Archive for October 13th, 2010

October 13, 2010

Syringe Tide

Syringe Tide refers to a period during 1987-88 in New Jersey, where significant amounts of medical waste and raw garbage washed up onto a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of Atlantic Ocean beaches in Jersey Shore communities in Monmouth and Ocean counties. This forced the closing of all the beaches in the two counties. Officials traced the source of the waste to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island. New York City was required to pay $1 million for past pollution damages as well as pay for the clean up. Reparations were denied business owners on the Jersey Shore for revenues lost during the months of inactivity.

In response to syringe tides of 1987 and 1988, the participants in the New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) implemented an extremely successful effort, known as the Short-term Floatables Action Plan. The plan has been implemented since 1989. It curtails floatable debris wash-ups by intercepting slicks within the Harbor. With this plan, the extent of beach closures declined from over 70 miles (110 km) in 1988 to fewer than 4 miles (6.4 km) in 1989, and closures have remained at a low level since.

October 13, 2010

Patel Motel

patel motel

A sizable number of Indian immigrants to the United States came in the 1960s and 1970s, when the motel and hotel industry was booming. Many of them bought up undervalued and dilapidated properties and turned them into businesses, including motels and hotels. It was estimated in 2007 that 60% of the mid-sized motels and hotels in the United States were owned by Indians. Nearly one-third of those Indians were called Patel (and came from Gujarat), with the result that, apparently, many people believe Patel is an Indian word meaning ‘hotel.’

Patel, originally meaning ‘headman’ or ‘village chief”  derives from Patlikh, the record keeper named by princely rulers in Gujarat to keep track of the crops, pat being a parcel of land. Traditionally, the Patels or Patils assist the Talati or Kulkarni in collection or revenue in rural areas. Patels in northern Gujarat were very prominent farmers as well. Within the United Kingdom, it is the twenty-fourth most common surname nationally, and the third most common in the Greater London region. In the US, the surname ‘Patel’ ranks 174 among the top 500 list of most common last names.

October 13, 2010

Meme

Lolcat

A meme [meem] is a unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures. The British scientist Richard Dawkins coined the word  in ‘The Selfish Gene’ (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena.

Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, beliefs (notably religious beliefs), clothing fashion, and the technology of building arches. Meme-theorists contend that memes evolve by natural selection (in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution) through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance influencing an individual meme’s reproductive success. Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread, and (for better or for worse) mutate.

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October 13, 2010

Big Wave Surfing

big wave surfing

Big Wave Surfing is a discipline within surfing in which experienced surfers paddle into or are towed onto waves which are at least 20 feet (6.2 m) high, on surf boards known as ‘guns’ or ‘rhino chasers.’ Sizes of the board needed to successfully surf these waves vary by the size of the wave as well as the technique the surfer uses to reach the wave. A larger, longer board allows a rider to paddle fast enough to catch the wave and has the advantage of being more stable, but it also limits maneuverability and surfing speed.

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October 13, 2010

Controllerism

controllerism

Controllerism is the art and practice of using musical software controllers (e.g. MIDI) to build upon, mix, scratch, remix, effect, modify, or otherwise create music, usually by a DJ or ‘Controllerist.’ Often on the side of Virtuoso performance art, Controllerism is also a nod to traditional musicianship and instrumental-ism paired with modern computer sequencing software such as Ableton Live and Native Instruments Traktor.

However a working knowledge of Scale and Chords is not necessarily required as the performers typically focus their efforts more on sequencing events, software effect and instrument manipulations using buttons, knobs, faders, keys, foot switches and pedals than on instrumental notes played in real time. The term was coined by musician Matt Moldover in 2007 and popularized by DJ Ean Golden to describe the process while paying homage to and giving respect to the art of turntablism.

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October 13, 2010

Minuet

minuet

A minuet [min-yoo-et] is a social dance of French origin for two people, usually in 3/4 time. The word was adapted from Italian minuetto and French menuet, meaning small, pretty, delicate, a diminutive of menu, from the Latin minutus. At the period when it was most fashionable it was slow, soft, ceremonious, and graceful. The name is also given to a musical composition written in the same time and rhythm, but when not accompanying an actual dance the pace was quicker. As the other dances that made up a Baroque suite dropped out of use, the minuet retained its popularity.

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