Archive for November 2nd, 2010

November 2, 2010

Putumayo

Putumayo

Putumayo [poo-too-mah-yaw] World Music is a New York City based record label, specializing in compilations of music from various nations, regions or musical styles which may be classified as world music. Every release features the distinctive art of English artist Nicola Heindl. The label was established in 1993 and grew out of the Putumayo clothing company, founded by Dan Storper in 1975 and sold in 1997. The name of the company comes from the Putumayo river which delineates the border between Peru and Colombia.

The company claims to be committed to helping the communities in the countries where the music they profit from originates, resulting in donations to non-profit organizations including Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Make-A-Wish and Amnesty International. However, limited information about the company’s philanthropic activities is available on Putumayo’s official website, and the company does not publish its financial information.

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November 2, 2010

Brothel Creepers

brothel creeper

Creepers or brothel creepers are a type of shoe. They found their beginnings in the years following World War II, as soldiers based in the deserts in North Africa wore suede boots with hardwearing crepe soles because of the climate and environment. Having left the army, many of these ex-soldiers found their way to the nightspots of London wearing the same crepe soled shoes. Those became known as Brothel Creepers. 

In the late 1950s, these shoes were appropriated by the Teddy Boys subculture in the UK along with drainpipe trousers, draped jackets, bolo ties, quiff and pompadour haircuts, and velvet or electric blue clothes. The shoe has since been adopted by other subcultures such as ska, punk, new wavers, psychobilly, greasers, goth, and Japanese Visual Kei.

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November 2, 2010

Gobstopper

Everlasting Gobstopper

Gobstoppers, also known as jawbreakers, are a type of hard sweet of candy. They are usually round, and range from about 1 cm to 8 cm in diameter, and are traditionally very hard. The term gobstopper derives from ‘gob’, which is United Kingdom/Ireland slang for mouth.

Gobstoppers usually consist of several layers, each layer dissolving to reveal a different colored (and sometimes different flavored) layer, before dissolving completely. Gobstoppers are sucked or licked, being too hard to bite without risking dental damage (hence the the term ‘jawbreaker’). They have been sold in traditional sweet shops for at least a century, often sold by weight from jars.

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November 2, 2010

Yoga Piracy

yoga piracy

Yoga piracy refers to the practice of claiming copyrights on yoga postures and techniques found in ancient treatises originating within India by persons residing in foreign countries, often of other nationalities. The ongoing debate centers around those who profit by creating legally proprietary systems of yoga in countries other than India using information generally felt by Indians to be within the public domain, if not proprietary traditional knowledge.

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November 2, 2010

Pantheism

the divine

Pantheism [pan-thee-iz-uhm] is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature.

The term ‘pantheist’ — from which the word ‘Pantheism’ was derived — was purportedly first used in English by Irish writer John Toland in his 1705 work, ‘Socinianism Truly Stated, by a pantheist.’ However, many earlier writers, schools of philosophy, and religious movements expressed pantheistic ideas such as Heraclitus and Anaximander, and the early Taoism of Laozi and Zhuangzi is also pantheistic.

November 2, 2010

Moai

moai

Moai [moh-aye] are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Easter Island, Chile between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island’s perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors.

The 887 statues’ production and transportation is considered a remarkable creative and physical feat. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 metres (33 ft) high and weighed 75 tons; the heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons; and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 metres (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons.

November 2, 2010

Copyleft

copyleft

Copyleft is a play on the word copyright to describe the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work.

In other words, copyleft is a general method for making a program (or other work) free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well. It is a a form of licensing and can be used to maintain copyright conditions for works such as computer software, documents, music and art.

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November 2, 2010

Public Domain

Works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all, if the intellectual property rights have expired, and/or if the intellectual property rights are forfeited. Examples include the English language, the formulae of Newtonian physics, as well as the works of Shakespeare and the patents over powered flight.

Public domain is a concept of intellectual property law, which includes copyright, patents and trademarks, and refers to works, ideas, and information which are intangible to private ownership and/or which are available for use by members of the public.

November 2, 2010

Luxottica

Luxottica is the world’s largest eyewear company. Its best known brands include Ray-Ban, Oliver Peoples, Revo, and Oakley. It also makes sunglasses and prescription frames for a multitude of designer brands such as Chanel and Prada, whose designs and trademarks are used under license. Leonardo Del Vecchio started the company in 1961, in Agordo north of Venice, Italy; today the company is headquartered in Milan. Its prime competitor is Safilo, which was founded in 1939 also in northern Italy. Del Vecchio began his career as the apprentice to a tool and die maker in Milan, but decided to turn his metalworking skills to making spectacle parts. So in 1961 he moved to Agordo in the province of Belluno, which is home to most of the Italian eyewear industry.

In 1967 he started selling complete eyeglass frames under the Luxottica brand. Convinced of the need for vertical integration, in 1974 he acquired Scarrone, a distribution company. The company listed in New York in 1990, and in Milan in December 2000, joining the MIB-30 (now S&P/MIB) index in September 2003. The listing enhanced the company’s ability to acquire other brands, starting with Italian brand Vogue in 1990, Persol and US Shoe Corporation (LensCrafters) in 1995, Ray-Ban in 1999 and Sunglass Hut, Inc. in 2001. They went looking for more retail companies, acquiring Sydney-based OPSM in 2003, Pearle Vision in 2004, Surfeyes in 2006, and Cole National in 2004. Most recently, it acquired Oakley in a US$2.1bn deal in November 2007.

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November 2, 2010

Bus Factor

In software development, a software project’s bus factor is an irreverent measurement of concentration of information in a single person, or very few people. The bus factor is the total number of key developers who would need to be incapacitated, (as by getting hit by a bus) to send the project into such disarray that it would not be able to proceed. Commentators have noted that the vanilla Linux kernel tree’s bus factor may be as low as one: the project’s founder and chief architect, Linus Torvalds.