Archive for July, 2010

July 20, 2010

Nalgene

Nalgene is the main product line of Nalge Nunc International, a distributor and manufacturer of plastic laboratory containers that has diversified into the field of containers for outdoor sports. In recent years, studies have suggested that polycarbonate plastics such as the ones Nalgene used may leach endocrine disruptors like Bisphenol A (BPA). Nalgene denies that the quantity leached from their products posed a significant threat to health, but as of April 2008 they began phasing out production of any BPA containing products. All current Nalgene water bottles are made from copolyester.

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July 20, 2010

SIGG

SIGG is a Swiss manufacturing company that sells aluminum and stainless steel water bottles. The disadvantage of thin aluminum is that it does not offer much insulation, which means that condensation can build on the outside of the bottle when cold drinks are transported, and hot drinks will result in a bottle which can not be comfortably touched. SIGG sells insulating sleeves that protect the bottle from dents, help insulate the beverages inside them and eliminate the condensation issue. The interior of the bottles is coated with a food-compatible stove enamel. The bottle is part of the permanent design collection of the NY Museum of Modern Art.

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July 17, 2010

Fat Power

The fat acceptance movement (also known as the size acceptance movement, fat liberation movement, and fat power) is a grassroots effort to change societal attitudes towards obese people. The movement argues that overweight people are targets of hatred, discrimination, and undue social pressure. Critics worry that fat acceptance encourages obesitiy, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and joint problems.

July 17, 2010

Meg

meg

A nutmeg (or tunnel) is a technique used in football or field hockey, in which a player plays the ball through an opponent’s legs. This can be whilst passing to another player, shooting or occasionally to carry on and retrieve it himself. However it is well accepted that the classic nutmeg involves retrieving the ball oneself after passing the ball through the opponent’s legs, ideally calling ‘nuts’ or ‘megs’ whilst doing so.

The usage may have arisen because of a sharp practice used in nutmeg exports between America and England. Unscrupulous exporters mixed wooden replicas into the sacks being shipped to England. Being nutmegged soon came to imply stupidity on the part of the duped victim and cleverness on the part of the trickster. Panna is a two person soccer game where opponents attempt to meg each other that is popular in the Netherlands.

July 17, 2010

Ant Mill

ant mill

An ant mill is a phenomenon where a small group of army ants separated from the main foraging party lose the pheromone track and begin to follow one another, forming a continuously rotating circle. The ants will eventually die of exhaustion. This phenomenon is a side effect of the self-organizing structure of ant colonies.

Each ant follows the ant in front of it, and this will work until something goes wrong and an ant mill forms. An ant mill was first described by William Beebe who observed a mill 1,200 feet in circumference. It took each ant 2.5 hours to make one revolution. Similar phenomena have been noted in processionary caterpillars and fish.

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July 17, 2010

Kōan

one hand claping

A kōan [koh-ahn] is a fundamental part of the history and lore of Zen Buddhism. It consists of a story, dialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking but may be accessible through intuition. One widely known kōan is ‘what is the sound of one hand clapping.’ The word kōan, the name by which practice is known to the West, comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters.

July 17, 2010

Keffiyeh

The keffiyeh is a traditional headdress typically worn by Arab men made of a square of cloth, usually cotton, folded and wrapped in various styles around the head. It is commonly found in arid climate areas to provide protection from direct sun exposure, as well as for occasional use in protecting the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand. Its distinctive woven check pattern originated in an ancient Mesopotamian representation of either fishing nets or ears of grain.

July 17, 2010

Ylem

Ylem is a term coined in the late 1940s by cosmologist Ralph Alpher for a hypothetical original substance or condensed state of matter, which became subatomic particles and elements as we understand them today.

July 17, 2010

Hamsa

The evil eye is a look that is superstitiously believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck on the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. The idea appears several times in the Old Testament. It was a widely extended belief between many Mediterranean tribes and cultures: Classical Greece probably learned this belief from ancient Egypt, and later passed it to ancient Rome. The hamsa is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa as a defense against the evil eye. It is believed to originate in ancient practices associated with the Phoenicians of Carthage.

July 17, 2010

Eye of Providence

eye of providence

The Eye of Providence, or the all-seeing eye of God, is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. It is sometimes interpreted as representing the eye of God watching over humankind. Imagery of an all-seeing eye can be traced back to Egyptian mythology and the Eye of Horus. It also appears in Buddhism, where Buddha is also regularly referred to as the ‘Eye of the World,’ and is represented as a trinity in the shape of a triangle known as the Tiratna, or Triple Gem. In Medieval and Renaissance European iconography, the Eye (often with the addition of an enclosing triangle) was an explicit image of the Christian Trinity.

July 17, 2010

Rod of Asclepius

The rod of Asclepius [uh-sklee-pee-uhs] is an ancient symbol associated with astrology, the Greek god Asclepius, and with medicine and healing. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. The name of the symbol derives from its early and widespread association with Asclepius, the son of Apollo, who was a practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. Hippocrates himself was a worshipper of Asclepius.

July 17, 2010

Caduceus

The caduceus [kuh-doo-see-uhs] is a herald’s staff, a symbolic object representing Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations or undertakings associated with the god. It is today typically depicted as a short staff entwined by two serpents in the form of a double helix, and is sometimes surmounted by wings. The caduceus is sometimes used as a symbol of medicine and/or medical practice, especially in North America, due to widespread confusion with the traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius, which has only a single snake and no wings.