an exercise in miscellany

Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

Operation Ajax

In operations and projects on August 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état (known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup) was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States under the name TPAJAX Project. The coup saw the transition of Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi from a constitutional monarch to an authoritarian one who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979.

via 1953 Iranian coup d’état 

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Esperanto

In technology & innovatons, words & phrases on August 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto (Esperanto translates as ‘one who hopes’), the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, theUnua Libro, in 1887. Zamenhof’s goal was to create an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding between people with different regional and/or national languages.

via Esperanto

Ophiuchus

In science & nature on August 27, 2011 at 11:01 am

Ophiuchus is a large constellation located around the celestial equator. Its name is from the Greek Ὀφιοῦχος “serpent-bearer”, and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It was formerly referred to as Serpentarius.

via Ophiuchus

Galactic Center

In places, science & nature on August 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

The Galactic Center is the rotational center of the Milky Way galaxy. It is located at a distance of 8.33±0.35 kpc (~27,000±1,000 ly) from the Earth in the direction of the constellations SagittariusOphiuchus, and Scorpius where the Milky Way appears brightest. It is believed that there is a supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center of the Milky Way.

via Galactic Center 

Nemesis

In science & nature, wild card on August 24, 2011 at 9:17 am

Nemesis is a hypothetical hard-to-detect red dwarf star, white dwarf star or brown dwarf, orbiting the Sun at a distance of about 50,000 to 100,000 AU (about 0.8-1.5 light-years), somewhat beyond the Oort cloud.This star was originally postulated to exist as part of a hypothesis to explain a perceived cycle of mass extinctions in the geological record, which seem to occur once every 26 million years or so. In addition, observations by astronomers of the sharp edges of Oort clouds, similar to that of the Solar System, around various binary (double) star systems, in contrast to the diffuse edges of the Oort clouds around single-star systems, has prompted some scientists to postulate that a dwarf star may be co-orbiting the Sun. Counter-theories also exist that other forces (like the angular effect of the galactic gravity plane) may be the cause of the sharp-edged Oort cloud pattern around the Sun. To date the issue remains unsettled in the scientific community.

via Nemesis (hypothetical star)

Nibiru

In science & nature on August 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm


Nibiru (also transliterated NeberuNebiru) is a term in the Akkadian language, translating to “crossing” or “point of transition”, especially of rivers, i.e. river crossings or ferry-boats. In Babylonian astronomynibiru (in cuneiform spelled dné-bé-ru or MULni-bi-rum) is a term of the highest point of the ecliptic, i.e. the point of summer solstice, and its associated constellation. The establishment of the nibiru point is described in tablet 5 of the creation epic Enûma Eliš

via Nibiru

Ouija Board

In wild card on August 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm

The Ouija board  also known as a spirit/fire key board or talking board, is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, the words ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, and other symbols and words are sometimes also added to help personalize the board. It is a registered trademark of Hasbro Inc.“, which markets and distributes the Ouija Board as part of its line of board games. It uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) or movable indicator to indicate the spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a séance. The fingers of the séance participants are placed on the planchette, which then moves about the board to spell out words or become physically manifested. It has become a trademark that is often used generically to refer to any talking board.

via Ouija

Herbert W. Armstrong

In people on August 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Herbert W. Armstrong (31 July 1892 – 16 January 1986) founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College (later Ambassador University) in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon. Armstrong preached an eclectic set of theological doctrines and teachings that he claimed came directly from the Bible.  These theological doctrines and teachings have been referred to as Armstrongism. His teachings included the interpretation of biblical prophecy in light of British Israelism, and required observance of parts of the covenant Law including seventh-day Sabbath, dietary prohibitions, and the covenant law “Holy Days“. Armstrong proclaimed that world events during his lifespan loomed various Biblical prophecies, and that he was called by God as an ‘Apostle‘ and end-time ‘Elijah‘ to proclaim the Gospel of God‘s Kingdom to the World before the return of Jesus Christ.

via Herbert W. Armstrong

Moore’s law

In technology & innovatons on August 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.  This trend has continued for more than half a century and is expected to continue until 2015 or 2020 or later.
The capabilities of many digital electronic devices are strongly linked to Moore’s law: processing speed, memory capacity, sensors and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras.  All of these are improving at (roughly) exponential rates as well (see Other formulations and similar laws). This exponential improvement has dramatically enhanced the impact of digital electronics in nearly every segment of the world economy.  Moore’s law describes a driving force of technological and social change in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

via Moore’s law

Invisible Hand

In money, words & phrases on August 6, 2011 at 7:40 am

In economics, the invisible hand, also known as invisible hand of the market, is the term economists use to describe the self-regulating nature of the marketplace. This is a metaphor first coined by the economist Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and used a total of three times in his writings. For Smith, the invisible hand was created by the conjunction of the forces of self-interest, competition, and supply and demand, which he noted as being capable of allocating resources in society. This is the founding justification for the Austrian laissez-faire economic philosophy

via Invisible hand