Archive for September 11th, 2010

September 11, 2010

Waggle Dance

waggle dance

Waggle dance is a term used in beekeeping and ethology for a particular figure-eight dance of the honey bee. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share with their hive mates information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen, to water sources, or to new housing locations. Thus the waggle dance is a mechanism whereby successful foragers can recruit other bees in their colony to good locations for collecting various resources.

It was once thought that bees had two distinct recruitment dances — round dances and waggle dances — the former for indicating nearby targets and the latter for indicating distant targets, but it is now known that a round dance is simply a waggle dance with a very short waggle run. Austrian ethologist and Nobel laureate Karl von Frisch was one of the first who translated the meaning of the waggle dance.

September 11, 2010



DJ-Kicks is a series of DJ mix albums, mixed by various artists for the independent record label !K7 Records. The series started out in 1995 as a compilation of electronic DJ club-style mixes in the techno or house genres, with the then-novel twist of being targeted to a home listening audience. Soon afterwards, both the choice of compilers and the genres included were expanded: In addition to DJs, more and more producers (like Terranova), remixers (like Kruder & Dorfmeister), bands (like the Stereo MCs) and musicians (like Nicolette) compiled DJ-Kicks albums. The actual music began to vary wildly as well, ranging from Trüby Trio’s downbeat jazz sound to Kemistry & Storm’s aggressive drum and bass. Still, all contributions remain broadly within the electronic music genre.

The first DJ-Kicks release was C.J. Bolland’s in 1995, and the series is still regularly expanded. As of October 2006, there are 28 releases in the series, with a release rate of roughly two to three new ones each year. Some of the DJ-Kicks mixes are very popular and counted among the regular albums of the compiler, most notably the one by Kruder & Dorfmeister. The DJ-Kicks series has been called ‘the most important DJ-mix series ever’ by Mixmag.

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September 11, 2010

Phantom Works


The Phantom Works division is the main research and development arm of The Boeing Company. Founded by McDonnell Douglas before the merger with Boeing, its primary focus had been development of advanced military products and technologies. After the merger, research and development expanded to cover commercial and space applications as well. Phantom Works has been a driving factor behind nearly all of the company’s large contracts, including the upcoming X-45 UCAV (unmanned combat air vehicle).

September 11, 2010

Skunk Works

quiet supersonic concept

Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor. Its largest current project is the F-35 Lightning II, which will be used in the air forces of several countries around the world. Production is expected to last for up to four decades. The designation ‘skunk works’ is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects.

The term came from Al Capp’s satirical, hillbilly comic strip Li’l Abner, which was immensely popular in the 1940s and ’50s. The ‘Skonk Works’ was a dilapidated factory in the backwoods of Kentucky. According to the strip, scores of people were done in yearly by the toxic fumes of the concentrated ‘skonk oil,’ which was brewed and barreled daily for some mysterious, never specified purpose. The original Lockheed facility was located adjacent to a malodorous plastics factory. Engineer, Irving Culver, first referred to the facility as ‘Skonk Works.’ The name stuck, and at the request of the comic strip copyright holders, Lockheed changed the name of the advanced development company to ‘Skunk Works’ in the 1960s.

September 11, 2010

Gruen Transfer


In shopping mall design, the Gruen transfer refers to the moment when consumers respond to ‘scripted disorientation’ cues in the environment. It is named for Austrian architect Victor Gruen (who disavowed such manipulative techniques). Shopping mall entrances have intentionally confusing layouts, intended to cause shoppers to lose track of their original intentions. Spatial awareness of their surroundings plays a key role, as does the surrounding sound and music. The effect of the transfer is marked by a slower walking pace and glazed eyes.

September 11, 2010

Strawberry Generation

Strawberry Generation is a Chinese language neologism for Taiwanese people born between 1981 and 1991 who ‘bruise easily’ like strawberries — meaning they can’t withstand social pressure or work hard like their parents’ generation; the term refers to people who are insubordinate, spoiled, selfish, arrogant, and sluggish in work. Persons from this generation have grown up being overprotected by their parents and in an environment of economic prosperity, in a similar manner to how strawberries are grown in protected greenhouses and command a higher price compared to other fruits.

September 11, 2010

386 Generation

The 386 Generation is a generation of South Koreans born in the 1960s who were very active politically as young adults, and instrumental in the democracy movement of the 1980s. The term refers to the Intel i386 CPU, released in 1985, and used in Korean universities in that era. This was the first generation of South Koreans to grow up free from the poverty that had marked Korea in the recent past.

The broad political mood of the generation was far more left-leaning than that of their parents, or their eventual children. They played a pivotal role in the democratic protests which forced President Chun Doo-hwan to call democratic elections in 1987, marking the transition from military rule to democracy. Members of the 386 Generation now comprise much of the elite of Korean society, including Nobel laureate and former president Kim Dae-jung (1925 – 2009).