The new, reassuring face of old extremism Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Gospel of Matthew ...
precessional movement of the earth The earth rotates (white arrows) once a day about its axis of rotation (red); this axis itself rotates slowly (white circle), completing a rotation in approximately 26,000 years. image: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) In astrology, the zodiac is a belt of the heavens within […]
advertisement for ‘Wedgwood’s highly improved noctograph’ – circa 1842 The ‘noctograph’, originally patented in 1806 as a ‘Stylographic Writer’, was designed to help blind people write. The device used ‘carbonated paper’, made by soaking paper with printers’ ink. Once dried, the paper was fitted in the writing frame between two sheets of plain paper […]
A captcha or CAPTCHA is any of various authentication systems devised to enable a computer to distinguish human from computer input, typically in order to thwart spam or to prevent automated misuse of a web site. The word also denotes a manifestation of such a system, especially a string of distorted letters […]
Frances Burney (circa 1784-85) by Edward Francisco Burney National Portrait Gallery MEANING The noun quiz has the general sense of a set of questions used to test knowledge or to promote learning. In American English, a quiz is a short oral or written examination given by a teacher. In British […]
the newspaper L’Aurore – 13 January 1898 MEANING The English noun j’accuse denotes an accusation, especially one made publicly in response to a perceived injustice, and more generally a public denunciation. ORIGIN It is from French J’Accuse…!, I Accuse…!, the title of an open letter from Émile Zola […]
photograph: the chess piece In the early game of chess, an alphin was each of four pieces able to move two squares diagonally, jumping over the middle square. It was superseded by the bishop at the end of the 15th century. The word is from post-classical Latin alphinus, Anglo-Norman aufyn, Anglo-Norman […]