"In mathematics, a pair of pants is a simple two-dimensional surface resembling a pair of pants: topologically, it is a sphere with three holes in it. Pairs of pants admit hyperbolic metrics, and their isometry class is determined by the lengths of the boundary curves (the cuff lengths), or dually the distances between the boundaries (the seam lengths)." (Wikipedia)
Ooh, nice meta list, I need to check the others out! And I bet I could find quite a few words that should be used in speculative or science fiction.
(I was wondering if it was metalist, meta list or meta-list, but metalist seems to be someone who works with metals, and the internet is full of lists and all things meta, and then I gave up searching...)
"Flowerhorn cichlids are ornamental aquarium fish noted for their vivid colors and the distinctively shaped heads for which they are named. Their head protuberance, or kok, is formally termed a 'nuchal hump.'" (Wikipedia)
"Pseudo-melanism, also called abundism, is another variant of pigmentation, characterized by dark spots or enlarged stripes, which cover a large part of the body of the animal making it appear melanistic. A deficiency in or total absence of melanin pigments is called amelanism." (Wikipedia)
"At any given moment, there could be heard a 'latrinophone' (which is a toilet seat strung with catgut), a 'crashophone' (bags of metal balls dropped into a metal washtub, in order to make the sound of breaking glass)" (From this article about Spike Jones)
"Two main types of reproduction occur in frogs, prolonged breeding and explosive breeding. In the former, adopted by the majority of species, adult frogs at certain times of year assemble at a pond, lake or stream to breed. Many frogs return to the bodies of water in which they developed as larvae. This often results in annual migrations involving thousands of individuals. In explosive breeders, mature adult frogs arrive at breeding sites in response to certain trigger factors such as rainfall occurring in an arid area. In these frogs, mating and spawning take place promptly and the speed of larval growth is rapid in order to make use of the ephemeral pools before they dry up." (Wikipedia)
The tiny central Amazonian frog -- the Rhinella proboscidea -- is a species that engages in 'explosive breeding', that is, a frantic competition for mates that takes place when large groups of animals gather for a few days. In this case, that means several hundred males congregate in small streamside ponds or headwaters for two or three days. When this happens, there is a brutal struggle to procreate, where many males become exhausted from fighting other males for receptive females. Meanwhile the females can sometimes get unintentionally crushed to death or drowned." (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/20/frog-necrophilia)
"In his later years, Grainger developed an aversion to English words with Latin roots—so the word 'museum' was, in this system, to be replaced with the term 'Hoard House'. He hoped this was what all museums would henceforth be called. I agree. The Guggenheim Hoard House, the Hoard House of Modern Art—let’s be honest about what these places are."
From David Byrne's Journal about Percy Grainger, where there's also a list of "Blue-Eyed English", wich is "the English language purged of all Latinisms", and might deserve a list of its own.
"Arowanas are freshwater bony fish of the family Osteoglossidae, also known as bonytongues. In this family of fish, the head is bony and the elongate body is covered by large, heavy scales, with a mosaic pattern of canals. The dorsal and the anal fins have soft rays and are long based, while the pectoral and ventral fins are small. The name 'bonytongues' is derived from a toothed bone on the floor of the mouth, the 'tongue', equipped with teeth that bite against teeth on the roof of the mouth. The arowana is a facultative air breather and can obtain oxygen from air by sucking it into the swim bladder, which is lined with capillaries like lung tissue." (Wikipedia)
"In computability theory, a busy beaver is a Turing machine that attains the maximum number of steps performed or number of nonblank symbols finally on the tape among all Turing machines in a certain class. The Turing machines in this class must meet certain design specifications and are required to eventually halt after being started with a blank tape.
A busy beaver function quantifies these upper limits on a given measure, and is a noncomputable function. In fact, a busy beaver function can be shown to grow faster asymptotically than does any computable function. The concept was first introduced by Tibor Radó as the 'busy beaver game' in his 1962 paper, 'On Non-Computable Functions'."
"A beating heart cadaver is a human body that though dead in all medical and legal definitions is attached to a medical ventilator and retains cardio-pulmonary functions. This will keep the organs of the dead body, including the heart, functioning and alive for a few days. As a result, the period of time in which the organs may be used for transplantation is extended." (Wikipedia)
"A hard, highly polishable composition, made of fine sawdust from hard wood (as rosewood) mixed with blood, and pressed." (GNU Webster's 1913, on bois-durci but the hyphenated spelling seems less common)
Jan 31, 2013
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