Archive for October 10th, 2010

October 10, 2010

Ital

ital shack

Ital or I-tal is the dietary system associated with the Rastafari movement. The word derives from the English word ‘vital,’ with the initial syllable replaced by i. This is done to many words in the Rastafari vocabulary to signify the unity of the speaker with all of nature. Rastafarians derive their beliefs and morality from intense personal meditations and prayer, and therefore there is no single dogma of Rastafarian belief. Due to this emphasis on individual personal meditation in Rastafari, the expression of Ital eating varies widely from Rasta to Rasta, and there are few universal ‘rules’ of Ital living.

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October 10, 2010

Arbitrage

Arbitrage betting

In economics and finance, arbitrage [ahr-bi-trahzh] is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets. For example if you can buy one euro for one dollar, you immediately profit if the current exchange rate values euros above dollars. An arbitrage in simple terms, is the possibility of a risk-free profit at zero cost.

In principle and in academic use, an arbitrage is risk-free; in practice, there are always risks in arbitrage, some minor (such as fluctuation of prices decreasing profit margins), some major (such as devaluation of a currency or derivative). People who engage in arbitrage are called arbitrageurs — such as a bank or brokerage firm. The term is mainly applied to trading in financial instruments, such as bonds, stocks, derivatives, commodities and currencies.

October 10, 2010

Adinkra Symbols

adinkra

Adinkra [oon-din-krah] are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa, that represent concepts or aphorisms.

Adinkra are used on fabric, walls, in pottery, woodcarvings and logos. Fabric adinkra are often made by woodcut sign writing as well as screen printing. They also can be used to communicate evocative messages that represent parts of their life or those around them.

October 10, 2010

LOMO

lomo diana

Lomography is the commercial trademark of Lomographische AG, an Austria photography company. The name is inspired by the former state-run optics manufacturer LOMO PLC of Saint Petersburg, Russia. LOMO created and produced the 35 mm LOMO LC-A Compact Automat camera — which became the centerpiece of Lomography’s marketing and sales activities. This camera was loosely based upon the Cosina CX-1 and introduced in the early 1980s.

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October 10, 2010

Hikikomori

hikikomori by galia offri

Hikikomori (literally ‘pulling away,’ being confined’) is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive people who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement because of various personal and social factors in their lives.

The term hikikomori refers to both the sociological phenomenon in general as well as to people belonging to this societal group. In Western terminology this group may include individuals suffering from social phobia or social anxiety problems. This could also be due to agoraphobia, avoidant personality disorder or painful or extreme shyness.

October 10, 2010

Vignette

one dollar

The term vignette [vin-yet] originated in French language in 1751, and referred to ‘decorative designs,’ originally in the form of vine tendrils around the borders of a book page, especially a picture page. Other theories hold that the term generally means something small and that originally it meant ‘something that may be written on a vine-leaf.’ Presently the term has application in a number of fields from graphic design to viticulture.

October 10, 2010

Stanley

Stanley

Stanley is an autonomous vehicle created by Stanford University’s Stanford Racing Team in cooperation with the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL). It competed in, and won, the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, earning the Stanford Racing Team the 2 million dollar prize. Stanley’s descendant ‘Junior’ placed second in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Stanley is based on a diesel engined Volkswagen Toureg, Junior on a Passat. The Stanford Racing Team chose the Touareg for its ‘drive by wire’ control system which could be adapted to run directly from an on-board computer.

To navigate, Stanley used five roof mounted LIDAR units to build a 3-D map of the environment, supplementing the position sensing GPS system. An internal guidance system utilizing gyroscopes and accelerometers monitored the orientation of the vehicle and also served to supplement GPS and other sensor data. Additional guidance data was provided by a video camera used to observe driving conditions out to eighty meters (beyond the range of the LIDAR) and to ensure room enough for acceleration. Stanley also had sensors installed in a wheel well to record a pattern imprinted on the tire and to act as an odometer in case of loss of signal (such as when driving through a tunnel). Using the data from this sensor, the on-board computer can extrapolate how far it has traveled since the signal was lost.

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October 10, 2010

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

cyanea capillata

The lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is the largest known species of jellyfish. Its range is confined to the cold waters of the Arctic, northern Atlantic, and northern Pacific Oceans, seldom found farther south than 42°N latitude. Similar jellyfish, which may be the same species, are known to inhabit seas near Australia and New Zealand. The largest recorded specimen found, washed up on the shore of Massachusetts Bay in 1870, had a bell (body) with a diameter of 2.3 m (7 feet 6 inches) and tentacles 36.5 m (120 feet) long.

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October 10, 2010

Hunky Punk

hunky punk

By definition, a hunky punk is an architectural feature that serves no purpose. Therefore, a true gargoyle is not a hunkypunk because it serves to drain water through its mouth. Hunky punks were often carved to create a balance of decoration. A typical example might be found at the corner of a church tower, along the coping ridge below any castellations. Often there are carvings on each corner, yet the roof may only drain in one direction and so there might be three hunkypunks and one true gargoyle.

There is a belief that a hunky punk is only a short squatting figure typical of those found in the churches of western England. The origin of the term hunkypunk has been ascribed to the Old English ‘hunkers’ which means haunches and ‘punchy’ which means short-legged. The balance of good and evil in church design reminds worshippers of the narrow path they tread. For every good and benign creature such as a saint or an animal to signify purity, there is typically an opposite to bring out the fear of evil.