Archive for March 3rd, 2011

March 3, 2011



Faxlore refers to humorous texts, folk poetry, folk art, and urban legends that are circulated, not by word of mouth, but by fax machine. ‘Xeroxlore’ or ‘photocopylore’ is similar material circulated by photocopying. Cartoons and jokes often circulate as faxlore; the poor graphic quality becoming worse with each retransmission.

Because faxlore and xeroxlore is the (mis)appropriation of technology owned by the employer, it is often mildly subversive of the workplace and its values.

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March 3, 2011



Crepuscular [kri-puhs-kyuh-ler] refers to animals that are primarily active during dawn and dusk. The term is derived from the Latin word ‘crepusculum,’ meaning ‘twilight.’  Crepuscular animals may also be active on a bright moonlit night. Some species are active only in the dawn (matutinal) or only in the dusk (vespertine).  Many animals that are casually described as nocturnal are in fact crepuscular, including most cats. Others crepuscular species include include dogs, rabbits, pigs, rats, deer, skunks, and wombats. Many moths, beetles, flies, and other insects are crepuscular as well.

The patterns of activity are thought to be an antipredator adaptation. Many predators forage most intensely at night, while others are active at mid-day and see best in full sun. Thus the crepuscular habit may reduce predation. Some species have different habits in the absence of predators. For example, the Short-eared Owl is crepuscular on those of the Galápagos Islands that have buzzard species, but diurnal on those without. Additionally, in hot areas, it may be a way of avoiding thermal stress while capitalizing on available light.

March 3, 2011




Chronotype is an attribute of animals, including human beings, reflecting at what time of the day their physical functions (hormone level, body temperature, cognitive faculties, eating and sleeping) are active. This phenomenon is commonly reduced to sleeping habits only, referring to people as ‘larks’ and ‘owls’ where morning people wake up early and are most alert in the first part of the day, and evening people are most alert in the late evening hours and prefer to go to bed late.

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March 3, 2011




Lim Yo-Hwan (b. 1980) of South Korea, known by the pseudonym Boxer, is one of the most successful players of the real-time strategy computer game StarCraft to date. Dubbed The Emperor by his fans, he is the most popular Starcraft player with a fan club of more than 1,000,000 members.

Lim has a record of 547 wins and 416 losses (56.80%) in his professional career. He is one of the highest-paid professional gamers, with annual earnings that exceed $300,000 US Dollars and endorsement contracts that bring in an additional $90,000 per year.

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March 3, 2011



Lee Jae-Dong (b. 1990), nicknamed The Tyrant, is a South Korean professional StarCraft player representing team Hwaseung Oz. He is currently ranked second in the world by the Korean E-Sports Association and by ELO ranking (a rating system invented by Arpad Elo, used in chess to place players into categories – 2500 and above is grandmaster level). He is one of two players to achieve a winning percentage above 66% with a career record of 482 wins and 219 losses (68.76%).

The computer game StarCraft has an active professional competition circuit, particularly in South Korea. Two major television game channels, Ongamenet and MBCGame, each run a league viewed by millions of fans. Starting in about 2002, pro-gamers started to become organized into teams, sponsored by large South Korean companies like Samsung and SK Telecom. StarCraft is also the most popular computer game competition during the annual World Cyber Games thanks to its Korean fanbase, and it is among the world’s largest computer and video game competitions in terms of prize money, global coverage and participants.

March 3, 2011

The King of Kong


The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a 2007 American documentary film that follows Steve Wiebe as he tries to take the world high score for the arcade game Donkey Kong from reigning champion Billy Mitchell. The film premiered at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival.

A scripted film adaptation is already in the works. Director Seth Gordon has said that the movie might be a sequel instead of a remake, telling the story of how the documentary changed both men’s lives, as well as their continuing rivalry.

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March 3, 2011

Electronic Sports


Electronic Sports, abbreviated e-Sports is used as a general term to describe the play of video games competitively. Other terms include competitive gaming, professional gaming, cybersports and V-Sports. Games that are played as electronic sports normally belong to the real-time strategy (RTS), fighting, first-person shooter (FPS), massively-multiplayer online (MMOG), and racing genres. They are played competitively at amateur, semi-professional and professional levels including in leagues and tournaments.

Recently, the massively-multiplayer online roleplaying (MMORPG) subgenre in particular has generated online tournaments. The most notable is perhaps World of Warcraft, which holds annual leagues with cash prizes for their tournaments. The prizes for 2010 World of Warcraft Global Arena totaled over US$200,000, with a first prize of $75,000.

March 3, 2011



Frag is a video game term originating from the word fragging, a term indicating to kill an unpopular superior officer with a fragmentation grenade. A frag is roughly equivalent to ‘kill,’ with the typical main difference that the player being ‘”fragged’ can instantly respawn (play again) in most games, i.e. the ‘kill’ is only temporary. In games it is mainly used as a kill count and score system. The term is used in various first-person shooter games like Quake by software developer Id.

March 3, 2011



fragmentation grenade

In the U.S. military, fragging refers to the act of attacking a superior officer in one’s chain of command with the intent to kill that officer. The term originated during the Vietnam War and was most commonly used to mean the assassination of an unpopular officer of one’s own fighting unit. Killing was often effected by means of a fragmentation grenade, hence the term.

The most common motive for choosing a fragmentation grenade or similar device is a perpetrator’s desire to avoid identification and the associated consequences at either the individual level (e.g., punishment by one’s superiors) or the collective level (e.g., dishonor brought to one’s unit): where a grenade is thrown in the heat of battle, soldiers can claim that the grenade landed too close to the person they ‘accidentally’ killed, that another member of the unit threw the grenade, or that an enemy soldier threw it back.

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March 3, 2011

Peak Oil

peak oil dino

Peak oil is the idea that at some point a country, or the world, will be producing the most oil it can ever produce at one time. After this point, less oil will be produced and therefore people will have to use less oil because it will cost more money. The first person to come up with this idea was M.K. Hubbert, a U.S. geoscientist who worked at Shell, who said that a graph of oil production looks like a curve (which we now call Hubbert’s Curve).

Hubbert drew a graph in 1956 that predicted that the United States would reach its peak oil in the early 1970s, and the United States did indeed reach its peak oil in the early 1970s. It is unclear as to when the world’s peak oil will happen, though most scientists agree that it was reached in the early 2000s or will be reached before 2020. For example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that peak oil may have happened in 2006.

March 3, 2011



Hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking‘) is a process that results in the creation of fractures in rocks. The most important industrial use is in stimulating oil and gas wells, where hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 60 years. The fracturing is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations to increase the rate and ultimate recovery of oil and natural gas.

Considerable controversy surrounds the current implementation of hydraulic fracturing technology in the United States. Environmental safety and health concerns have emerged and are being debated at the state and national levels. Natural hydraulic fractures include volcanic dikes, sills and fracturing by ice as in frost weathering. Man-made fractures are typically maintained after the injection by introducing a proppant, a material, such as grains of sand, ceramic, or other particulates, that prevent the fractures from closing when the injection is stopped.