Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Zorro is a fictional character created in 1919 by New York-based pulp writer Johnston McCulley. The character has been featured in numerous books, films, television series, and other media.

Zorro (Spanish for fox) is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega (originally Don Diego Vega), a nobleman and master living in the Spanish colonial era of California. The character has undergone changes through the years, but the typical image of him is a dashing black-clad masked outlaw who defends the people of the land against tyrannical officials and other villains. Not only is he much too cunning and foxlike for the bumbling authorities to catch, but he delights in publicly humiliating those same foes.

Zorro (often called Señor or El Zorro in early stories) debuted in McCulley's 1919 story The Curse of Capistrano, serialized in five parts in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly.[1] At the denouement, Zorro's true identity is revealed to all.

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, on their honeymoon, selected the story as the inaugural picture for their new studio, United Artists, beginning the character's cinematic tradition. The story was adapted as The Mark of Zorro in 1920, which was a success. McCulley's story was re-released by the publisher Grosset & Dunlap under the same title, to tie in with the film.

Due to public demand fueled by the film, McCulley wrote over 60 additional Zorro stories starting in 1922. The last, The Mask of Zorro (not to be confused with the 1998 film), was published posthumously in 1959. These stories ignore Zorro's public revelation of his identity. The black costume that modern audiences associate with the character stems from Fairbanks' smash hit movie rather than McCulley's original story, and McCulley's subsequent Zorro adventures copied Fairbanks's Zorro rather than the other way around. McCulley died in 1958, just as the Disney-produced Zorro television show was becoming phenomenally successful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rotary International

Rotary International is an organization of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. The stated purpose of the organization is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or political preference. There are 33,976 clubs and over 1.22 million members worldwide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarians. Members usually meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is a social event as well as an opportunity to organize work on their service goals.

Rotary's best-known motto is "Service above Self", and its secondary motto is "They profit most who serve best".

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fables of Faubus

"Fables of Faubus" is a song composed by jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus. One of Mingus' most explicitly political works, the song was written as a direct protest against Arkansas governor Orval E. Faubus, who in 1957 sent out the National Guard to prevent the integration of Little Rock Central High School by nine African American teenagers.

The song was first recorded for Mingus' 1959 album, Mingus Ah Um. Columbia refused to allow the lyrics to the song to be included, and so the song was recorded as an instrumental on the album. It was not until October 20, 1960 that the song was recorded with lyrics, for the album Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus, which was released on the more independent Candid label. Due to contractual issues with Columbia, the song could not be released as "Fables of Faubus", and so the Candid version was titled "Original Faubus Fables". The personnel for the Candid recording were Charles Mingus (bass, vocals), Dannie Richmond (drums, vocals), Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone), and Ted Curson (trumpet). The vocals featured a call-and-response between Mingus and Richmond. Critic Don Heckman commented of the unedited "Original Faubus Fables" in a 1962 review that it was "a classic Negro put-down in which satire becomes a deadly rapier-thrust. Faubus emerges in a glare of ridicule as a mock villain whom no-one really takes seriously. This kind of commentary, brimful of feeling, bitingly direct and harshly satiric, appears far too rarely in jazz."

The song, either with or without lyrics, was one of the compositions which Mingus returned to most often, both on record and in concert.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Supernumerary Nipple

A supernumerary nipple (also known as a third nipple, accessory nipple, polythelia or the related condition: polymastia) is an additional nipple occurring in mammals, including humans. Often mistaken for moles, supernumerary nipples are diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 18 males and 1 in approximately 50 female humans.

The nipples appear along the two vertical "milk lines", which start in the armpit on each side, run down through the typical nipples and end at the groin. They are classified into eight levels of completeness from a simple patch of hair to a milk-bearing breast in miniature.

Polythelia refers to the presence of an additional nipple alone while polymastia denotes the much rarer presence of additional mammary glands.

Although usually presenting on the milk line, pseudomamma can appear as far away as the foot.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


A bungalow is a type of house, with varying meanings across the world. Common features to many (but not all) of these definitions include being detached, low-rise (single, or one-and-a-half storeys), and the use of verandahs.

The term originated in India, deriving from the Gujarati baṅgalo, which in turn derives from the Hindustani baṅglā, meaning "Bengali" and used elliptically for a "house in the Bengal style". Such houses were traditionally small, only one story and thatched, and had a wide veranda.

The term is first found in English from 1696, where it was used to describe "bungales or hovells" in India for English sailors of the East India Company.

Later it became used for the spacious homes or official lodgings of officials of the British Raj, and was so known in Britain and later America, where it initially had high status and exotic connotations, and began to be used in the late 19th century for large country or suburban houses built in an Arts and Crafts or other Western vernacular style - essentially as large cottages, a term also sometimes used. Later developers began to use the term for smaller houses.

In Britain and North America a bungalow today is a residential house, normally detached, which is either single story, or has a second story built into a sloping roof, usually with dormer windows. Full vertical walls are therefore only seen on one story, at least on the front and rear elevations. Usually the houses are relatively small, especially from recent decades, though early examples may be large, in which case the term bungalow tends not to be used today.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jaguar Mark X

The Jaguar Mark X (pronounced mark ten) was the top-of-the-range saloon car built by the British manufacturer Jaguar from 1961 to 1970, originally aimed at the United States market. The Mark X succeeded the Mark IX as the company's large saloon model.

The modern Jaguar face, four headlamps set into rounded front fenders with a vaned grill, first appeared on the Mark X. The interior is the last Jaguar with abundant standard woodwork, including the dashboard, escutcheons, window trim, a pair of large bookmatched fold out rear picnic tables, and a front seat pull-out picnic table stowed beneath the instrument cluster. Over time, air conditioning and a sound-proof glass division between the front and rear seats were added as options.

The Mark X was the first Jaguar saloon to feature independent rear suspension. Front suspension used double wishbones with coil springs and telescopic dampers. Initially Jaguar's XK in-line six-cylinder engine was featured, with 3781 cc. A 9:1 compression ration was standard, but an alternative 8:1 compression ratio was available as an option. Transmission options were manual, manual with overdrive or automatic. The arrival of the 4.2-litre power unit coincided with the introduction of a newly developed all-synchromesh four-speed gear box replacing the venerable box inherited by the 3.8-litre Mark X from the Mark IX which had featured synchromesh only on the top three ratios. Many domestic market cars and almost all cars destined for the important North American markets left the factory with a Borg Warner automatic gear-box.

From its introduction until the arrival in 1992 of the low-slung XJ220, the Mark X stood as one of the widest production Jaguars ever built.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

California Über Alles

"California Über Alles" was the first single by the Dead Kennedys. The record was released in June 1979 on Optional Music with "The Man with the Dogs" as the b-side. The title track was re-recorded for the band's first album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980), and the version that appeared on this single, as well as the single's b-side, are available on the rarities album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (1987).

The song focuses on Jerry Brown, the Governor of California 1975-1983 and 2011–present, and is sung from his perspective. An imaginary Brown outlines a hippie-fascist vision for America, in which his "suede denim secret police" kill un-cool people with "organic poison gas" chambers.

The lyrics were written by Jello Biafra and John Greenway, and Biafra composed the music in one of his rare attempts at composing on bass.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Venn diagram

A Venn diagram or set diagram is a diagram that shows all hypothetically possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets (aggregation of things). Venn diagrams were conceived around 1880 by John Venn. They are used to teach elementary set theory, as well as illustrate simple set relationships in probability, logic, statistics, linguistics and computer science.

Venn diagrams normally comprise overlapping circles. The interior of the circle symbolically represents the elements of the set, while the exterior represents elements which are not members of the set. Shapes other than circles can be employed, and this is necessary for more than three sets. Venn diagrams do not generally contain information on the relative or absolute sizes (cardinality) of sets; i.e. they are schematic diagrams.

Venn diagrams were introduced in 1880 by John Venn (1834–1923) in a paper entitled "On the Diagrammatic and Mechanical Representation of Propositions and Reasonings" in the "Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science", about the different ways to represent propositions by diagrams. The use of these types of diagrams in formal logic, according to Ruskey and M. Weston (2005), is "not an easy history to trace, but it is certain that the diagrams that are popularly associated with Venn, in fact, originated much earlier. They are rightly associated with Venn, however, because he comprehensively surveyed and formalized their usage, and was the first to generalize them".

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Texas School Book Depository

The Texas School Book Depository (now the Dallas County Administration Building) is the former name of a seven-floor building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas (U.S.). Located on the northwest corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, at the western end of downtown Dallas, its address is 411 Elm Street. The building is notable for its connection to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. According to two of three United States government investigations, an employee in the building, Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, fatally shot the president from a sixth floor window on the southeast corner. (The third investigation, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, concluded that the assassination was likely the result of a conspiracy.) The case, however, was never adjudicated in the jurisdiction in which it occurred owing, in part, to the death of the accused assassin. The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


A Knocker-up (sometimes known as a knocker-upper) was a profession in England and Ireland that started during and lasted well into the Industrial Revolution and at least as late as the 1920s , before alarm clocks were affordable or reliable. A knocker-up's job was to rouse sleeping people so they could get to work on time.

The knocker-up used a trucheon or short, heavy stick to knock on the clients' doors or a long and light stick, often made of bamboo, to reach windows on higher floors. In return, the knocker-up would be paid a few pence a week. The knocker-up would not leave a client's window until they were assured the client had been awoken.

There were large numbers of people carrying out the job, especially in larger industrial towns such as Manchester. Generally the job was carried out by elderly men and women but sometimes police constables supplemented their pay by performing the task during early morning patrols.

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, includes a brief description of a knocker-up. Hindle Wakes a play written by Stanley Houghton and then a movie (of the same title) directed by Maurice Elvey, includes a knocker-up.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Salamander is a common name of approximately 500 species of amphibians. They are typically characterized by their slender bodies, short noses, and long tails. Most salamanders have four toes on their front legs and five on their rear legs. Their moist skin usually makes them reliant on habitats in or near water, or under some protection (e.g., moist ground), often in a wetland. Some salamander species are fully aquatic throughout life, some take to the water intermittently, and some are entirely terrestrial as adults. Unique among vertebrates, they are capable of regenerating lost limbs, as well as other body parts.

Mature salamanders generally have a primitive tetrapod body form similar to that of lizards, with slender bodies, long tails, and four limbs. However, like some lizards, many species of salamander have reduced or absent limbs, giving them a more eel-like appearance. Most species have limbs with four toes on the forelimbs, and five on the hind limbs, and lack claws. Salamanders are often brightly colored, either in both sexes throughout the year, or only in the males, especially during the breeding season. However, the species dwelling entirely underground are often white or pink, lacking any skin pigment.

Respiration differs among the different species of salamanders. Species that lack lungs respire through gills. In most cases, these are external gills, visible as tufts on either side of the head, although the amphiumas have internal gills and gill slits. Some salamanders that are terrestrial have lungs that are used in respiration, although these are simple and sac-like, unlike the more complex organs found in mammals. Many species, such as the olm, have both lungs and gills as adults.

Some terrestrial species lack both lungs and gills and perform gas exchange through their skin, a process known as valerian respiration in which the capillary beds are spread throughout the epidermis, and inside the mouth. Even some species with lungs can respire through the skin in this manner.

Salamanders will use tail autotomy to escape predators. Their tail will drop off and wriggle around for a little while, and the salamanders will either run away or stay still enough to not be noticed while the predator is distracted. Salamanders routinely regenerate complex tissues. Within only a few weeks of losing a piece of limb, a salamander perfectly reforms the missing structure.

Salamanders split off from the other amphibians during the Mid to Late Permian, and initially were similar to modern members of the Cryptobranchoidea. Their resemblance to lizards is the result of symplesiomorphy, their common retention of the primitive tetrapod body plan, and they are no more closely related to lizards than they are to mammals – or to birds for that matter. Their nearest relatives are the frogs and toads, within Batrachia.

Salamanders are found on all continents except for Australia, Antarctica, and most of Africa. One-third of the known salamander species are found in North America. The highest concentration of these is found in the Appalachian Mountains region. Species of salamander are numerous and found in most moist or arid habitats in the northern hemisphere. They usually live in or near brooks, creeks, ponds, and other moist locations.

Friday, November 18, 2011


A tontine is an investment scheme for raising capital, devised in the 17th century and relatively widespread in the 18th and 19th. It combines features of a group annuity and a lottery. Each subscriber pays an agreed sum into the fund, and thereafter receives an annuity. As members die, their shares devolve to the other participants, and so the value of each annuity increases. On the death of the last member, the scheme is wound up. In a variant, upon the death of the penultimate member the capital passes to the last survivor.

The scheme is named after Neapolitan banker Lorenzo de Tonti, who is credited with inventing it in France in 1653, although it has been suggested that he merely modified existing Italian investment schemes. Tonti put his proposal to the French royal government, but after consideration it was rejected by the Parlement de Paris. The first true tontine was therefore organised in the city of Kampen in the Netherlands in 1670. The French finally established a state tontine in 1689, when Louis XIV used a tontine to fund military operations when he could not otherwise raise the money. The initial subscribers each put in 300 livres, and, unlike most later schemes, this one was run honestly; the last survivor, the widow, Charlotte Barbier, who died in 1726 at the age of 96, received 73,000 livres in her last payment. The British government first issued tontines in 1693 to fund a war against France, part of the Nine Years' War.

Tontines soon caused problems for their issuing governments, as the organisers tended to underestimate the longevity of the population. At first, tontine holders included men and women of all ages. However, by the mid-18th century, investors were beginning to understand how to play the system, and it became increasingly common to buy tontines for young children, especially for girls around the age of 5 (since girls lived longer than boys, and by which age they were less at risk of infant mortality). This created the possibility of significant returns for the shareholders, but significant losses for the governments. As a result, tontine schemes were eventually abandoned

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boring, Oregon

Boring is an unincorporated community located in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States, on Oregon Route 212. It is approximately eight miles south of Gresham and about the same distance from Clackamas, both suburbs of Portland. The town is roughly twenty-two miles southeast from downtown Portland.

The community was named after William H. Boring, an early resident of the area. Boring was a Union veteran who had moved out to Oregon after the Civil War. He had served with the 33rd Illinois Infantry, Company D, after enlisting on August 16, 1861 and was mustered out on February 1, 1865 due to disability. Boring died in 1932 at the age of 91 and was buried with his wife Sarah in Damascus Pioneer Cemetery.

Boring was platted in 1903 as "Boring Junction". The post office was established and named "Boring" the same year, and the builders of the interurban railway adopted Boring as the name of the community.

In 2005, citizens of Boring applied to become one of the first legally recognized villages in Oregon. However, after many months of polarizing debate on the village issue, residents narrowly defeated the village designation in a town hall referendum in August 2006, with 293 votes in favor and 298 against.

The unique name of the town often prompts its inclusion on lists of unusual place names. The name "Boring" is embraced by locals, however, and found in many local businesses, resulting in many road signs that seem humorous to outsiders. Boosters of the village designation use the slogan "The most exciting place to live."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Aqua Regia

Aqua regia (Latin: royal water) or aqua regis is a highly corrosive mixture of acids, fuming yellow or red solution, also called nitro-hydrochloric acid. The mixture is formed by freshly mixing nearly pure nitric acid and maximum-concentration (38%) hydrochloric acid, usually in a volume ratio of 1:3 respectively. It was named so because it can dissolve the so-called royal metals, or noble metals, gold and platinum. However, ruthenium, tantalum, iridium, osmium, titanium, rhodium and a few other metals are capable of withstanding chemical attack from it.

Aqua regia first appeared in the work of the medieval European alchemist Pseudo-Geber.

When Germany invaded Denmark in World War II, the Hungarian chemist George de Hevesy dissolved the gold Nobel Prizes of the German physicists Max von Laue (1914) and James Franck (1925) in aqua regia to prevent the Nazis from confiscating them. The German government had prohibited Germans from accepting or keeping any Nobel Prize after the jailed peace activist Carl von Ossietzky had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935. De Hevesy placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. It was subsequently ignored by the Nazis who thought the jar—one of perhaps hundreds on the shelving—contained common chemicals. After the war, de Hevesy returned to find the solution undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid. The gold was returned to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation who recast the medals and again presented them to Laue and Franck.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New York Airways

New York Airways was an airline that offered scheduled helicopter service from a helipad atop the Pan Am Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City to airports in the area. Founded in 1949 as a mail and cargo carrier, it commenced passenger operations on July 9, 1953, becoming the first scheduled helicopter carrier in the United States and the first passenger helicopter carrier in the world. Its headquarters were located on the grounds of LaGuardia Airport.

In February 1955, the one way fare from LaGuardia to Idlewild was $4.50. The ship was a Sikorsky H-19, N418A. The trip took ten minutes, and their phone number at the time was DEfender 5-6600. At its peak, the airline partnered with 24 international and domestic airlines and served destinations in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut,

On May 16, 1977, the landing gear failed on a Sikorsky S-61 while it was taking on passengers on the roof of the Pan Am Building. The aircraft rolled onto its side. Its spinning rotor blades killed four passengers waiting to board (including movie director Michael Findlay) and injured a fifth. Parts of a broken blade fell into the streets below, killing one pedestrian and injuring another.

 Fuel prices soared after the 1973 energy crisis, however, damaging profitability. It could not recover after the 1977 accident and the 1979 energy crisis, and New York Airways filed for bankruptcy on May 18, 1979.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Castoreum is the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature North American Beaver Castor canadensis and the European Beaver Castor fiber. Within the zoological realm, castoreum is the yellowish secretion of the castor sac in combination with the beaver's urine, used during scent marking of territory. Both male and female beavers possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail. The castor sacs are not true glands (endocrine or exocrine) on a cellular level, hence references to these structures as preputial glands or castor glands are misnomers.

In perfume-making, the term castoreum is more liberally applied to denote the resinoid extract resulting from the dried and alcohol tinctured beaver castor. The dried beaver castor sacs are generally aged for two or more years to mellow and for their raw harshness to dissipate. Some classic perfumes incorporating castor are Emeraude, Coty, Chanel, Cuir de Russie, Magie Noire, Lancôme Caractère, Hechter Madame, Carven, Givenchy III, Shalimar, and many "leather" themed compositions.

Although modern medical use of castoreum is rare, the dried pair of scent glands (the "castors") may still be worth more than a beaver pelt itself. Castoreum appeared in the materia medica until the 18th century, used to treat many different ailments, including headache, fever, and hysteria.

In the United States, Castoreum has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive, often referenced simply as a "natural flavoring" in the product's list of ingredients. It is commonly used in both food and beverages, especially as vanilla and raspberry flavoring.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Gianduja is a sweet chocolate containing about 30% hazelnut paste, invented in Turin by Caffarel in 1852. It takes its name from Gianduja, a Carnival and marionette character who represents the archetypal Piedmontese, a native of the Italian region where hazelnut confectionery is common.

Some related products are:

  • Gianduiotti, a speciality of Turin, are chocolates shaped like an upturned boat, again made with a mixture of cocoa and hazelnut paste. Invented by Caffarel in 1865, it is still a trade mark for the company
  • Ferrero Nutella, which was originally called Pasta Gianduja, as a marketing ploy to appeal to children.

In addition to the classic interpretation of gianduja, modern confectioners often term any combination of nut, chocolate and sugar as a gianduja, such as almonds, dark chocolate and sugar or walnuts, milk chocolate and sugar.

"Giandla duja" is also Piedmontese for the hazelnut "giandula", and "giandulott" is the kernel of drupes. The English translation into "sweet nut" hits the original description of the Albese dialect meaning, and the terms gianda, gandula, gandulin and gandulott are well known throughout the areas of Gallo-Italic parlance.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Going Back to Cali

"Going Back to Cali" is single by LL Cool J from the Less Than Zero soundtrack and his third album Walking with a Panther. Produced by Rick Rubin and LL Cool J, the song was a success, peaking at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA on May 28, 1991. Rock band, Sevendust would cover the song on the Take a Bite Outta Rhyme: A Rock Tribute to Rap.

The music video and song were parodied in both "Going Back to Brooklyn" by Colin Quinn and "Going Back to Philly," a song promoting It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia with verses done by Jeru the Damaja.

Friday, November 11, 2011


11 (eleven) is the natural number following 10 and preceding 12. It is the first number which cannot be represented by a human counting their eight fingers and two thumbs additively. Eleven is the smallest positive integer requiring three syllables in English, and it is also the largest prime number with a single-morpheme name in this language (although etymologically the word eleven originated from a Germanic compound *ainlif meaning "one left").

Eleven is the 5th smallest prime number. It is the smallest two-digit prime number in the decimal base; as well as, of course, in undecimal (where it is the smallest two-digit number). It is also the smallest three-digit prime in ternary, and the smallest four-digit prime in binary, but a single-digit prime in bases larger than eleven, such as duodecimal, hexadecimal, vigesimal and sexagesimal. 11 is the fourth Sophie Germain prime, the third safe prime, the fourth Lucas prime, the first repunit prime, and the second Good prime. Although it is necessary for n to be prime for 2n − 1 to be a Mersenne prime, the converse is not true: 211 − 1 = 2047 which is 23 × 89. The next prime is 13, with which it comprises a twin prime. 11 is an Eisenstein prime with no imaginary part and real part of the form 3n − 1. Displayed on a calculator, 11 is a strobogrammatic prime and a dihedral prime because it reads the same whether the calculator is turned upside down or reflected on a mirror, or both.

If a number is divisible by 11, reversing its digits will result in another multiple of 11. As long as no two adjacent digits of a number added together exceed 9, then multiplying the number by 11, reversing the digits of the product, and dividing that new number by 11, will yield a number that is the reverse of the original number. (For example: 142,312 x 11 = 1,565,432. 2,345,651 / 11 = 213,241.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wild Knot

In the mathematical theory of knots, a knot is tame if it can be "thickened up", that is, if there exists an extension to an embedding of the solid torus S 1 × D 2 into the 3-sphere. A knot is tame if and only if it can be represented as a finite closed polygonal chain. Knots that are not tame are called wild knots and can have pathological behavior. In knot theory and 3-manifold theory, often the adjective "tame" is omitted. Smooth knots, for example, are always tame.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


RAW was a comics anthology edited by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly and published by Mouly from 1980 to 1991. It was a flagship publication of the 1980s alternative comics movement, serving as a more intellectual counterpoint to Robert Crumb's visceral Weirdo, which followed squarely in the underground tradition of Zap and Arcade. Along with the more genre-oriented Heavy Metal it was also one of the main venues for European comics in the United States in its day.

RAW featured a mix of American and European contributors (including some of Spiegelman's students at the School of Visual Arts), as well as various contributors from other parts of the world, including the Argentine duo of José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo, the Congolese painter Cheri Samba, and several Japanese cartoonists known for their work in Garo

The first eight issues of RAW (Volume 1), published by Mouly and co-edited by Mouly and Spiegelman, were printed in black-and-white in an enormous, doormat-sized magazine format with a stapled binding. These were usually hand-assembled by Mouly's and Spiegelman's friends, and often packaged very creatively.

The final three issues of RAW (Volume 2) were printed in a 'digest' or 'paperback' format with a mixture of full-color and black-and-white pages, some of which were printed on differing paper stock. They featured longer stories that focused more on narrative than bold graphic experiments. These issues were published by Penguin Books.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Pando (or The Trembling Giant) is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) located in the U.S. state of Utah, all determined to be part of a single living organism by identical genetic markers and one massive underground root system, although whether it is a single tree is disputed, as it depends on one's definition of an individual tree. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000 tonnes (6,615 short tons), making it the heaviest known organism. The root system of Pando is claimed by some to be among the oldest known living organisms in existence at 80,000 years of age.
Pando is located in the Fishlake National Forest, near Fish Lake on the Fish Lake Plateau located at the western edge of the Colorado Plateau in South-central Utah. The name "Pando" was chosen because it is Latin for "I spread."

Pando is thought to have grown for much of its lifetime under ideal circumstances: frequent forest fires have prevented its main competitor, conifers, from colonizing the area, and climate change, transitioning from a wet and humid weather pattern to semi-arid, has obstructed widespread seedling establishment and the accompanying rivalry from younger aspens.

Pando was discovered by Burton V. Barnes of the University of Michigan in the 1970s. Barnes was widely considered an expert on North American aspen at the time, having been one of the first to describe the clonal growth of aspen from an extensive root system as part of his dissertation at Michigan in the late 1950s. Barnes had described Pando as a single organism based on its morphological characteristics. Building off of Barnes's earlier work, Michael Grant of the University of Colorado at Boulder re-examined Pando and claimed it to be the world's most massive organism in 1992.

In 2006 the United States Postal Service made a stamp in commemoration of the aspen, calling it one of the forty "Wonders of America."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gidney & Cloyd

Gidney and Cloyd are fictional characters originally appearing in the American animated television program Rocky and His Friends (now known, along with The Bullwinkle Show, as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show). Their names were adapted from the names "Sidney" and "Floyd", which Jay Ward said were the most boring names ever.

Gidney and Cloyd are both "Moon Men", inhabitants of Earth's Moon. They are essentially anthropomorphic but are shorter than most humans. Their skin is green with black spots and they have tufts of hair on the tops of their heads; they appear to be unclothed. They are able to disappear and reappear at will; they can disappear completely but sometimes their eyes remain visible (like the Cheshire cat's smile). Physically, they are nearly identical, although Gidney has a mustache, while Cloyd wears a belt and holster for his scrootch gun. The scrootch gun has the power to immobilize its targets for a variable length of time.
The Moon Men appeared in Jet Fuel Formula, the first Rocky and Bullwinkle story arc, broadcast 1959-1960. In this story they come to Earth in an attempt to thwart a rush of tourists to the Moon, only to become media celebrities themselves. They initially succumb to the temptations of fame but soon tire of it. With the help of Rocky and Bullwinkle they are eventually able to get home.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Amerika Bomber

The Amerika Bomber project was an initiative of the Nazi Germany Air Ministry, to obtain a long-range strategic bomber for the Luftwaffe that would be capable of striking the continental United States from Germany, a range of about 3,600 mi. Though the concept was raised as early as 1938, plans were not submitted to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring until 1942.

The most promising proposals were based on conventional principles of aircraft design and would have yielded aircraft very similar in configuration and capability to the Allied heavy bombers of the day. Other proposals were far more exotic jet- and rocket-powered designs, e.g. as a flying wing. The Horten brothers designed the Horten Ho XVIII, a flying wing powered by six turbojets based on experiences with their existing Ho X design. The Arado company also suggested a six-jet flying wing design, the Arado E.555.

Other designs were rockets with wings. Perhaps the best-known of these today is Eugen Sänger's pre-war Silbervogel ("Silverbird") sub-orbital bomber. While the A4b rocket, winged version of the V-2 rocket and probably its successor A9 rocket were tested several times in late 1944/early 1945, the A9/A10 Amerika-Rakete, planned as a full 2-staged ICBM, remained a project. Various proposals were put forward, including using it to deliver an atomic bomb, but they were all eventually abandoned as too expensive.

Hitler was often swayed to spend more time, money and resources on his “miracle weapons” or projects that were exciting and new, but less likely to be successful. As a result insufficient attention was given to the Amerika Bomber project. The project failed to come to fruition, not because the transatlantic bomber was not feasible, but because the Nazis were unable to manufacture enough parts to produce the aircraft.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


A Rangpur is a hybrid between the mandarin orange and the lemon. It is a citrus fruit with a very acidic taste and an orange peel and flesh.

Common names for the this fruit include rangpur, named after Rangpur, Bangladesh, a city is known for this and other citrus fruits. This is where the word originated in the Bengali language. The rangpur is known as a Canton lemon in South China, a hime lemon in Japan, a cravo lemon in Brazil, and mandarin-lime in the United States. The name lime in connection with this fruit is often misleading, because there are very few similarities between the rangpur and other fruits called limes. However, rangpurs are highly acidic and can be used as a substitute for commercial limes. It was introduced into Florida from Bengal in the late nineteenth century by Reasoner Brothers of Oneco, who obtained seed from northwestern India. In the United States, the rangpur is used as an ornamental or potted plant, but outside the United States it is used principally as a rootstock.

Friday, November 4, 2011


In geometry, a cube is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces, facets or sides, with three meeting at each vertex. The cube can also be called a regular hexahedron and is one of the five Platonic solids. It is a special kind of square prism, of rectangular parallelepiped and of trigonal trapezohedron. The cube is dual to the octahedron. It has cubical symmetry (also called octahedral symmetry). It is special by being a Cuboid and a Rhombohedron.

The cube is unique among the Platonic solids for being able to tile Euclidean space regularly. It is also unique among the Platonic solids in having faces with an even number of sides and, consequently, it is the only member of that group that is a zonohedron (every face has point symmetry)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dog Whipper

A dog whipper was a church official charged with removing unruly dogs from a church or church grounds during services.

In some areas of Europe during the 16th to 19th centuries it was not uncommon for household dogs to accompany - or at least follow - their owners to church services. If these animals became disruptive it was the job of the dog whipper to remove them from the church, allowing the service to continue in peace.

Dog whippers were usually provided with a whip (hence the title) or a pair of large wooden tongs with which to remove the animals. They were generally paid for their services, and records of payments to the local dog whipper exist in old parish account books in many English churches. In some areas a portion of village land was made available for the use of the dog whipper, the small park named 'Dog Acre' in Birchington-on-Sea is the remnant of such a grant.

Some villages employed dog whippers in a more general capacity, dealing with stray and disruptive dogs throughout the village. In this sense dog whippers were precursors of modern animal control officers.

Dog whippers became less common from the late 18th century onwards, presumably because animals were increasingly unwelcome at church services. One of the last recorded dog whippers was one John Pickard, who was appointed to Exeter Cathedral in 1856. A small room in the cathedral is still known as the Dog Whipper's Flat.

A dog whipper's whip survives in the parish church of St Anne at Baslow in Derbyshire and a dog whipper's pew is preserved in St. Margaret's Church in Wrenbury, Cheshire. A notable carving of a dog whipper removing a dog with his whip can be seen in the Great Church of St. Bavo in Haarlem.

With the advent of animal shelters, this job became obsolete.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hero of Belarus

Hero of Belarus is the highest title that can be bestowed on a citizen of Belarus. The title is awarded to those "who perform great deeds in the name of freedom, independence and prosperity of the Republic of Belarus". The deed can be for military performance, economic performance or great service to the State and society. The design of the medal is similar to that of its predecessor, Hero of the Soviet Union. Similar titles to the Hero of Belarus include the Russian Hero of the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian Hero of Ukraine. Since its creation, the title has been awarded to twelve people.

To be considered for title, a person must perform a deed that greatly benefits the state and Belarusian society at large. The title can be awarded to those serving in the military, public service or private enterprise. It can only be awarded once to an individual, and can be awarded posthumously.

The recipient of the title is given a medal called the Medal of the Hero of Belarus. The star and suspension are made of gold, and thus it is nicknamed "Gold Star", as was its predecessor, the Hero of the Soviet Union. The star has a total diameter of 33 millimeters, and is attached to a rectangular suspension device (boot tree). In the center of the rectangle is a ribbon of two sections of red and one section of green. The red and green bars on the ribbon evoke the design and colors of the national flag.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Front de libération du Québec

The Front de libération du Québec ("Quebec Liberation Front", commonly known as the FLQ) was a left-wing nationalist and socialist paramilitary group in Quebec, Canada, active between 1963 and 1970, which is widely regarded throughout Canada as a terrorist organization. It was responsible for over 160 violent incidents which killed eight people and injured many more, including the bombing of the Montreal Stock Exchange in 1969. These attacks culminated in 1970 with what is known as the October Crisis, in which British Trade Commissioner James Cross was kidnapped and Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte was murdered by strangulation. Founded in the early 1960s, it supported the Quebec sovereignty movement.

FLQ members practised propaganda of the deed and issued declarations that called for a socialist insurrection against oppressors identified with "Anglo-Saxon" imperialism, the overthrow of the Quebec government, the independence of Quebec from Canada and the establishment of a French-speaking Quebecer "workers' society". The organization was also influenced by other movements, such as those for the independence of former colonies such as Algeria, Vietnam and Cuba.