Archive for February 12th, 2011

February 12, 2011

Chitlin’ Circuit

cotton club

howard theater

The Chitlin’ Circuit was the collective name given to the string of performance venues throughout the eastern and southern United States that were safe and acceptable for African American musicians, comedians, and other entertainers to perform during the age of racial segregation in the United States (from at least the late 19th century through the 1960s). The name derives from the soul food item chitterlings (stewed pig intestines).

February 12, 2011

Borscht Belt


jackie mason

Borscht Belt, or Jewish Alps, is a colloquial term for the mostly defunct summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York that were a popular vacation spot for New York City Jews from the 1920s through the 1960s. The name comes from borscht, a beet soup that is popular in many Central and Eastern European countries and was brought from these regions by Ashkenazi Jewish and Slavic immigrants to the United States, where it remains a popular dish in these ethnic communities as well.

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February 12, 2011

Jell-O Belt

jello belt

The Mormon Corridor, also known as the Jell-O Belt, is a term for the areas of Western North America that were settled between 1850 and approximately 1890 by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), who are commonly known as Mormons. The region’s moniker refers to the Mormon affinity for Jell-O. In support of this image, Jell-O was designated as Utah’s official state snack food in 2001 Utah has been the highest per capita consumer of Jell-O for many years.

February 12, 2011


Paranasal sinuses are air-filled spaces, communicating with the nasal cavity, within the bones of the skull and face. Humans possess a number of paranasal sinuses, divided into subgroups that are named according to the bones within which the sinuses lie. Paranasal sinuses occur in a variety of animals (including most mammals, birds, non-avian dinosaurs, and crocodilians). The biological role of the sinuses is debated, but a number of possible functions have been proposed such as decreasing the relative weight of the front of the skull, and especially the bones of the face; increasing resonance of the voice; and providing a buffer against blows to the face.

It has also been suggested they insulate sensitive structures like dental roots and eyes from rapid temperature fluctuations in the nasal cavity, and also serve to humidify and heat inhaled air. The paranasal sinuses are joined to the nasal cavity via small orifices called ostia. These become blocked easily by allergic inflammation, or by swelling in the nasal lining which occurs with a cold. If this happens, normal drainage of mucus within the sinuses is disrupted, and sinusitis may occur. These conditions may be treated with drugs such as pseudoephedrine, which causes vasoconstriction in the sinuses, reducing inflammation, by traditional techniques of nasal irrigation, or by corticosteroid.

February 12, 2011

Neti Pot

neti pot

A neti pot is a device used for irrigating the nasal passages. Typically it has a spout attached near the bottom, sometimes with a handle on the opposite side. Neti pots flush out the nasal cavities by using gravity to draw the flow of saline. Some modern variants available from pharmacies are made of flexible plastic and can be compressed to exert additional pressure. In recent years alternative strategies have been developed, including bulb syringes in which the flow is created by squeezing a bulb and more advanced ‘pulsatile devices’ which mechanically pump the saline.

The use of a neti pot requires mixing up a saline solution that will be poured through the nasal passages. A typical saline solution is a mixture of around 500 ml of water with 5 g of salt. Sodium bicarbonate is sometimes added. The neti pot used with a saline solution has been shown to be an effective treatment for hay fever, sinusitis, and other nasal conditions. The origins of nasal irrigation are understood to be in the ancient Hindu practice of Ayurveda whose roots are traced to the Vedas.

February 12, 2011

Magnetic Implants

magnetic implants

Magnetic implants are an experimental process in which small magnets are placed under the skin, allowing objects to be magnetically attached to the body, and also enables the wearer to sense electromagnetic fields. They have been used for several years in dentistry and re-constructive surgery, but their use by the body modification community is recent. Having magnets implanted under the skin allows the wearer to attach magnetic items to the outside of the skin, and also enables the wearer to sense electromagnetic fields.

Samppa, a a body modification artist, implanted magnets in himself and close friends in the late 1990’s, but they weren’t very strong and were only capable of picking up small items. Jesse Jarrell and Steve Haworth developed small and powerful neodymium magnets encapsulated in silicone. The procedure is still experimental, and complications are common, including rupturing of the silicone shell.

February 12, 2011

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was a gathering which took place on October 30, 2010 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. Led by Jon Stewart and an in-character Stephen Colbert. The rally drew about 215,000 people, according to aerial photography analysis, and was a combination of what initially were announced as separate events: Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity and Colbert’s counterpart, the March to Keep Fear Alive.

Its stated purpose was to provide a venue for attendees to be heard above what Stewart describes as the more vocal and extreme 15–20% of Americans who ‘control the conversation’ of United States politics. News reports cast the rally as a spoof of Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally and Al Sharpton’s Reclaim the Dream rally, while Stewart said it was not.

February 12, 2011

Geneva Drive

geneva drive

The Geneva drive is a gear mechanism that translates a continuous rotation into an intermittent rotary motion. The rotating drive wheel has a pin that reaches into a slot of the driven wheel advancing it by one step. The drive wheel also has a raised circular blocking disc that locks the driven wheel in position between steps. The name derives from the device’s earliest application in mechanical watches, Switzerland and Geneva being an important center of watchmaking. The geneva drive is also commonly called a Maltese cross mechanism due to the visual resemblance.

February 12, 2011

Script Kiddie

A script kiddie or skiddie, is a derogatory term used to describe those who use scripts or programs developed by others to attack computer systems and networks and deface websites. Script kiddies have at their disposal a large number of effective, easily downloadable malicious programs capable of breaching computers and networks.

They vandalize websites both for the thrill of it and to increase their reputation among their peers, but they lack, or are only developing, coding skills sufficient to understand the effects and side effects of their work. As a result, they leave significant traces which lead to their detection, or directly attack companies which have detection and countermeasures already in place.

February 12, 2011

Catastrophe Bond


Catastrophe bonds (also known as cat bonds) are risk-linked securities that transfer a specified set of risks from a sponsor to investors. They were created and first used in the mid-1990s in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and the Northridge earthquake. These bonds are inherently risky, generally BB, and are multiyear deals. If no catastrophe occurred, the insurance company would pay a coupon to the investors, who made a healthy return.

If a catastrophe did occur, then the principle would be forgiven and the insurance company would use this money to pay their claimholders. For example, if an insurer has built up a portfolio of risks by insuring properties in Florida, then it might wish to pass some of this risk on so that it can remain solvent after a large hurricane. It could simply purchase traditional catastrophe reinsurance, which would pass the risk on to reinsurers. Or it could sponsor a cat bond, which would pass the risk on to investors.

February 12, 2011

Valsalva Maneuver

The Valsalva maneuver is performed by moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway, usually done by closing one’s mouth and pinching one’s nose shut. Variations of the maneuver can be used either in medical examination as a test of cardiac function and autonomic nervous control of the heart, or to ‘clear’ the ears and sinuses (that is, to equalize pressure between them) when ambient pressure changes, as in diving, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or aviation.

The technique is named after Antonio Maria Valsalva, the 17th Century physician and anatomist from Bologna, whose principal scientific interest was the human ear. He described the Eustachian tube and the maneuver to test its patency (openness). He also described the use of this maneuver to expel pus from the middle ear. A modified version is done by expiring against a closed glottis. This will elicit the cardiovascular responses described below but will not force air into the Eustachian tubes.