Archive for September 10th, 2010

September 10, 2010


A memristor (‘memory resistor’) is a circuit element first theorized to exist by U.S. electronic engineer, Leon Chua in a 1971 and first demonstrated in a laboratory in 2008. There are several proposed applications for memristors, including computer memory that retains data even after the power is shut off. A common analogy for a resistor is a pipe that carries water. The water itself is analogous to electrical charge, the pressure at the input of the pipe is similar to voltage, and the rate of flow of the water through the pipe is like electrical current. Just as with an electrical resistor, the flow of water through the pipe is faster if the pipe is shorter and/or it has a larger diameter.

An analogy for a memristor is an interesting kind of pipe that expands and shrinks. If water flows through the pipe in one direction, the diameter of the pipe increases, thus enabling the water to flow faster. If water flows through the pipe in the opposite direction, the diameter of the pipe decreases, thus slowing down the flow of water. If the water pressure is turned off, the pipe will retain it most recent diameter until the water is turned back on. Thus, the pipe does not store water like a bucket (or a capacitor) – it remembers how much water flowed through it.

September 10, 2010

Colonel Reb

col reb

Colonel Reb is the traditional sporting mascot of Ole Miss Rebels, the collegiate athletic teams of the University of Mississippi. Designed in the 1930s, the figure served as the teams’ official or near-official mascot from 1979 until 2003. To some people, he resembles a white antebellum plantation owner, but to others, he simply resembles the ideal of the ‘Southern gentleman’ of the Antebellum Age.

In 2003, the administration eliminated Colonel Reb from the sidelines at Ole Miss athletic events as the on-the-field mascot, though he was allowed at tailgating and other unofficial university functions. In a 2010 vote, Ole Miss students decided to choose a new mascot for the school. An internet campaign to replace Colonel Reb with fictional Star Wars character Admiral Ackbar has gained popular support.

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September 10, 2010

Electronic Frontier Foundation


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States.

EFF provides funds for legal defense in court, defends individuals and new technologies from what it considers baseless or misdirected legal threats, works to expose government malfeasance, provides guidance to the government and courts, organizes political action and mass mailings, supports some new technologies which it believes preserve personal freedoms, maintains a database and web sites of related news and information, monitors and challenges potential legislation that it believes would infringe on personal liberties and fair use, and solicits a list of what it considers patent abuses with intentions to defeat those that it considers without merit.

September 10, 2010

Streisand Effect


The Streisand effect is a phenomenon in which an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of causing the information to be publicized widely and to a greater extent than would have occurred if no censorship had been attempted. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, following a 2003 incident in which her attempts to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

September 10, 2010



Areva is a French public multinational industrial conglomerate formed in September of 2001, and is the world’s largest supplier of nuclear energy. It is the only company with a presence in each industrial activity linked to nuclear energy: mining, chemistry, enrichment, combustibles, services, engineering, nuclear propulsion and reactors, treatment, recycling, stabilization, and dismantling. The corporate name Areva is inspired by the Trappist Santa Maria de la Real monastery in Arevalo in Spain.

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September 10, 2010



A rōnin [roh-nin] was a samurai with no lord or master during the feudal period (1185–1868) of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the death or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master’s favor or privilege. The word rōnin literally means ‘wave man.’ The term originally referred to a serf who had fled or deserted his master’s land, and later came to be used for a samurai who had lost his master. According to the Bushido Shoshinshu (the Code of the Samurai), a samurai was supposed to commit oibara seppuku (also ‘hara kiri’ – ritual suicide) upon the loss of his master. One who chose not to honor the code was ‘on his own’ and was meant to suffer great shame.

The term rōnin is also used in modern Japan for students who fail the entrance examination for the high school or university of their choice, and then decide to spend the next year studying to retake the exam.