Archive for September, 2010

September 30, 2010


Uniqlo is a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer. Uniqlo is Japan’s leading clothing retail chain in terms of both sales and profits. The company also operates in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Singapore, Taiwan, and Russia. Originally a division of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., on November 1, 2005, Uniqlo Co., Ltd. was born of corporate restructuring, and now exists as a 100% consolidated subsidiary of Fast Retailing, which is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

September 30, 2010



Garum [gah-rum], similar to liquamen, was a type of fermented fish sauce condiment that was an essential flavour in Ancient Roman cooking. Although it enjoyed its greatest popularity in the Roman world, it originally came from the Greeks, gaining its name from the Greek words garos or gáron (γάρον),  a fish whose intestines were originally used in the condiment’s production. For the Romans it was both a staple to the common diet and a luxury for the wealthy. After the liquid garum was ladled off of the top of the mixture, the remains of the fish, called allec, was used by the poorest classes to flavour their staple porridge.

The sauce was generally made through the crushing and fermentation in brine of the innards of various fishes such as mackerel, tuna, eel, and others. While the finished product was apparently mild and subtle in flavor, the actual production of garum created such unpleasant smells as to become relegated to the outskirts of citie. Garum was prepared from the intestines of small fishes, macerated in salt and cured in the sun for one to three months, where the mixture fermented and liquified in the dry warmth, the salt inhibiting the common agents of decay. The end product was very nutritious, retaining a high amount of protein and amino acids, along with a good deal of minerals and B vitamins. Garum is still produced at factories in San Roque, Spain.

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September 30, 2010



Internet2 is a not-for-profit networking consortium, which operates a next-generation Internet Protocol and optical network. As the Internet gained in public recognition and popularity, universities were among the first institutions to outgrow their bandwidth limitations. The National Science Foundation and MCI developed the very-high-performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS) in 1995 to support high-bandwidth applications like data mining, medical imaging and particle physics. The Internet2 project was established in 1996, and in partnership with Qwest, built the first Internet2 Network, called Abilene in 1998.

In 2003 it was a prime investor in the National LambdaRail project, the first transcontinental 10-Gigabit Ethernet network. In 2007, Internet2 officially retired Abilene and now refers to its new, higher capacity network as the Internet2 Network. The network itself is a dynamic, robust and cost-effective hybrid optical and packet network. It furnishes a 100Gb/s network backbone to more than 210 U.S. educational institutions, 70 corporations and 45 non-profit and government agencies.

September 30, 2010

Unit 8200

Unit 8200 is an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Intelligence Corps unit, responsible for collecting signal intelligence and code decryption. It is the largest unit in the IDF, with several thousand soldiers. It is comparable in its function to the United States’ National Security Agency, except that it is not a separate civilian body.

In March 2004, The Commission to investigate the intelligence network following the War in Iraq recommended turning the unit into a civilian National SIGINT Agency, as is largely the case in other Western countries, but this proposal has yet to be implemented. Urim SIGINT Base is the most important signal intelligence-gathering installation operated by Israel’s military and is part of Unit 8200. The Urim base is located in the Negev desert approximately 30km from Beersheba.

September 30, 2010



digital bolex

Bolex is a Swiss company that manufactures motion picture cameras and lenses. The most notable products of which are in the 16 mm and Super 16 mm formats. The Bolex was initially founded by Ukranian engineer and inventor Jacques Bogopolsky in the 1940s. Bolex is derived from his name. He had previously designed cameras for Alpa. Bolex cameras were particularly important for early television news, nature films, documentaries and the avant garde, and are still favoured by many animators today.

Some later models are electrically powered, the majority of those manufactured since the 1930s use a spring-wound clockwork. The 16 mm spring-wound Bolex is a popular introductory camera in film schools. Today, the Bolex factory in Switzerland continues to produce new 16mm and Super 16 film cameras and also can convert Bolex H16 reflex models to super 16mm.

September 29, 2010



The Pineberry is a strawberry cultivar owned by breeder Hans de Jongh and commercialized by VitalBerry BV in Made, The Netherlands. The fruit flesh can range from soft white to orange and is very fragrant with a slight pineapple flavor. Pineberries begin life as green berries, then become slightly white. By the time their deeply set seeds turn deep red, the white fruit is deemed ripe.

September 28, 2010


performance anxiety


Paruresis [pahr-yew-ree-sis] is a type of phobia in which the sufferer is unable to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom. It most commonly affects males, though there are female sufferers too. The analogous condition that affects bowel movement is called parcopresis.

Many people have brief, isolated episodes of urinary difficulty in situations where other people are in close proximity. Paruresis is also known by many colloquial terms, including bashful bladder, bashful kidneys, mental cloggery, stage fright, pee fright, urophobia, pee-shyness, the slow dribbles, creeping pee-pee, public piss syndrome, shy bladder syndrome, air-blockage, and psychogenic urinary retention.

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September 27, 2010

Dark Pools of Liquidity

dark side

bill shorten

Dark pools of liquidity are financial trading venues or crossing networks similar to exchanges but that provide liquidity that is not displayed on order books. This is useful for traders who wish to move large numbers of shares without revealing themselves to the open market. Dark liquidity pools offer institutional investors many of the efficiencies associated with trading on the exchanges’ public limit order books but without showing their actions to others. Dark liquidity pools avoid this risk because neither the price nor the identity of the trading company is displayed.

Dark pools are recorded to the national consolidated tape. However, they are recorded as over-the-counter transactions. Therefore detailed information about the volumes and types of transactions is left to the crossing network to report to clients if they desire and are contractually obligated. Dark pools allow funds to line up and move large blocks of equities without tipping their hands as to what they are up to. Modern trading platforms and the lack of human interaction have reduced the time scale on market movements. This increased responsiveness of the price of an equity to market pressures has made it more difficult to move large blocks of stock without affecting the price.

September 27, 2010



lv murakami

Superflat is a postmodern art movement, founded by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, which is influenced by manga and anime. Superflat is used by Murakami to refer to various flattened forms in Japanese graphic art, animation, pop culture and fine arts, as well as the ‘shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture.’ A self-proclaimed art movement, it was a successful piece of niche marketing, a branded art phenomenon designed for Western audiences.

Murakami defines Superflat in broad terms, so the subject matter is very diverse. Often the works take a critical look at the consumerism and sexual fetishism that is prevalent in post-war Japanese culture. One target of this criticism is lolicon art, which is satirized by works such as those by Henmaru Machino. These works are an exploration of otaku sexuality through grotesque and/or distorted images. Other works are more concerned with a fear of growing up. For example, Yoshitomo Nara’s work often features playful graffiti on old Japanese ukiyo-e executed in a childish manner. And some works focus on the structure and underlying desires that comprise otaku and overall post-war Japanese culture.

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September 27, 2010

Cave of the Crystals

crystal cave


Cave of the Crystals (Cueva de los Cristales) is a cave connected to the Naica Mine 300 metres (980 ft) deep in Chihuahua, Mexico, discovered in 2000. The main chamber contains giant selenite crystals, some of the largest natural crystals ever found. The cave’s largest crystal found to date is 11 m (36 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 55 tons in weight. The cave is extremely hot with air temperatures reaching up to 58 °C (136 °F) with 90 to 100 percent humidity.

The cave is relatively unexplored due to the extreme temperatures and high humidity. Without proper protection people can only endure approximately ten minutes of exposure at a time. Additionally, the caves are accessible today only because the mining company’s pumping operations keep them clear of water. If the pumping were stopped, the caves would be submerged.

September 27, 2010


Computer Worm

Stuxnet is a Windows computer worm discovered in July 2010 that targets industrial software and equipment. While it is not the first time that hackers have targeted industrial systems, it is the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems. The worm initially spreads indiscriminately, but includes a highly specialized malware payload that is designed to target only Siemens Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition systems that are configured to control and monitor specific industrial processes.

The probable target of Stuxnet is widely suspected to be uranium enrichment infrastructure in Iran, which confirmed that its nuclear program had indeed been damaged. The infestation by this worm may therefore have damaged Iran’s nuclear facilities in Natanz and eventually delayed the start up of Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. Security experts have concluded that the sophisticated attack could only have been conducted with nation-state support and it has been speculated that Israel may have been involved.

September 26, 2010


The Ahnenerbe was a Nazi German think tank that promoted itself as a ‘study society for Intellectual Ancient History.’ Founded on July 1, 1935, by Heinrich Himmler, Herman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré, the Ahnenerbe’s goal was to research the anthropological and cultural history of the Aryan race, and later to experiment and launch voyages with the intent of proving that prehistoric and mythological Nordic populations had once ruled the world.

The Ahnenerbe had several different research institutions. Most of these were archeological and anthropological but others included a meteorology department, devoted to ‘Welteislehre’ (World Ice Theory), a pseudoscientific cosmological theory proposed by Hans Hörbiger, an Austrian engineer and inventor. According to his theory, ice was the basic substance of all cosmic processes, and ice moons, ice planets, and the ‘global ether’ (also made of ice) had determined the entire development of the universe. There was also a section devoted to musicology, whose aim was to determine ‘the essence’ of German music. The section made sound recordings, transcribed manuscripts and songbooks, and photographed and filmed instrument use and folk dances. The lur, a Bronze Age musical instrument, became central to this research, which concluded that Germanic consonance was in direct conflict to Jewish atonalism.