June 14, 2021

Marathon Course-cutting

Rosie Ruiz

Marathon course-cutting occurs when runners complete less than an entire course of a marathon before going over the finish line. The standard length of a marathon course is 42.195 kilometers, about 26.2 miles. Course-cutting may be intentional or unintentional and can be achieved by various means.

When done intentionally, course-cutting constitutes cheating. In 1904, Frederick Lorz rode a car during the Olympic marathon in St. Louis. Many marathon runners consider course-cutting to be worse than doping, considering that dopers are at least trying to run the entire race. Continue reading

June 8, 2021

Nutcracker

God Bless America by Jed Egan

nutcracker is a type of alcoholic drink consisting of a mixture of hard liquor and sugary beverages such as fruit juice that originated and are made and sold in New York City. Originally sold via word-of-mouth by street vendors, nutcrackers have also been offered as ‘to-go cocktails’ by bars and restaurants.

Nutcrackers frequently consist of liquors such as vodka, rum, tequila and cognac, mixed with fruit juice, Kool-Aid or candy. They are sold mainly during the summer on the streets and on the beaches, and come in cups or small plastic bottles. The sale of nutcrackers without a license violates New York law, and the police have on occasion attempted to sanction it. Continue reading

June 1, 2021

Shrinkflation

Confectionery

In economics, shrinkflation is the process of items shrinking in size or quantity, or even sometimes reformulating or reducing quality while their prices remain the same or increase. The word is a portmanteau of the words shrink and inflation.

Shrinkflation allows companies to increase their operating margin and profitability by reducing costs whilst maintaining sales volume, and is often used as an alternative to raising prices in line with inflation. Consumer protection groups are critical of the practice because it has the effect of reducing product value by ‘stealth.’ The reduction in pack size is sufficiently small as not to be immediately obvious to regular consumers.  Continue reading

May 26, 2021

Zine

Factsheet Five

zine [zeen] (short for magazine or fanzine) is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via a copy machine. A fanzine (blend of fan and magazine) is a non-professional and non-official publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon (such as a literary or musical genre) for the pleasure of others who share their interest.

The term ‘zine’ was coined in an 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and popularized within science fiction fandom, entering the Oxford English Dictionary in 1949. Zines have served as a medium for various subcultures, and frequently draw inspiration from a DIY ethos that disregards traditional publishing conventions. Continue reading

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May 16, 2021

Larry LeGaspi

Kiss

Larry LeGaspi (1950 – 2001) was an American fashion designer best known for creating signature designs worn by Labelle, Kiss, Grace Jones, George Clinton and Funkadelic, Divine, and other notables in the 1970s and 1980s.

Legaspi was born in Lakewood Township, New Jersey, and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He subsequently opened his own studio and boutique, Moonstone, where he sold his Art Deco-inspired futuristic styles in a space decorated with a moon and stars motif. Continue reading

May 12, 2021

Omphalos Hypothesis

Dark City

The Omphalos [om-fuh-luhs] hypothesis is one attempt to reconcile the scientific evidence that the universe is billions of years old with a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative, which implies that the Earth is only a few thousand years old.

It is based on the religious belief that the universe was created by a divine being, within the past six to ten thousand years (in keeping with flood geology), and that the presence of objective, verifiable evidence that the universe is older than approximately ten millennia is due to the creator introducing false evidence that makes the universe appear significantly older. Continue reading

May 3, 2021

Synaptic Transistor

Field-effect transistor

synaptic transistor is an electrical device that can learn in ways similar to a neural synapse (the site of transmission of electric nerve impulses between two nerve cells). It optimizes its own properties for the functions it has carried out in the past.

The device mimics the behavior of the property of neurons called spike-timing-dependent plasticity, or STDP. The process adjusts the connection strengths based on the relative timing of a particular neuron’s output and input action potentials (or spikes). Continue reading

April 28, 2021

Jobsworth

Computer says no

jobsworth is a person who uses the (typically minor) authority of their job in a deliberately uncooperative way, or who seemingly delights in acting in an obstructive or unhelpful manner. It characterizes one who upholds petty rules even at the expense of effectiveness, efficiency, or common sense.

It is a British colloquial word derived from the phrase ‘I can’t do that, it’s more than my job’s worth,’ meaning that failing to do what is requested of them would be against what their job requires and would be likely to cause them to lose their job. English lexicographer Jonathon Green similarly it as ‘a minor factotum whose only status comes from enforcing otherwise petty regulations.’ Continue reading

April 26, 2021

Network Telescope

Honeypot

network telescope (also known as a ‘packet telescope,’ ‘darknet,’ ‘Internet motion sensor,’ or ‘black hole’) is an Internet system that allows one to observe different large-scale events taking place on the Internet. The basic idea is to observe traffic targeting the dark (unused) address-space of the network.

Since all traffic to these addresses is suspicious, one can gain information about possible network attacks (random scanning worms, and DDoS backscatter) as well as other misconfigurations by observing it. Continue reading

April 20, 2021

Bristol Stool Scale

Human feces

The Bristol stool scale is a diagnostic medical tool designed to classify the form of human feces into seven categories. It is used in both clinical and experimental fields. It was developed at the Bristol Royal Infirmary as a clinical assessment tool in 1997.

It is widely used as a research tool to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments for various diseases of the bowel, as well as a clinical communication aid; including being part of the diagnostic triad for irritable bowel syndrome. Continue reading

April 13, 2021

Andrew Callaghan

All Gas No Brakes

Andrew Callaghan is an American journalist who is best known for his work on the YouTube series ‘All Gas No Brakes.’ In 2021, he announced his departure from the show, along with his crew consisting of Nic Mosher and Evan Gilbert-Katz., and Callaghan launched a new show via Patreon titled ‘Channel 5.’

Callaghan suffers from hallucinogen persisting perception disorder due to excessive psilocybin use early in his life, around age 13. Continue reading

April 11, 2021

Sideman

david lindley

sideman is a professional musician hired to perform live with a featured act. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best acted as sidemen to Tony Sheridan before becoming famous as The Beatles.

Sidemen and sidewomen are often well-versed in multiple styles of music, and can be hired at any level of the music industry, from playing in a cover band to backing up established artists on major tours. Continue reading