Thursday

Dieter Rams - 10 Principles For Good Design


Good design is innovative
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design makes a product understandable.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is long-lasting.
Good design is thorough, down to the last detail.
Good design is environmentally-friendly.
Good design is as little design as possible.

Image: Dieter Rams by Bharani Padmanabhan MD PhD (en:user:scleroplex) on Wikipedia (GNU Free Documentation License)
Tags: Aesthetic - Design - Dieter Rams - Honest - Innovative - Thorough - Unobtrusive - Useful
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Hagiography (Literary Definition)


Hagiography:
  • Refers to writing which records and glorifies the lives of saints & martyrs.
  • Can be thought of as a form of Christian propaganda.
  • It was an important literary genre in the early Christian church.
  • Was practiced widely in the Middle Ages.
Modern Use:
  • Sometimes the term is applied to modern biographies, where the subject has been treated too reverentially, i.e. like they are saints.
  • Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan, from 1923, is one of few true modern hagiographic works.

Image: Theodore Stratelates hagiography by Johann Alexander Döderlein (Public Domain)
Tags: Bernard Shaw - Christian Church - Hagiography - Martyr - Middle Ages - Propaganda - Saint - Saint Joan
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Wednesday

Ocean Acidification


Background:
  • Ocean acidification is a term which describes the changes in the chemistry of the world's oceans & seas.
  • This is a major effect of burning fossil fuels.
  • It is believed that changes to the oceans' pH levels will lead to adverse consequences on marine life and ecosystems.
History:
  • There has been a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution.
  • This increase is the result of burning fossil fuels & changes in land use.
  • Approximately half of this excess CO2 has been absorbed by the oceans, leading to a change in the surface water chemistry.
Ocean Acidification Consequences:
  • The increased CO2 in the water is converted to carbonic acid, producing a decrease in the pH of the ocean surface.
  • CO2 + H2O <==> HCO3- + H+
  • Associated with a decrease in the ocean pH is a reduction in carbonate ions which are required to make calcium carbonate, an important component of shells and animal skeletons.
  • This means that many organisms, such as coral, molluscs & plankton, are having difficulty maintaining or building their supportive structures.
  • Some experts have described this phenomenon as oceanic osteoporosis.
Important pH Numbers: (Source: NMEA)
  • Higher numbers indicate alkalis.
  • Lower numbers signify acidic liquids.
  • pH 13 - bleach
  • pH 10 - soap
  • pH 8.2 - pre-1750 oceans (average)
  • pH 8.1 - current oceans (average)
  • pH 7.8 - oceans in 2100 (projected average)
  • pH 7 - pure water
  • pH 3 - vinegar
  • pH 0 - battery acid
References:
The key effects of climate change [BBC News] 10th Marck 2009.


Image: Adapted from Talk by PCSGA (2008)
Tags: Acidification - Atmosphere Sink - Bleach - Calcium Carbonate - Carbon - Carbon Sink - Carbon Dioxide - Carbonate - Carbonic Acid - Fossil Fuel - Industrial Revolution - Land Use - Ocean - Ocean Sink - pH - Soap - Vinegar - Water
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Sunday

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)


Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA):
  • Trade organization supporting & promoting the creative & financial vitality of the major music companies.
  • RIAA® members are involved in ~ 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced & sold in the United States.
Functions of RIAA:
  • To protect the intellectual property & First Amendment rights of artists & music labels.
  • To conduct consumer, industry and technical research.
  • To monitor & review state & federal laws, regulations & policies.
  • Certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™ & Diamond sales awards.
  • Also certifies the Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award recognizing Latin music sales.
RIAA Address - 1025 F ST N.W., 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20004.
RIAA Telephone - 202/775-0101.

Reference:
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Website (link)


Image: "When You Pirate MP3s You're Downloading Communism" from OwenBlacker (cc)
Tags: Communism - Downloading - MP3 - Music - RIAA - United States
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Dark Ages (Historical Period)


Dark Ages Details:
  • Period of chaos, destruction & rebuilding.
  • Period generally starting from the fall of Rome in the 5th Century (AD 476).
  • Period ending with the appearance of stable Germanic kingdoms & the development of knights in the 9th Century (AD 800).
  • Followed by the Medieval Period.
  • The idea of a Dark Age originates from Petrarch during the 1330s.
Image: Dark Age Battle
Tags: Chaos - Dark Ages - Medieval - Petrarch - Roman Empire - Rome -
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Supersede (Word Definition, Spelling and Mnemonic)

Supersede:
  • Comes from the Middle English superceden, to postpone.
  • The only word in the english language that ends in -sede.
  • Means to to take the place of or replace.
  • Can mean to discard or set aside as obsolete or inferior.
Supersede Mnemonic:
  • Super SEED with the ED Inverted = Supersede (mnemonic).


Super Dandelion Seeds:

Image: Super Dandelion Seeds.
Image source: from flickr by Aaron of NEPA (cc)
Tags: Mnemonic - Seed - Supersede
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Serfdom and Serfs


Serfdom Details:
  • Is a form of modified slavery.
  • They couldn't normally be sold away from the land.
  • They also could not leave the lord's land without permission.
  • Can also be thought of as tenant farmers who had to pay a percentage of their crops as rent, as well as fulfill other obligations to their landlord.
  • Quite common was the need for the serf to seek permission to marry or for one's children to marry.
Serf Versions:
  • Romans
  • German invaders
  • Medieval - altered by the advent of the Black Death.
  • Russian

Image: Laura the Serf.
Image source: from flickr by peterbasmalord (cc)
Tags: Black Death - Landlord - Marriage - Serf - Serfdom - Slave - Tenant Farmer
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Castles Of Wales Under Edward I


Castles Held & Strengthened by Edward I:
  • Aberystwyth Castle
  • Builth Castle
  • Cardigan Castle
  • Carmarthen Castle
  • Montgomery Castle
Edward I's New Built Castles Of North Wales:
  • Beaumaris Castle (pictured)
  • Caernarfon Castle
  • Conwy Castle
  • Flint Castle
  • Harlech Castle
  • Rhuddlan Castle
Castles Replaced by Edward I:
  • Deganwy Castle - replaced by Conwy Castle.
  • Dyserth Castle - replaced by Rhuddlan Castle.

Image: Beaumaris Castle.
Image source: from flickr by webmink (cc)
Tags: Castle - Edward I - Wales
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Friday

Demotic (Literary Definition)



Demotic Details:

Derived from or using the language of the common people.
Different from the more formal style of the priesthood or other elite educated people.

Related Terms:
Colloquialism
Vernacular

Image: Rosetta Stone (detail) - Hieroglyphs, with one line of Demotic Egyptian below.
Image source: from flickr by dwaas76 (cc)
Tags: Demotic - Educated - Egyptian - Elite - Hieroglyph - Language - Priesthood - Rosetta Stone
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Monday

Chrestomathy (Literary Definition)


Chrestomathy Details:
  • A collection or anthology of passages of prose or verse.
  • Typically selected for literary study or for learning a language.
Chrestomathy Example:
  • Mencken, H. L., A Mencken Chrestomathy, New York: Alfred P. Knopf, 1949
  • See Book cover opposite.

Tags: Anthology - Chrestomathy - Collection - Literary Study - Mencken - Prose - Verse
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Saturday

Flyting (Literary Definition)

Flyting Facts:
  • Flyting is a slanging match in verse, typically between 2 poets.
  • The term "flyt" is Scottish for “quarreling,” or “contention.”
  • After the Middle Ages, flyting became obsolete in Scottish literature.
Flyting Example:
  • Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie (early 16th-century) - contest between poets Walter Kennedy & William Dunbar.



Scene from John Vanbrugh's The Relapse (1696) - Fashion and Foppington quarrel (3.1)


Image: Photographic reproduction of artwork via Wikipedia (public domain)
Tags: Flyting - Literary Definition - Poet - Scottish - Scottish Literature - Slanging Match - Verse - Walter Kennedy - William Dunbar
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Multiple Intelligences Concept (Howard Gardner, Harvard University, 1983, 1999)


The concept of multiple intelligences was first described by Professor Howard Gardner from Harvard University in 1983. In the original description, Gardner described 7 distinct intelligences, & was able to delineate the areas of the brain associated with each of these intelligences. An 8th intelligence, 'naturalistic intelligence', was added by Gardner in 1999.

The Eight of More Intelligences:
  • Bodily-Kinaesthetic Intelligence
  • Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence
  • Linguistic Intelligence
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  • Musical Intelligence
  • Naturalistic Intelligence
  • Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Image: of Howard Gardner by alist (cc)
Tags:
1983 - 1999 - 8 - Bodily - Harvard University - Howard Gardner - Kinaesthetic - Intelligence - Interpersonal - Intrapersonal - Linguistic - Logical - Mathematical - Multiple Intelligences - Musical - Naturalistic - Visual

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Wednesday

Auxesis (Literary Definition)

Auxesis Definitions:
  • Auxesis is a figure of speech that lists a series of things in ascending order of importance.
  • A rhetorical term for a gradual increase in intensity of meaning with words, which are arranged in ascending order of importance or force.
Famous Auxesis Examples:
"O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state."
[Richard II, Shakespeare]
"It is a sin to bind a Roman citizen, a crime to scourge him, little short of the most unnatural murder to put him to death; what then shall I call this crucifixion?"
[Cicero, Against Verres]

"Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird . . . it’s a plane . . . it’s Superman!"
[opening of The Adventures of Superman, television series]

Tags: Auxesis - Cicero - Figure Of Speech - Importance - Shakespeare - Superman
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Last 10 Scottish Monarchs (Prior To 1707 Act Of Union)


Last 10 Scottish Monarchs:
  1. Queen Anne - ruled 1702-1707
  2. King William II - ruled 1689-1702
  3. Queen Mary II - ruled 1689-1694
  4. King James VII (II of England) - ruled 1685-1689
  5. King Charles II - ruled 1649-1685
  6. King Charles I - ruled 1625-1649 (executed)
  7. King James VI (I of England) - ruled 1567-1625
  8. Queen Mary I (Queen of Scots) - ruled 1542-1567 (executed, picture opposite)
  9. King James V - ruled 1513-1542
  10. King James IV - ruled 1488-1513 (died in Battle of Flodden Field)
Following the Act of Union (May 1, 1707), all monarchs have ruled both Scotland & England.


Image: by mharrsch (cc)

Tags: 1707 - Act of Union 1707 - Battle of Flodden Field - England - Executed - King Charles I - King Charles II - King James IV - King James V - King James VI - King James VII - King William II - Mary Quuen of Scots - Monarchs - Queen Anne - Queen Mary I - Queen Mary II - Scotland
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