Archive for July, 2010

July 15, 2010

Basket Star

basket star

Basket stars are a group of brittle stars, which are related to sea stars (also known as starfish). They generally live in deep sea habitats. Their life span in the wild is up to 35 years. They weigh around 11 lbs, or 5 kg. Like other echinoderms, basket stars lack blood and achieve gas exchange via their water vascular system.

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July 15, 2010

Analemma

tutulemma

mars analemma

An analemma [an-l-em-uh] is a plot or photograph of the position of a star in the sky at a certain time of day (such as noon) at one locale measured throughout the year that has the shape of a figure 8. With great planning and effort, the series can include a total eclipse of the Sun as one of the images, which has been dubbed a tutulemma.

July 15, 2010

Amerikamura

Amerikamura

Amerikamura (American Village) is a retail and entertainment area in Osaka, Japan. It contains a small-scale reproduction of the Statue of Liberty that peers down on the streets, and features  Western themed restaurants and shops.

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July 14, 2010

Spread Offense

Route

The spread offense is an offensive scheme in American and Canadian football that is used at every level of the game including professional, college, and high school. The spread offense begins with a no-huddle approach with the quarterback in the shotgun formation (5 – 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage) much of the time. 3-5 receivers are spread along the line of scrimmage, creating multiple vertical seams for both the running and passing game to exploit, as the defense is forced to spread itself thin across the field to cover everyone.

The father of the spread offense is Rusty Russell, coach of Fort Worth, Texas’ Masonic Home and School for orphaned boys. Russell began coaching Masonic Home in 1927, and due to the fact that his teams were often over matched physically by other schools, they were called the ‘Mighty Mites.’ While there, he deployed the earliest form of a spread offense to great success.

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July 14, 2010

Long Tail

long tail

amazon

A long tail refers to the statistical property where a larger share of the population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a normal distribution. This has gained popularity in recent times as a retailing concept describing the niche strategy of selling a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities – usually in addition to selling fewer popular items in large quantities. The concept was popularized by Chris Anderson in an October 2004 Wired magazine article, in which he mentioned Amazon.com and Netflix as examples of businesses applying this strategy.

However, a 2008 study by Anita Elberse, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, calls the Long Tail theory into question, citing sales data which shows that the Web magnifies the importance of blockbuster hits.  Also in 2008, a sales analysis of an unnamed UK digital music service by economist Will Page and high-tech entrepreneur Andrew Bud found that sales exhibited a normal distribution; they reported that 80 percent of the music tracks available sold no copies at all over a one-year period.

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July 13, 2010

1980s One-Hit Wonders

This list contains recording artists who reached the Top 40 of the U.S. pop chart with just one single in the 1980s.

July 12, 2010

Chatoyancy

In gemology, chatoyancy [shuh-toi-an-see], or chatoyance, is an optical reflectance effect seen in certain gemstones. Coined from the French ‘œil de chat,’ meaning ‘cat’s eye,’ chatoyancy arises either from the fibrous structure of a material, as in tiger eye quartz, or from fibrous inclusions or cavities within the stone, as in cat’s eye chrysoberyl.

July 12, 2010

Prosopagnosia

Prosopagnosia [prahs-oh-pag-noh-shuh] (sometimes known as face blindness) is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact. Few successful therapies have so far been developed for affected people, although individuals often learn to use ‘piecemeal’ or ‘feature by feature’ recognition strategies. This may involve secondary clues such as clothing, hair color, body shape, and voice.

July 12, 2010

1990s One-Hit Wonders

This list contains recording artists who reached the Top 40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with just one single in the 1990s.

July 12, 2010

Scheherazade

Scheherazade [shuh-her-uh-zahd] is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights. Some of the best-known stories of The Nights, particularly ‘Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp’, ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ and ‘The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor,’ while almost certainly genuine Middle-Eastern folk tales, were not part of The Nights in Arabic versions, but were interpolated into the collection by European translators.

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July 12, 2010

Limnic Eruption

A limnic eruption, also referred to as a lake overturn, is a rare type of natural disaster in which carbon dioxide (CO2) suddenly erupts from deep lake water, suffocating wildlife, livestock and humans. Such an eruption may also cause tsunamis in the lake as the rising CO2 displaces water. Scientists believe landslides, volcanic activity, or explosions can trigger such an eruption. Lakes in which such activity occurs may be known as limnically active lakes or exploding lakes. Limnic means of or pertaining to fresh water.

July 12, 2010

Battle Record

superduckbreaks

Battle records are vinyl records made up of brief samples from songs, film dialogue, sound effects, and drum loops for use by a DJ. The samples and drum loops are used for scratching and performances by turntablists. Battle records are often released by DJs banking on their celebrity or looking to capitalize on rare items in their collections. Creative, novel, or bizarre inclusions are especially prized. Often, the samples featured on these records do not have the blessing of the original copyright holders. Because of this, the use of pseudonyms and anonymous releases are common.

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