Archive for June 29th, 2010

June 29, 2010

Moiré

moire

moire

In physics, a moiré [mwah-rey] pattern is an interference pattern created, for example, when two grids are overlaid at an angle, or when they have slightly different mesh sizes. The term originates from moire, a type of textile, traditionally of silk but now also of cotton or synthetic fiber, with a rippled or ‘watered’ appearance.

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June 29, 2010

Paradox

A paradox is a true statement that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition.

June 29, 2010

Machine Elf

alien dreamtime

Machine elves (also known as fractal elves) is a term coined by the late ethnobotanist, writer and philosopher Terence McKenna to describe the apparent entities that are often reported by individuals using tryptamine-based psychedelic drugs, especially DMT. References to such encounters can be found in many cultures ranging from shamanic traditions of Native Americans to indigenous Australians and African tribes, as well as among Western users of these substances.

McKenna’s first published mention of the machine elves is in his and his brother Dennis’ book ‘The Invisible Landscape’ (1975): ‘We especially refer to the apparently autonomous and intelligent, chaotically mercurial and mischievous machine elves encountered in the trance state, strange teachers whose marvelous singing makes intricate toys out of the air and out of their own continually transforming body geometries.’

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June 29, 2010

Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson (b. 1962) is an American photographer who is best known for elaborately staged, surreal scenes of American homes and neighborhoods.

June 29, 2010

Eve Teasing

eve teasing

Eve teasing is a euphemism used in India for public sexual harassment, street harassment or molestation of women by men, with Eve being a reference to the biblical Eve. It is a form of sexual aggression that ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing in public places, catcalls, to outright groping.

June 29, 2010

CarterCopter

CarterCopter

The CarterCopter is an experimental compound autogyro developed by Carter Aviation Technologies to demonstrate slowed rotor technology. In 2005, the CarterCopter became the first rotorcraft to achieve μ-1, an equal ratio of airspeed to rotor tip speed. The prototype has a top speed of about 173 mph. A helicopter requires twice as much power to maintain that velocity.

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June 29, 2010

Balkanization

balkans

Balkanization [bawl-kuhn-uh-zey-shuhn] is a geopolitical term originally used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other. The term arose from conflicts in the 20th century Balkans. While what is now termed Balkanization has occurred throughout history, the term originally described the creation of smaller, ethnically diverse states following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

The term is also used to describe other forms of disintegration, including, for instance, the subdivision of the Internet into separate enclaves, the division of subfields and the creation of new fields from sociology, and the breakdown of cooperative arrangements due to the rise of independent competitive entities.

June 29, 2010

Sun Dog

 

A sun dog (scientific name parhelion; also called a mock sun) is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun. Sun dogs may appear as a colored patch of light to the left or right of the sun, 22° distant and at the same distance above the horizon as the sun, and in ice halos. They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always obvious or bright.

June 29, 2010

Technological Singularity

singularity

The technological singularity is the theoretical emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood.

Proponents of the singularity typically state that an ‘intelligence explosion,’ where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent’s cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human. The term was popularized by astrophysicist and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement, or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity.

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June 29, 2010

Lorem Ipsum

In publishing and graphic design, lorem ipsum is the name given to commonly used placeholder text (filler text) to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation, such as font, typography, and layout. The lorem ipsum text, which is typically a nonsensical list of semi-Latin words, is an edited version of a Latin text by Cicero, with words/letters omitted and others inserted, but not proper Latin

Even though using ‘lorem ipsum’ often arouses curiosity because of its resemblance to classical Latin, it is not intended to have meaning. Where text is visible in a document, people tend to focus on the textual content rather than upon overall presentation, so publishers use lorem ipsum when displaying a typeface or design elements and page layout in order to direct the focus to the publication style and not the meaning of the text.

June 29, 2010

Joseph Swan

Sir Joseph Wilson Swan was a British physicist and chemist, most famous for the invention of the incandescent light bulb. Swan received a patent for his device in 1878, about a year before Thomas Edison. His house was the first in the world to be lit by a light bulb.

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June 29, 2010

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one happens upon some obscure piece of information– often an unfamiliar word or name– and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly. The phenomenon bears some similarity to synchronicity, which is the experience of having a highly meaningful coincidence… such as having someone telephone you while you are thinking about them. How the phenomenon came to be known as ‘Baader-Meinhof’ is uncertain. It seems likely that some individual learned of the existence of the historic German urban guerrilla group which went by that name, and then heard the name again soon afterwards.