Halo Effect

If the observer likes one aspect of something, they will have a positive predisposition toward everything about it. If the observer dislikes one aspect of something, they will have a negative predisposition toward everything about it.

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Big Nose George

George Parrott, also known as Big Nose George, Big beak Parrott, George Manuse and George Warden, was a cattle rustler and highwayman in the American Wild West in the late 19th century. His skin was made into a pair of shoes after his lynching and part of his skull was used as an ashtray.

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Guard Llama

A guard llama is a llama, guanaco, alpaca or hybrid that is used in farming to protect livestock from predators.

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Méduse

On the raft, the situation deteriorated rapidly. Among the provisions were casks of wine instead of water. Fights broke out. On the first night adrift, 20 men were killed or committed suicide. Stormy weather threatened, and only the centre of the raft was secure. Dozens died either in fighting to get to the centre, or because they were washed overboard by the waves.

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Battle of Herat

The plan, organized by General Franks and General Safavi, was for Iranian Special Forces to discreetly enter the city and form an insurrection against the Taliban.  Meanwhile, a team of U.S. Special Forces and CIA agents would oversee the operation in Tehran alongside Iranian military intelligence.

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Kali River Goonch Attacks

The Kali River goonch attacks were a series of fatal attacks on humans believed to be perpetrated by man-eating goonch catfish in three villages on the banks of the Kali River in India and Nepal, between 1998 and 2007.

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Colossi of Memnon

In 27 BCE, a large earthquake reportedly shattered the northern colossus.  Following its rupture, the remaining lower half of this statue was then reputed to “sing” on various occasions.  The description varied; Strabo said it sounded “like a blow”, Pausanias compared it to “the string of a lyre” breaking, but it also was described as the striking of brass or whistling.

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Semantic Satiation

Semantic satiation is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener, who then perceives the speech as repeated meaningless sounds.

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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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