of Industrial Property – Italian Patent and Trademark Office’ (DGTPI-UIBM). Continue reading

January 3, 2022

Fiddler’s Green

Fiddler's Green

In 19th-century English maritime folklore, Fiddler’s Green was an afterlife for sailors who had served at least fifty years at sea.

They were rewarded with perpetual mirth, a fiddle that never stopped playing, and dancers who never tired. Continue reading

Tags:
December 28, 2021

DAO

The DAO

decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), sometimes called a decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government.

A DAO’s financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain. The precise legal status of this type of business organization is unclear. Continue reading

November 19, 2021

Akhfash’s Goat

Joey Tribbiani

Akhfash’s goat is a Persian parable in which a philosopher trains his pet goat to nod its head when asked if it had understood a book that it was shown.

The term refers to a person who nods along with a conversation that they do not understand. Continue reading

November 15, 2021

Season Creep

Phenology

In phenology (the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena), season creep refers to observed changes in the timing of the seasons, such as earlier indications of spring in temperate areas across the Northern Hemisphere.

In Europe, season creep has been associated with the arrival of spring moving up by approximately one week in a recent 30-year period. Climate studies have put the rate of season creep measured by plant phenology in the range of 2–3 days per decade advancement in spring, and 0.3–1.6 days per decade delay in autumn, over the past 30–80 years. Continue reading

November 1, 2021

Kids These Days

Socrates

Kids these days‘ is the belief that the present generation of young people is inferior or deficient compared to previous generations.

Such beliefs have been reported since 624 BCE. Ancient philosopher Socrates complained, ‘The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.’

Tags:
October 28, 2021

Sayre’s Law

Sayre's law

Sayre’s law states, in a formulation quoted by academic economist and historian Charles Philip Issawi: ‘In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.’

By way of corollary, it adds: ‘That is why academic politics are so bitter.’ Sayre’s law is named after Wallace Stanley Sayre (1905–1972), U.S. political scientist and professor at Columbia University. Continue reading

Tags:
October 22, 2021

Locksport

Lock picking

Locksport is the sport or recreation of defeating locking systems. Its enthusiasts learn including lock picking, lock bumping, and a variety of other skills traditionally known only to locksmiths and other security professionals.

Lock picking has existed for as long as locks have, and recreational lock picking has as well. King Louis XVI of France (1754–1793) was a keen designer, picker and manipulator of locks. Continue reading

October 19, 2021

Rhinoceros Party

Rhinoceros Party

The Rhinoceros Party is a Canadian federal-level satirical political party founded by Canadian political figure and entertainer François ‘Yo’ Gourd and led by Sébastien Côrriveau.

It was a registered political party in Canada from the 1960s. Operating within the tradition of political satire, the Rhinoceros Party’s basic credo, their so-called primal promise, was ‘a promise to keep none of our promises.’ They then promised outlandishly impossible schemes designed to amuse and entertain the voting public. Continue reading