Monthly Archives: March 2017

Illegal Prime

An illegal prime is a prime number that represents information whose possession or distribution is forbidden in some legal jurisdiction.

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Liminality

During liminal periods of all kinds, social hierarchies may be reversed or temporarily dissolved, continuity of tradition may become uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted may be thrown into doubt.

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Hypnagogia

The hypnagogic state can provide insight into a problem, the best-known example being August Kekulé’s realization that the structure of benzene was a closed ring while half-asleep in front of a fire and seeing molecules forming into snakes, one of which grabbed its tail in its mouth.

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Broken Spectre

A brocken spectre is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun.

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Baruch Spinoza

“All laws which can be broken without any injury to another, are counted but a laughing-stock, and are so far from bridling the desires and lusts of men, that, on the contrary, they stimulate them.”

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Blood Chit

A blood chit is a notice carried by military personnel and addressed to any civilians who may come across an armed-services member – such as a shot-down pilot – in difficulties.

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Arecibo Message

The Arecibo message is a 1974 interstellar radio message carrying basic information about humanity and Earth sent to globular star cluster M13 in the hope that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive and decipher it.

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Chung Ling Soo

That night, as one of his assistants fired at him, the gun malfunctioned and fired a live bullet into Soo’s lung. He fell to the ground and said in perfect English, “Oh my God. Something’s happened. Lower the curtain.” It was the first and last time since adopting his persona that William “Chung Ling Soo” Robinson had spoken English in public.

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Ramayana

The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic poem which narrates the struggle of the divine prince Rama to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.

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Locusta

Locusta was a notorious poison mixer in Ancient Rome. She, along with Canidia and Martina, made up the infamous trio of female poisoners in Roman times.

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Unnecessary Fuss

Unnecessary Fuss is a film produced by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), showing footage shot inside the University of Pennsylvania’s Head Injury Clinic in Philadelphia.

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Count of St. Germain

“This extraordinary man, intended by nature to be the king of impostors and quacks, would say in an easy, assured manner that he was three hundred years old, that he knew the secret of the Universal Medicine, that he possessed a mastery over nature, that he could melt diamonds, professing himself capable of forming, out of ten or twelve small diamonds, one large one of the finest water without any loss of weight.”

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Alpha Group

Spetsgruppa “A”, also known as Alpha Group, is an elite stand-alone sub-unit of Russia’s special forces.

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Confederados

The Confederados were some 10,000 to 20,000 Confederates who immigrated to Brazil from the Southern United States after the American Civil War.

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Emergence

In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is a phenomenon whereby larger entities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities such that the larger entities exhibit properties the smaller/simpler entities do not exhibit.

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Edward Makuka Nkoloso

Nkoloso stated goals of the program were to establish a Christian ministry to “primitive” Martians, and the hope of Zambia becoming the “controllers of the Seventh Heaven of Interstellar space”.

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Sati

Sati is an obsolete Hindu funeral custom where a widow immolates herself on her husband’s pyre or commits suicide in another fashion shortly after her husband’s death.

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aUI

Weilgart’s motivation for inventing the language was to create a form of communication based on what he proposed to be universal, basic elements of human thought.

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Bugchasing

Bugchasing is the practice of pursuing sexual activity with HIV-positive individuals in order to contract HIV.

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Johnny Eck

The illusion would end with stage hands plucking up Eck and setting him atop his legs and then twirling him off-stage to be replaced by his twin Robert, who would then loudly threaten to sue Raboid and storm out of the theater.

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