Xah Belles-lettres Blog 2012-08
installment, franchise, budget
My dear son, punish that contumacious beauty; give your mother a revenge as sweet as her injuries are great; infuse into the bosom of that haughty girl a passion for some low, mean, unworthy being, so that she may reap a mortification as great as her present exultation and triumph.
avant-garde, status quo
Avant-garde (French pronunciation: [avɑ̃ɡaʁd]) means “advance guard” or “vanguard”. The term is used in English as a noun or adjective to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.
Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm. The notion of the existence of the avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of modernism, as distinct from postmodernism. Many artists have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so, tracing a history from Dada through the Situationists to postmodern artists such as the Language poets around 1981.
In the novel, Cosette's mother Fantine places her under the guardianship of the Thénardiers, where she is severely mistreated. They beat her, starve her, and force her to perform heavy labor in their inn. Under the Thénardiers' care, she is described as “thin and pale,” wears rags for clothing, and she has chilblains on her hands as well as bruised and reddened skin. The narrator also states that “fear was spread all over her.”
While later under the care of Jean Valjean, Cosette's appearance completely transforms as she grows older. She becomes very beautiful, healthy, well-attired and educated. She later falls in love with Marius Pontmercy. Cosette has chestnut brown hair, beautiful eyes, rosy cheeks, pale skin, and a radiant smile.
subterfuge, persona, meddlesome, underplayed
what's Bismillah, Beelzebub ? Bohemian Rhapsody explains Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
New: the famous science fiction 〈Flatland〉 translated to Chinese, at 神奇的二维国 (Flatland).
Original English version here: FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions.
misdeeds, fabrication, infraction
Pulp magazines (often referred to as “the pulps”) are inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges.
The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on higher quality paper were called “glossies” or “slicks”. In their first decades, pulps were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of “hero pulps”; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage and The Phantom Detective.
A chronograph is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch combined with a display watch. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand; it can be started, stopped, and returned to zero by successive pressure on the stem. Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec invented the chronograph in 1821. Rieussec was awarded the original patent for his chronograph in 1822.
There are many modern day uses for the chronograph, but the original use for this device, and also the reason it was invented, was to please King Louis XVIII in 1821. The King greatly enjoyed watching horse races, but wanted to know exactly how long each race lasted, so Nicolas Rieussec was hired to invent a contraption that would do the job. As a result, he created the first ever commercialized chronograph.
A marine chronometer is a clock that is precise and accurate enough to be used as a portable time standard; it can therefore be used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation. When first developed in the 18th century it was a major technical achievement, as accurate knowledge of the time over a long sea voyage is necessary for navigation, lacking electronic or communications aids. The first true chronometer was the life work of one man, John Harrison, spanning 31 years of persistent experimentation and test that revolutionized naval (and later aerial) navigation enabling the Age of Discovery and Colonialism to accelerate.
The term chronometer (apparently coined in 1714 by Jeremy Thacker, an early competitor for the prize set by the Longitude Act in the same year) is used more recently to describe wristwatches tested and certified to meet certain precision standards. Timepieces made in Switzerland may only display the word ‘chronometer’ if certified by the COSC (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute).
dunk, hooligans, snugly
Apparently, we — a collective of food-eating-ketchup-using hooligans — have been consuming ketchup all wrong.
If you've ever poured ketchup into those tiny paper cup containers and brought them back to your table for fry dunking and burger smearing, you might be a victim of ketchup ignorance as well.
Did you know that these ketchup containers are built to fan out, and are made to allow for more dunk square-footage?
As it stands, your fries probably fit pretty snugly, but imagine wanting to dip your burger into that tiny cup — not happening.
vocabulary: surrogate, advocacy, shield, liability
A “front organization” is any entity set up by and controlled by another organization, such as intelligence agencies, organized crime groups, banned organizations, religious or political groups, advocacy groups, or corporations. Front organizations can act for the parent group without the actions being attributed to the parent group.
Front organizations that appear to be independent voluntary associations or charitable organizations are called front groups. In the business world, front organizations such as front companies or shell corporations are used to shield the parent company from legal liability. In international relations, a puppet state is a state which acts as a front (or surrogate) for another state.