Saturday, February 21, 2009


Liniment, (or embrocation) from the Latin linere, to anoint, is a medicated topical preparation for application to the skin. Preparations of this type are also called balm. Liniments are of a similar viscosity to lotions (being significantly less viscous than an ointment or cream) but unlike a lotion a liniment is applied with friction; that is, a liniment is always rubbed in.


An ointment is a viscous semisolid preparation used topically on a variety of body surfaces. These include the skin and the mucus membranes of the eye (an eye ointment), vagina, anus, and nose. An ointment may or may not be medicated.

The vehicle of an ointment is known as ointment base. The choice of a base depends upon the clinical indication for the ointment, and the different types of ointment bases are:
Hydrocarbon bases e.g. hard paraffin, soft paraffin
Absorption bases e.g. wool fat, beeswax
Water soluble bases e.g. macrogols 200, 300, 400
Emulsifying bases e.g. emulsifying wax, cetrimide
Vegetable oils e.g. olive oil, arachis oil, coconut oil

The medicaments are dispersed in the base and later they get divided after the drug penetration into the living cells of skin.

Ointments are homogeneous, semi-solid preparations intended for external application to the skin or mucous membranes. They are used as emollients or for the application of active ingredients to the skin for protective, therapeutic, or prophylactic purposes and where a degree of occlusion is desired.

Ointments are formulated using hydrophobic, hydrophilic, or water-emulsifying bases to provide preparations that are immiscible, miscible, or emulsifiable with skin secretions. They can also be derived from hydrocarbon (fatty), absorption, water-removable, or water-soluble bases.


A crisis (plural: crises) may occur on a personal or societal level. It may be a traumatic or stressful change in a person's life, or an unstable and dangerous social situation, in political, social, economic, military affairs, or a large-scale environmental event, especially one involving an impending abrupt change. More loosely, it is a term meaning 'a testing time' or 'emergency event'.

It's change, that's all.

Concertina wire

Concertina wire is a type of barbed wire or razor wire that is formed in large coils which can be expanded like a concertina. Each coil actually consists of two oppositely wound helices which support each other against crushing while allowing easy longitudinal movement. In conjunction with plain barbed wire and steel pickets, it is used to form military wire obstacles. During World War I soldiers manufactured concertina wire themselves, using ordinary barbed wire. Today it is factory made.

Concertina wire packs flat for ease of transport, but can then be deployed as an obstacle much more quickly than ordinary barbed wire.

A platoon of soldiers can deploy a single concertina fence at a rate of about a kilometer per hour. Such an obstacle is not very effective by itself, and concertinas are normally built up into more elaborate patterns as time permits.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


An ampersand (&), also commonly called an " 'and' sign," is a logogram representing the conjunction "and". The symbol is a ligature of the letters in et, Latin for "and". Its origin is apparent in the images shown below.

The word ampersand is a corruption of the phrase "and per se and", meaning "and [the symbol which] by itself [is] and". The Scots and Scottish English name for & is epershand, derived from "et per se and", with the same meaning.

Traditionally, in English-speaking schools when reciting the Alphabet, any letter that could also be used as a word in itself ("A," "I," "&" and, at one point, "O") was preceded by the Latin expression "per se" (Latin for "by itself"). Also, it was common practice to add at the end of the alphabet the "&" sign, pronounced "and". Thus, the recitation of the alphabet would end in: "X, Y, Z and per se and." This last phrase was routinely slurred to "ampersand" and the term crept into common English usage by around 1837.

Through folk etymology, it has been claimed that André-Marie Ampère used the symbol in his widely read publications, and that people began calling the new shape "Ampere's and."


Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission") in printing and writing refers to a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or a phrase from the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis).

The most common form of an ellipsis is a row of three periods (...). Forms encountered less often are: three asterisks (***), one em dash (—), multiple en dashes (––), and the Unicode Ellipsis symbol […].

The triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a suspension point, points of ellipsis, periods of ellipsis, or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.


Guillemets (pronounced /ˈɡɪləmɛt/, or /ɡiːəˈmeɪ/ after French [ɡijmɛ]), also called angle quotes, are line segments, pointed as if arrows (« or »), sometimes forming a complementary set of punctuation marks used as a form of quotation mark. The symbol at either end — double « and » or single ‹ and › — is a guillemet. They are used in a number of languages to indicate speech. They are also referred to as symbols for rewind and fast forward.


Brackets are punctuation marks used in pairs to set apart or interject text within other text. In computer science, the term is sometimes said to strictly apply to the square or box type.

There are four main types of brackets:

round brackets, open brackets, or parentheses: ( )
square brackets, closed brackets, or box brackets: [ ]
curly brackets or braces: { }
angle brackets, diamond brackets, or chevrons: < >
All these forms may be used according to typographical conventions that may vary from publication to publication and may vary even more from language to language.


The apostrophe ( ’ or ' ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritic mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets. In English it has two main functions: it marks omissions, and it assists in marking the possessives of all nouns and many pronouns. (In strictly limited cases, it is allowed to assist in marking plurals, but most authorities now disapprove of such usage; see below.) According to the OED, the word comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία] (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía], "[the accent of] 'turning away', or elision"), through Latin and French.

The apostrophe is different from the closing single quotation mark (usually rendered identically but serving a quite different purpose), and from the similar-looking prime (which is used to indicate measurement in feet or arcminutes, and for various mathematical purposes).


Kudos (pronounced /ˈkjuːdɒs/, often /ˈkuːdoʊz/), from the Greek κῦδος (not to be confused with κύδος "taunt"), kydos, (literally "that which is heard of") means "fame" and "renown" resulting from an act or achievement. Extending "kudos" to another individual is often done as a praising remark. It entered English as British university slang in the early 1800s. In Standard British English, as in Greek, Kudos is a singular and not a plural noun, and is used exclusively as such in Britain. However, in common use in the US the noun is often plural: She received many kudos ['ku:doʊz] for her work.

The term is often attributed to recognition in the workplace with many Employee Recognition Programs developed solely to recognize the achievement of individuals.


The term Diaspora (in Greek, διασπορά – "a scattering [of seeds]") refers to the movement of any population sharing common ethnic identity who were either forced to leave or voluntarily left their settled territory, and became residents in areas often far removed from the former. It is converse to the nomadic culture. Diaspora cultural development often assumes a different course from that of the population in the original place of settlement. It tends to vary in culture, traditions and other factors between remotely separated communities. The last vestige of cultural affiliation in a Diaspora is often found in community resistance to language change and in maintenance of religious practice.

The first mention of a diaspora created as a result of exile is found in Deuteronomy 28:25 "thou shalt be a dispersion in all kingdoms of the earth". Its use began to develop from this original sense when the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek; the word "Diaspora" then was used to refer to the population of Jews exiled from Israel in 607 BC by the Babylonians, and from Judea in 70 CE by the Roman Empire. It subsequently came to be used to refer interchangeably, but exclusively, to the historical movements of the dispersed ethnic population of Israel, the cultural development of that population, or the population itself.

The wider application of Diaspora evolved from the Assyrian two-way mass deportation policy of conquered populations to deny future territorial claims on their part. In Ancient Greece the term Diaspora meant " the scattered" and was used to refer to citizens of a dominant city-state who emigrated to a conquered land with the purpose of colonisation, to assimilate the territory into the empire.

First modern attestation of diasporas is in 1876 from the Greek "Diaspora", derived from diaspeirein "to scatter about, disperse," from dia- "about, across" + speirein "to scatter". As an academic field, Diaspora studies has been established relating to the wider modern meaning of the usage 'Diaspora'.

Sometimes refugees of other origins or ethnicities may be called a Diaspora, but the two terms are far from synonymous.

The term became more widely assimilated into English by the mid 1950s, with long-term expatriates in significant numbers from other particular countries or regions also being referred to as a diaspora. An academic field, diaspora studies, has become established relating to this contemporary more general sense of the word.

In all cases, the term Diaspora carries a sense of displacement; that is, the population so described finds itself for whatever reason separated from its national territory; and usually it has a hope, or at least a desire, to return to their homeland at some point, if the "homeland" still exists in any meaningful sense. Some writers have noted that Diaspora may result in a loss of nostalgia for a single home as people "re-root" in a series of meaningful displacements. In this sense, individuals may have multiple homes throughout their Diaspora, with different reasons for maintaining some form of attachment to each.