Sunday, 30 January 2011

Antecedent and Anaphor

An antecedent is a linguistic expression which provides the interpretation for a second expression (anaphor) which has little meaning of its own.

An antecedent is usually a noun phrase.
An antecedent usually comes before its anaphor.

  • If you see Ram, give him your shirt. (Antecedent – Ram; anaphor – him)
  • He went to his shop. (Antecedent – he; anaphor – his)
  • Ravi injured himself playing Volleyball. (Antecedent – Ravi; anaphor – himself)

An antecedent occasionally follows its anaphor.
An anaphor that precedes its antecedent is sometimes called a cataphor.

  • If you see him, give Ram your shirt.

Antecedent and its anaphor can be in different sentences.

  • Palaniappan is my brother. He is a merchant. (Antecedent – Palaniappan; anaphor – he)

An antecedent can be a verb phrase, an adjective phrase or a prepositional phrase.

  • My father asked me to open the door and I did it. (The antecedent ‘open the door’ is the verb phrase)
  • John thought Devi was in hospital, but he didn’t find her there. (The antecedent ‘in hospital’ is the prepositional phrase)

Antecedent can be a complete sentence.

  • Sita: Arun is teaching English.
  • Ragu: Who told you that?

The anaphor ‘that’ refers to the complete sentence ‘Arun is teaching English’.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Prefixes in ship names

Ships often have a prefix attached to their names to indicate which type of vessel they are, or their national affiliation. This isn't enforced by any law or governing body - it's tradition, as are so many other maritime customs. Thus, there aren't any strict guidelines that define what class a vessel falls into (with some obvious exceptions, "USS" being a prime example.) Here are the most commonly-seen acronyms, some of which are no longer in broad use:

DS        Diesel Ship
Fishing Vessel     HMAS
FV     Fishing Vessel
HMAS     Her Majesty's Australian Ship (used exclusively by the Australian Navy)
HMCS     Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (used exclusively by the Canadian Navy)
HMS     Her Majesty's Ship (used exclusively by British Navy vessels)
MS     Motor Ship
MTS     Motor Turbine Ship
MV     Motor Vessel (this is commonly used in the US for ferries, cargo vessels, and cruise ships)
NS     Nuclear Ship
RMS     Royal Mail Ship
RV     Research Vessel (typically oceanographic science ships)
SS     Steam Ship
SSC     Semi-Submersible Craft
STR     Steamer
STV     Sail Training Vessel
TS     Training Ship
TSS     Turbine Steam Ship
USCGC     U.S. Coast Guard Cutter
USNS     United States Naval Ship (used for vessels in US Navy service but manned by civilian crew)
USS     United States Ship (used exclusively for commissioned US Navy vessels)


Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Dewey Decimal System

The Dewey Decimal System organizes information into 10 broad areas, which are broken into smaller and smaller topics. Different topics are assigned numbers, known as "call numbers." For example, "Animals" are given the number 599. To see what books the library currently has in on animals, go to the nonfiction shelves and find the books that have a 599 as part of their call number. A list of some of the information you can find in the different Dewey Decimal areas, appears below.
You can learn more about the Dewey Decimal System and how it works in the book The Dewey Decimal System by Allan Fowler. The call number for this book is: J 025.431 Fo.

Dewey Decimal System


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Gordian Knot

In Greek and Roman mythology, the Gordian knot was an extremely complicated knot tied by Gordius, the king of Phrygia in Asia Minor*. Located in the city of Gordium, the knot came to symbolize a difficult problem that was almost impossible to solve.

According to legend, Gordius was a peasant who married the fertility goddess Cybele. When Gordius became king of Phrygia, he dedicated his chariot to Zeus* and fastened it to a pole with the Gordian knot. Although the knot was supposedly impossible to unravel, an oracle predicted that it would be untied by the future king of Asia.

Many individuals came to Gordium to try to undo the knot, but they all failed. Then, according to tradition, the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great visited the city in 333 B . C . After searching unsuccessfully for the hidden ends of the Gordian knot, Alexander became impatient. In an unexpected move, he took out his sword and cut through the knot. Alexander then went on to conquer Asia, thus fulfilling the oracle's prophecy.

Alexander's solution to the problem led to the saying, "cutting the Gordian knot," which means solving a complicated problem through bold action.


Monday, 17 January 2011

Turducken, Gooducken

A turducken is a dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed into a de-boned turkey. The word turducken is a portmanteau of turkey, duck, and chicken or hen.

Gooducken is a goose stuffed with a duck, which is in turn stuffed with a chicken.


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Deepest Swimming Pool In The World

Nemo33 , Brussels

The pool itself consists of a submerged structure with flat platforms at various depth levels. The pool has two large flat-bottomed areas at depth levels of 5 m  and 10 m , and a large circular pit descending to a depth of 33 m . It is filled with 2,500,000 litres of non-chlorinated, highly filtered spring water maintained at 30 °C  and contains several simulated underwater caves at the 10 m depth level. There are numerous underwater windows that allow outside visitors to look into the pools at various depths.  The complex was designed by Belgian diving expert John Beernaerts as a multi-purpose diving instruction, recreational, and film production facility, and opened in 2004.

Photos and full article at

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Fat Owl of the Remove

Billy Bunter, of Greyfriars School, was one of the first successes from the fledgling BBC Children's Department at the tiny Lime Grove studios, this comedy series was based on the stories of Frank Richards (real name Charles Hamilton).

Richards' tales of Greyfriars public school had appeared in the first issue of comic paper The Magnet in 1908, continuing until it folded in 1940. Billy Bunter stories continued in novel form thereafter, with this TV series arriving in 1952.

The rotund Bunter was one of several boys in the class known as 'The Remove' year and his round face and horn-rimmed glasses earned him the nickname 'The Fat Owl of the Remove'


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Bank vault quality control

Bank vault quality control for much of the world's vault industry is overseen by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), in Northbrook, Illinois. Until 1991, the United States government also regulated the vault industry. The government set minimum standards for the thickness of vault walls, but advances in concrete technology made thickness an arbitrary measure of strength. Thin panels of new materials were far stronger than the thicker, poured concrete walls. Now the effectiveness of the vault is measured by how well it performs against a mock break-in. Manufacturers strive to make products that repel attacks for a certain number of minutes.

A UL Class 1 vault is guaranteed to withstand a break-in attempt for 30 minutes, a Class 2 for 60 minutes, and a Class 3 for 120 minutes.

UL's workers attack sample vault walls and doors with equipment that is likely a burglar could carry into a bank and use. This usually includes torches and demolition hammers. If the UL worker can make a hole of at least 6 × 16 in (15.24 × 40.64 cm) in less than the set time, that particular part has failed the test. Manufacturers also do their own testing designing a new product to make sure it is likely to succeed in UL trials.