an exercise in miscellany

Posts Tagged ‘Random’

Operation Popeye

In history, wild card on September 10, 2013 at 12:39 am

popeye-the-sailor-coloring-page07-source_7glOperation Popeye (Project Popeye/Motorpool/Intermediary-Compatriot) was a US military cloud seeding operation (running from March 20, 1967 until July 5, 1972) during the Vietnam war to extend the monsoon season over Laos, specifically areas of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The operation seeded clouds with silver iodide, resulting in the targeted areas seeing an extension of the monsoon period an average of 30 to 45 days. As the continuous rainfall slowed down the truck traffic, it was considered relatively successful. The 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron carried out the operation to “make mud, not war.”

via Operation Popeye

Operation Mountain Guardian

In operations and projects on September 10, 2013 at 12:39 am

omgMore than 100 agencies from several different jurisdictions took part in a terrorism attack drill, the largest ever performed in Denver. The mock terror drill, Operation Mountain Guardian, simulated four coordinated terrorist attacks in the Denver metro area.

via Operation Mountain Guardian

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 

Zot

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

East India Company

In history, technology & innovatons on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

eastindia1aThe East India Company (also known as the East India Trading Company, English East India Company, and after the Treaty of Union, the British East India Company) was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The Company was granted an English Royal Charter, under the name Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies, by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies, the largest of which was the Dutch East India Company. After a rival English company challenged its monopoly in the late 17th century, the two companies were merged in 1708 to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, commonly styled the Honorable East India Company, and abbreviated, HEIC; the Company was colloquially referred to as John Company, and in India as Company Bahadur (Hindustani bahādur, “brave”/”authority”).

via East India Company

Epistemology

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

Super-Sargasso Sea

In people, wild card on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

bermuda_sargassoThe Super-Sargasso is the dimension into which lost things go, whose existence was proposed by Charles Hoy Fort, writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. It may be thought of as the spontaneous, anomalous teleportation of an object into another dimension. Fort did not actually believe that it existed but, in the vein of the ancient Greek skeptics, he wished only to present a theory that was just as plausible as those in the mainstream. The name alludes to the Sargasso Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, which lies next to the Bermuda Triangle.

via Super-Sargasso Sea

Operation Argus

In history, operations and projects, wild card on June 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

FishbowlrocketsOperation Argus was a series of nuclear weapons tests and missile tests secretly conducted during August and September 1958 over the South Atlantic Ocean by the United States Defense Nuclear Agency, in conjunction with the Explorer 4 space mission. Operation Argus was conducted between the nuclear test series Operation Hardtack I and Operation Hardtack II. Contractors from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as well as a few personnel and contractors from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission were on hand as well. The time frame for Argus was substantially expedited due to the instability of the political environment, i.e. forthcoming bans on atmospheric and exoatmospheric testing. Consequently, the tests were conducted within a mere half year of conception whereas “normal” testing took one to two years

via Operation Argus

Fine-structure constant

In science & nature on June 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

FineSTructureConstantIn physics, the fine-structure constant (usually denoted α, the Greek letter alpha) is a fundamental physical constant, namely the coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. Being a dimensionless quantity, it has constant numerical value in all systems of units. Arnold Sommerfeld introduced the fine-structure constant in 1916.

The current recommended value of α is 7.2973525698(24)×10−3 = 1/137.035999074(44)

via Fine-structure constant

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