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Thread: Confusing new words I've learned

  1. #31
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    It gets worse. The whole subfield studying outflowing gas from quasars uses spectral features known as broad absorption lines (BALs), hence BAL quasars or BALQSOs. How strongly does a given object manifest these spectral features? I'm glad you asked: check its balnicity index. (I am bemused to find this word in Wiktionary).

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Are you sure they weren't talking about these:
    Did you check if any were unwrapped?

    Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  3. #33
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    No takers? I am disappointed.

    Back in the old days, there was a Planet X proponent who claimed she was receiving messages from an alien race.
    Her proof was finding an unwrapped Starburst candy in the package.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    No takers? I am disappointed.

    Back in the old days, there was a Planet X proponent who claimed she was receiving messages from an alien race.
    Her proof was finding an unwrapped Starburst candy in the package.
    Gotta admit, that's a new one on me.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    No takers? I am disappointed.

    Back in the old days, there was a Planet X proponent who claimed she was receiving messages from an alien race.
    Her proof was finding an unwrapped Starburst candy in the package.
    Not up on my PlaneX conspiracy theorists, but not surprised either.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    No takers? I am disappointed.

    Back in the old days, there was a Planet X proponent who claimed she was receiving messages from an alien race.
    Her proof was finding an unwrapped Starburst candy in the package.
    Son of a gun, you were RIGHT. See "History" on this Wiki page.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/ZetaTalk
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  7. #37
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    That's enough about Nancy, thanks. Let's leave the Nibiru nonsense in the CT section please... or someone would need to wake up 01101001 to add another thread to the list of Planet X threads. As I recall it passed 100...
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    No takers? I am disappointed.

    Back in the old days, there was a Planet X proponent who claimed she was receiving messages from an alien race.
    Her proof was finding an unwrapped Starburst candy in the package.
    That sounds like a needlessly complicated way to protest faulty factory standards by Starburst.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
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  9. #39
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    I am still unable to slip the word "flocculent" into everyday speech.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I am still unable to slip the word "flocculent" into everyday speech.
    Try floccillation, which is a fine old medical word for the way delirious patients pluck at their bedclothes. It has the same root as flocculent--both derive from Latin floccus, a tuft of wool. Floccillating patients look as if they're trying to pluck tufts of wool off their sheets.

    (When I was delirious with an atypical pneumonia, I locustated rather than floccillated--I whiled away my time removing lobsters from the bedroom floor.)

    Grant Hutchison

  11. #41
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    Skimming through the arXiv.org release for Monday, we have...

    Spacetime Tomography Using The Event Horizon Telescope
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.05735

    Tomography... heard about it, can't recall what it's about.

    to·mog·ra·phy /təˈmäɡrəfē/ noun: a technique for displaying a representation of a cross section through a human body or other solid object using X-rays or ultrasound.

    So the EHT would be used to produce 3-D images of, maybe, black holes? Or the area around them? Looks like the area around them, maybe the accretion disk and orbiting objects. And "hotspots".
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  12. #42
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    Tomography is the "T" in "CT scan". You take X-rays from multiple different directions within a plane, and then use a computer (the "C" in "CT scan") to figure out what 2D distribution of densities would be required to fit all the individual X-ray images. I vividly recall the arrival of the first CT scanner (in those days, CAT scanner, with an "A" for "axial") in our hospital: a) it was like magic; b) it meant I had to anaesthetize really sick people in a really awkward location.

    Anyway, the neat thing about that paper, if I read it correctly, is that instead of rotating the X-ray machine around the patient, they're rotating the "patient" while holding the "X-ray machine" stationary. The circulating motion of bright spots in the accretion disc means that you can compute their shape by taking multiple views as they move around the central black hole.

    Grant Hutchison

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Tomography is the "T" in "CT scan". You take X-rays from multiple different directions within a plane, and then use a computer (the "C" in "CT scan") to figure out what 2D distribution of densities would be required to fit all the individual X-ray images.
    Ah, now I think of all the CT scans I've gotten and feel a bit silly.

    Anyway, the neat thing about that paper, if I read it correctly, is that instead of rotating the X-ray machine around the patient, they're rotating the "patient" while holding the "X-ray machine" stationary. The circulating motion of bright spots in the accretion disc means that you can compute their shape by taking multiple views as they move around the central black hole. Grant Hutchison
    Oh, bully. I missed that part, but I really like that. It occurs to me that a TAU (thousand AU) spacecraft covered in various telescopes would do wonders for our view of the 3-D cosmos.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  14. #44
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    X-ray tomography (literally "slice drawing") actually predates the computerized stuff. We used to generate tomograms by slewing the X-ray plate and source around the patient during an exposure of a second or so, so that one "slice" of the body was constantly projected on to the same area of the X-ray plate, while the shadows of other parts of the body were smeared out across the plate during the exposure. It was blurry, but it worked after a fashion. Also called sectional röntgenography.

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #45
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    My wife had a CT scan just Monday!

    Of course, "tomography" originally referred to making extremely thin slices of tissue for microscopic examination. And still does.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Of course, "tomography" originally referred to making extremely thin slices of tissue for microscopic examination. And still does.
    I think that's microtomy. Slicing with a microtome.

    Grant Hutchison

  17. #47
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    You would know better than I, so thank you for today's learning experience!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  18. #48
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    the new term "woke" confuses me, does it mean fond of PC correctness?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    the new term "woke" confuses me, does it mean fond of PC correctness?
    It roughly means the same as, in 60s/70s terms, “consciousness raising” or “socially conscious/socially responsible”. Being aware of problems in our society and wanting to do something about them.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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  20. #50
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    I thought "woke" meant being aware of the consequences of your actions.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I thought "woke" meant being aware of the consequences of your actions.
    In a broad sense, yes, but consequences more in more in terms of “If I buy food with palm oil in it, I could be contributing to the destruction of orangutan habitat in Indonesia” than “If I don’t do the laundry today, I won’t have anything to wear on Friday”.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  22. #52
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    Yes, that is what I thought. "Woke" is not PC, as anyone could be woke to the broader consequences of their actions, in supporting a particular agenda. In this sense, woke is a universally positive trait regardless of politics. It implies deep thinking about goals.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    the new term "woke" confuses me, does it mean fond of PC correctness?
    The thing I love about the word "woke" is that it's a piece of blatant cultural appropriation, which is exactly the sort of thing that people who self-describe themselves as "woke" (in the currently popular sense of the word) should be conscientiously avoiding.
    The irony of it makes me shiver with delight.

    Grant Hutchison

  24. #54
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    Had no idea that "woke" was appropriated from anything but English.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Yes, that is what I thought. "Woke" is not PC, as anyone could be woke to the broader consequences of their actions, in supporting a particular agenda. In this sense, woke is a universally positive trait regardless of politics. It implies deep thinking about goals.
    It has particular connotations relating to social injustice and identity politics, however. One can probably be "woke" about almost anything, though, since it's difficult to come up with a human activity that's entirely divorced from social justice and identity politics.

    Grant Hutchison

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Had no idea that "woke" was appropriated from anything but English.
    From African-American Vernacular English. It's a standard grammatical construction in that form of English, and its original context is 1960s America. I'm sure you can piece together the rest of the story.

    Grant Hutchison

  27. #57
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    That’s why I personally prefer to still say “socially conscious”, I was just explaining what it means.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    That’s why I personally prefer to still say “socially conscious”, I was just explaining what it means.
    I certainly wasn't aiming my comment at you. I'm sorry if it seemed that way.

    (Somewhere out there, there's a marvellous parody of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream ..." speech, in which he dreams of "ethically sourced coffee beans for all the peoples of the earth" and "freedom from second glances in the street because of complex hair-dye decisions". Or something like that. It was one of those things that turned up in late-night googling, and has never been traceable again.)

    Grant Hutchison

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    From African-American Vernacular English. It's a standard grammatical construction in that form of English, and its original context is 1960s America. I'm sure you can piece together the rest of the story.
    Just looked it up. Mainly means to be aware of racially sensitive issues and racism. I like that and will endeavour to live by it. I guess you could also say, don't be rude, mean, stupid or destructive when you communicate, but that is broader.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Just looked it up. Mainly means to be aware of racially sensitive issues and racism.
    Sure. But, originally, from the perspective of a speaker of AAVE in 1960s America. So quite a specific application, which has now been appropriated for rather broader applications than its coiners had in mind. Language does that, of course, but it's good for people to be aware of the history associated with the expression, I think.

    Grant Hutchison

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