Archive for January 29th, 2011

January 29, 2011

Duck Sauce

barbra streisand

Duck Sauce is an American-Canadian DJ duo consisting of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak. The duo are signed to Fool’s Gold Records.

In the summer of 2010, Duck Sauce released a track ‘Barbra Streisand,’ named for the singer of the same name. The track heavily samples Gotta Go Home by Boney M, which is based upon the original tune Hallo Bimmelbahn by the German band Nighttrain.

January 29, 2011

Lifelog

Lifeloggers wear cameras and recording devices in order to capture their entire lives, or large portions of their lives. The first person to capture continuous physiological data together with live first-person video from a wearable camera, was computer scientist Steve Mann in 1994. Mann continuously transmitted his everyday life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to his website for the world to watch.

January 29, 2011

Multiverse

The multiverse is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. The term was coined in 1895 by the American philosopher and psychologist William James. The various universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel universes.

The structure of the multiverse, the nature of each universe within it and the relationship between the various constituent universes, depend on the specific multiverse hypothesis considered. Multiverses have been hypothesized in cosmology, physics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy. In these contexts, parallel universes are also called ‘alternative universes,’ ‘quantum universes,’ and ‘alternative realities,’ among others.

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January 29, 2011

Metaverse

The Metaverse is our collective online shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional space that uses the metaphor of the real world. Stephenson coined the term to describe a virtual reality-based successor to the Internet.

January 29, 2011

Universe

universe timeline

The universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all physical matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. The term universe may be used in slightly different contextual senses, denoting such concepts as the cosmos, the world, or nature. Observations of earlier stages in the development of the universe, which can be seen at great distances, suggest that the universe has been governed by the same physical laws and constants throughout most of its extent and history.

The word universe derives from the Old French word Univers, which in turn derives from the Latin word universum. The Latin word was used by Cicero and later Latin authors in many of the same senses as the modern English word is used. The Latin word derives from the poetic contraction Unvorsum — first used by Roman poet, Lucretius, to describe ‘everything rolled into one,’ or ‘everything combined into one.’

January 29, 2011

Order of Magnitude

Allometry

timeline

The ‘magnitude’ of a mathematical object is its size: a property by which it can be larger or smaller than other objects of the same kind. If two things, an elephant and a rhinoceros for example, have the same order of magnitude they are similar in size. Conversely, an elephant is many orders of magnitude smaller than, for example, a planet.

Orders of magnitude are generally used to make very approximate comparisons. If two numbers differ by one order of magnitude, one is about ten times larger than the other. If they differ by two orders of magnitude, they differ by a factor of about 100. The ‘orders’ describe exponential change (by powers of ten).

January 29, 2011

Water Pipe Percolator

percolator

A water pipe percolator a sub chamber within the shaft of a water pipe (or other smoking instrument) that provides smoke-water interaction via heat exchange and dissolution. Percolators come in different forms, such as dome, pedestal, tree, and double helix. Depending upon the form of the percolator, it may or may not be diffused. However, the primary purpose of the percolator is to act as an extra chamber to filter smoke through water. As diffusers can mostly be found on male downstems, the only percolator that diffuses smoke is the tree percolator.

A diffuser works by utilizing a pressure differential between its bottom and top in/outlets. Reduced pressure at the outlet end is usually provided by the users lungs. The fluid at the inlet (i.e.: a smoke, vapor, and air mixture) is directed to the bottom of a column of water, where the pressure differential causes the inlet fluid to pass through the water in small pockets (liquid bubbles), and then rise to the outlet. In short, diffusers make smoke cooler, and rise evenly through the pipe, due to the water bubbles hitting the surface simultaneously.

January 29, 2011

Sleipnir

sleipnir

In Norse mythology, Sleipnir [sleyp-nir] (Old Norse for ‘the slipper’) is a gray colored, eight-legged horse that serves as Odin’s steed.

He is the child of the Trickster God Loki and a famed stallion named Svaðilfari, is described as the best of all horses, and is sometimes ridden to the location of Hel (the Norse underworld).

January 29, 2011

Valknut

The Valknut (Old Norse for ‘slain warriors knot’) is a symbol consisting of three interlocked triangles, and appears on various Germanic objects. A number of theories have been proposed for its significance. The name is an unattested modern invention used to describe the symbol, and was not used contemporaneously when the symbol was used. The Valknut has been compared to the three-horned symbol found on the 9th century Snoldelev runestone and may be related to it.

The symbol plays a role in modern Germanic Neopagan faiths, where numerous explanations and interpretations of the symbol are given. The Swedish paper manufacturer Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget uses a triquetra Valknut as their logo. The symbol has also been used by a number of neo-Nazi groups. It is also represented in the Deutscher Fußball-Bund logo for the Germany national football team.

January 29, 2011

Islamism

Islamism is a set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system; that modern Muslims must return to the roots of their religion, and unite politically. It is a controversial term and definitions sometimes vary. Leading Islamist thinkers emphasized the enforcement of sharia (Islamic law) on Muslims; of pan-Islamic political unity; and of the elimination of non-Muslim, particularly western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences in the Muslim world, which they believe to be incompatible with Islam.

Some observers suggest Islamism’s tenets are less strict and can be defined as a form of identity politics or support for Muslim authenticity, broader regionalism, and revivalism. Still others define it as an Islamic militant, anti-democratic movement, bearing a holistic vision of Islam whose final aim is the restoration of the ‘caliphate.’ Many described as ‘Islamists’ disfavor the term, and claim their political beliefs and goals are simply an expression of Islamic religious belief. Similarly, some scholars favor the term activist ‘Political Islam’ instead.