Archive for November 22nd, 2010

November 22, 2010

Gymkhana

Gymkhana is a type of motorsport involving complex tracks and obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels. The driver must maneuver through a predetermined course performing many different driving techniques. The name gymkhana derives from an equestrian event consisting of speed pattern racing and timed games for riders on horses.

Gymkhana requires drivers to perform reversals, 180 degree spins, 360 degree spins, parking boxes, figure 8s and other advanced skills. Drifting is also encouraged where helpful or necessary. Gymkhana courses typically involve only the use of first and second gear, whereas autotesting in the UK and Ireland add the use of reverse gear. A gymkhana course will typically be from 0:45 to 1:30 in length. The driver will use many techniques to effectively navigate a course. Handbrake technique, drifting and sliding and Left-foot braking are all necessary skills for gymkhana.

November 22, 2010

Principia

Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Latin for ‘Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,’ often called the Principia, is a work in three books by Sir Isaac Newton, first published in 1687. The Principia states Newton’s laws of motion, forming the foundation of classical mechanics, also Newton’s law of universal gravitation, and a derivation of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion (which Kepler first obtained empirically). The Principia is regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science.

In formulating his physical theories, Newton developed and used mathematical methods now included in the field of calculus. But the language of calculus as we know it was largely absent from the Principia. In a revised conclusion to the Principia (see General Scholium), Newton used his expression that became famous, Hypotheses non fingo (‘I contrive no hypotheses’). It was his answer to those who had publicly challenged him to give an explanation for the causes of gravity rather than just the mathematical principles of kinematics. Along with Occam’s Razor, the term can be seen as a departure from the Aristotelian hypothetic-deductive method of natural philosophy.

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November 22, 2010

Ka’ak

Ka’ak is the Arabic word for ‘cake,’ and can refer to several different types of baked goods produced throughout the Arab world and the Near East. A common type of ka’ak is a bread consumed throughout the Near East that is made in a large ring-shape and is covered with sesame seeds. Fermented chickpeas (known as hummus in Arabic and Hebrew) are used as a leavening agent. Widely sold by street vendors, it is usually eaten as a snack or for breakfast with za’atar. In East Jerusalem, it’s sometimes served alongside oven-baked eggs and falafel. Palestinians consider Jerusalem ka’ak to be a unique specialty good, and those from the city or visiting there often buy several loaves to give as gifts.

In Lebanon, ka’ak bread rings are made of sweet dough rolled into ropes and formed into rings and topped with sesame seeds. Instead of za’atar, after baking, it is glazed with milk and sugar and then dried. Tunisian Jews also make a slightly sweet-and-salty version of the pastry, but don’t use a yeast-based dough. In Egypt, usually at wedding parties, a variation made with almonds, known as kahk bi loz, is served.

November 22, 2010

Powerbocking

Powerbocking is the act of jumping and running with spring-loaded stilts. For some it is an extreme sport, for others it is a form of exercise or even a means of artistic expression. The use of the stilts to perform extreme jumping, running and acrobatics is known as ‘Bocking’ or ‘PowerBocking’ after German inventor, Alexander Boeck. The stilts themselves are often referred to generically as bocks or powerbocks, or by their brand name (e.g. Powerskips, Velocity Stilts, Powerriser, 7 League Boots, Flying Locust, and Skyrunner).

Each boot consists of a foot-plate with snowboard type bindings, rubber foot pad which is also commonly called a hoof, and a fiberglass leaf spring. Using only their weight, and few movements, the user is generally able to jump 3–5 ft off the ground and run up to 20 mph. They also give the ability to take up to 9-foot strides.

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November 22, 2010

K-Hole

At sufficiently high doses of the drug ketamine (half a gram or more), it is common to experience a ‘K-hole.’ This is a slang term for a state of dissociation from the body which may mimic the phenomenology of schizophrenia. Experience of the K-hole may include distortions in bodily awareness, such as the feeling that one’s body is being tugged, or is gliding on silk, flying, or has grown very large or distended. Users have reported the sensation of their soul leaving their human body.

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November 22, 2010

Tribadism [trib-uh-diz-uhm] (also known as tribbing or scissoring) is a form of non-penetrative sex in which a woman rubs her vulva against her partner’s body for sexual stimulation. This may involve female-to-female genital contact or a female rubbing her vulva against her partner’s thigh, arm, palm or stomach, and does not always reflect a scissoring motion (a missionary position may also be acted upon); the term can also refer to a masturbation technique in which a woman rubs her vulva against an inanimate object such as a bolster, in an effort to achieve orgasm.

In the sexuality of the ancient Romans, a tribas (a Greek loan-word) was a woman or hermaphrodite who actively penetrated another woman. Until the 20th century, the term was used to refer to lesbian sexual practices in general. Therefore, lesbians were occasionally called tribades. This position is not exclusive to humans. Female bonobo monkeys, found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also engage in female-female genital sex, usually known as GG rubbing (genito-genital).

November 22, 2010

Theosophy

Theosophy [thee-os-uh-fee] is a doctrine of religious philosophy and mysticism that holds that all religions are attempts by the ‘Spiritual Hierarchy’ to help humanity in evolving to greater perfection, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth. The founding members, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge, established the Theosophical Society in New York City in 1875. The present-day New Age movement is to a considerable extent based on the teachings of Blavatsky. The three declared objectives of the original Theosophical Society were to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color; to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science; and to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.

Theosophical writings propose that human civilizations, like all other parts of the universe, develop cyclically through seven stages. Blavatsky posited that humanity evolves through a series of seven ‘Root Races.’ In the first age, humans were pure spirit; in the second age, they were sexless beings inhabiting the now lost continent of Hyperborea; in the third age Lemurians were endowed with human consciousness and sexual reproduction. Modern humans finally developed on the continent of Atlantis and since Atlantis was the nadir of the cycle, the present fifth age is a time of reawakening humanity’s psychic gifts.

November 22, 2010

Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli [skap-uh-rel-ee] (1890 — 1973) was an Italian fashion designer. Along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion in the early 20th century. Starting with knitwear, Schiaparelli’s designs were heavily influenced by surrealists like her collaborators Salvador Dalí and Alberto Giacometti. Her clients included the heiress Daisy Fellowes and actress Mae West. Schiaparelli did not adapt to the changes in fashion following World War II and her business closed in 1954.