an exercise in miscellany

Archive for the ‘words & phrases’ Category


In science & nature, words & phrases on August 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm

perihelionAll planets, comets and asteroids in our solar system have approximately elliptical (a kind of non-circular) orbits (any single revolution of a body around the sun is only approximately elliptical, because the phenomenon known as precession of the perihelion prevents the orbit from being a simple closed curve such as an ellipse). Thus, they all have a closest and a farthest point from the sun: a perihelion and an aphelion.

via Perihelion

Value of Life

In wild card, words & phrases on August 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Cost_Value_MatrixIn industrial nations, the justice system considers a human life “priceless”, thus making illegal any form of slavery; i.e., humans cannot be bought for any price. However, with a limited supply of resources or infrastructural capital (e.g. ambulances), or skill at hand, it is impossible to save every life, so some trade-off must be made. Also, this argumentation neglects the statistical context of the term. It is not commonly attached to lives of individuals or used to compare the value of one person’s life relative to another person’s. It is mainly used in circumstances of saving lives as opposed to taking lives or “producing” lives.

via Value of life 


In science & nature, wild card, words & phrases on August 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

ZOTzot v.

1.  to strike or destroy, especially with lightning or other beam or jolt of energy.

2.  slang usage on the Internet, to remove, censor, or ban material or participants.

3.  the cartoon strip “B.C.” has used “zot” for years as the noise the aardvark makes when “zotting” an insect or similar critter.

via zot definition


In history, words & phrases on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

lens1379332_1316175617epistemology0Epistemology (Greek ἐπιστήμη – epistēmē, meaning “knowledge, understanding”, and λόγος logos, meaning “study of”) is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge and is also referred to as “theory of knowledge”. It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired, and the extent to which any given subject or entity can be known.

Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification.

The term “epistemology” was introduced by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808–1864).

via Epistemology

How to Speak Gibberish

In wild card, words & phrases on June 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

550px-Speak-Gibberish-Step-2You might really think that gibberish is secret blabber talk or something a 2-month-old infant might say, but in reality it is a “secret language” used by some either for secrecy or just for kicks. If you want to join the conversation, listen up.

via How to Speak Gibberish

Spun Out of Whole Cloth

In wild card, words & phrases on April 28, 2013 at 8:47 am
6a013487e6f7ad970c015435660b00970c-800wiThe meaning of the phrase “made out of whole cloth” appears to have begun to change in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. The The Oxford English Dictionary labels the falsehood sense “U.S. colloquial slang”, and provides a citation from 1843: “Isn’t this entire story… made out of whole cloth?” The change of meaning may have arisen from deceptive trade practices. Charles Earle Funk suggests that 19th-century tailors advertising whole cloth may really have been using patched cloth or cloth that was falsely stretched to appear to be full-width.  Alternatively, the modern figurative meaning of “whole cloth” may depend on a lie’s having sprung whole ex nihilo, having no connection with existing facts. All-newness distinguishes garments and lies made out of whole cloth. This is a positive characteristic for clothes, but not for the average tissue of lies and deception.
 “whole cloth”


In people, science & nature, wild card, words & phrases on February 15, 2013 at 9:57 am

lamEgregore (also egregor) is an occult concept representing a “thoughtform” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. The symbiotic relationship between an egregore and its group has been compared to the more recent, non-occult concepts of the corporation (as a legal entity) and the meme.

via Egregore


In art, history, words & phrases on February 15, 2013 at 9:56 am

aristotle2In literature, a conceit is an extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. By juxtaposing, usurping and manipulating images and ideas in surprising ways, a conceit invites the reader into a more sophisticated understanding of an object of comparison. Extended conceits in English are part of the poetic idiom of Mannerism, during the later sixteenth and early seventeenth century.

via Conceit


In science & nature, wild card, words & phrases on January 31, 2013 at 10:03 am

Harvey  (1950)

A thoughtform is a manifestation of mental energy, also known as a tulpa in Tibetan mysticism. Its concept is related to the Western philosophy and practice of magic.  Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially “thought forms” representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations.

via Thoughtform


In words & phrases on October 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

Animism (from Latin animasoul, life“) is a set of beliefs based on the existence of non-human “spiritual beings” or similar kinds of embodied principles.

Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment.Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology. Examples of Animism can be found in forms of Shinto, Serer, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Pantheism, Paganism, and Neopaganism.

via Animism