Sunday, 29 December 2013

Order of the Holy Spirit

The Order of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit, was an Order of Chivalry under the French Monarchy.

Due to the blue riband from which the Cross of the Holy Spirit was hung, the Knights became known as "Les Cordon Bleus". Over time, this expression was extended to refer to other distinctions of the highest class - for example, Cordon Bleu cooking and Blue Riband sporting events.


Friday, 27 December 2013

cordon (bleu)


  • a line of police, sentinels, military posts, warships, etc., enclosing or guarding an area.
  • a cord or braid worn for ornament or as a fastening.
  • a ribbon worn usually diagonally across the breast as a badge of a knightly or honorary order.



cordon bleu

French for 'blue ribbon'. The Cordon Bleu was the highest order of chivalry under the Bourbon kings. It has since been used for other first-class distinctions. The term has migrated into the language as a figurative acclamation rather than actual decoration for high quality, especially for chefs.


Monday, 23 December 2013

Camera obscura

The camera obscura (Latin; camera for "vaulted chamber/room", obscura for "dark", together "darkened chamber/room"; plural: camera obscuras or camerae obscurae) is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen.

It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography and the camera.

The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side.

Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, upside-down, but with color and perspective preserved.

The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation.

The largest camera obscura in the world is on Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth, Wales.


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Types of suit checks

Checks come in a number of different styles, though the best known among them is probably the plaid. Plaid in American English is synonymous with tartan, the check patterns most closely associated with Scottish clans. In British English, particularly in Scotland, plaid refers to a thick tartan cloth used both as a blanket and thrown over the shoulder when wearing a kilt. What plaid is not synonymous with is check, which describes any fabric with crossing vertical and horizontal stripes. With the exception of a legitimate Scottish tartan worn as part of a formal occasion, checks are always less formal than solids or stripes.

Glen Check

While tartans are arguably the most familiar checks to most individuals, Glen check is likely the most common for suits. This check, often called Prince of Wales check, resembles a tartan, though it is primarily monochromatic. It utilizes bands of vertical and horizontal stripes which, when viewed as a unit, create a wider check effect in the fabric. Glen check has deep associations with the country and weekend wear – having been created for use by English nobles in Scotland who lacked a family tartan – though it is appropriate for most semi-formal occasions. It may be frowned upon in certain professions with a particularly strict dress code, but should be an acceptable if not welcome divergence for most men.


Another check option is windowpane, a much more bold option where the stripes forming the check are far apart, creating a checkerboard effect. Full windowpane suits are not frequently found anymore, though windowpane sports jackets may appear from time to time. A heavy dose of confidence and a certain amount of panache is required to carry off this kind of daring pattern.

Herringbone and Houndstooth

A more subtle option is the herringbone, a small arrow-shaped pattern most often found in heavy woven fabrics like tweed. Herringbone, like Glen check, is an appropriate pattern for most occasions, though because it usually adorns heavy fabrics, it is most often found on winter and country suits. Similar is houndstooth, which somewhat resembles a saw-blade, a pattern far more common on sports jackets than full suits.

Bird's Eye and Nailhead

Somewhere between solids and stripes in formality is bird's eye or nailhead, which examined closely has the appearance of tiny dots of a lighter color on a darker background. A bird’s eye suit generally appears as a solid somewhere in between the two colors, similar to the effect of an Oxford cloth shirt. Nail-head is appropriate in any occasion where stripes would be, and can be substituted for solids on all but the most formal of occasions.

There are a number of other patterns – bolder varieties of check, diagonals, argyle, paisley, Madras – though they are not to be found on suits, at least not on suits worn by a gentleman. These are things to be considered in the realm of shirts, ties, and socks, which will be taken up in future, along with the true pattern art-form: matching two or more.


Friday, 20 December 2013

What is a Typosquatter?

A typosquatter registers domain names which closely resemble high-traffic websites, but feature common misspellings and consumer confusions. A typosquatter might register several domain names like,, and so on. Customers seeking the real website may accidentally type the wrong URL, which directs them to one of the typosquatter's own websites. These websites are usually nothing more than a collection of lucrative click-thru advertisements. In some cases, the sites are pornographic. Even using .net instead of .com can lead to a typosquatter's website.

See full artice at

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Peek Freans

Peek Frean is a brand of biscuits and related confectionery. The brand is owned in the UK by United Biscuits, although the Peek Frean name is no longer used in the UK. In the US and Canada the brand is owned by Kraft Foods.

Peek, Frean and Co was established in 1857 in Bermondsey, London by James Peek and George Hender Frean. In 1861, the company started exporting biscuits to Australia and later to other overseas destinations. They moved to a larger plant in Bermondsey in 1866 where they continued baking until the brand was discontinued in 1989.

During the course of its life, the firm's brand name changed from Peek, Frean and Co to Peek Frean (in the early twentieth century) and then to Peek Freans (by the 1970s, the name having been used in the possessive case on products for many years).

See more at

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Earl, Belted Earl

The word Earl is from the Anglo-Saxon magnate known as an ealdorman who was a local ruler.

The original term is from "jarl"- a powerful Viking Noble. Many former Prime Ministers were made earls when they left office.

Until the 17th century an earl was invested by the Sovereign with the sword he wore at his waste - hence the term 'a belted earl'.

Some Scottish earldoms pass through the female line. The present Earl of Mar is a woman.

The eldest son of an earl always bears one of his father's (or mother's) secondary titles. The other sons are 'Hons.' Daughters are styled Lady.

See more at

Friday, 13 December 2013

Selvage and Selvedge

The selvage (US English) or selvedge (British English) is the term for the self-finished edges of fabric.

The selvages keep the fabric from unravelling or fraying.

The selvages are a result of how the fabric is created.

In woven fabric, selvages are the edges that run parallel to the warp (the longitudinal threads that run the entire length of the fabric), and are created by the weft thread looping back at the end of each row.

The terms selvage and selvedge are a corruption of "self-edge", and have been in use since the 16th century.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Streisand effect

The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity. Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters, to suppress numbers, files and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.

Example - In June 2012, Argyll and Bute council banned a nine-year-old primary school pupil from updating her blog, NeverSeconds, with photos of lunchtime meals served in the school's canteen. The blog, which was already popular, started receiving an immense number of views due to the international media furor that followed the ban. Within days, the council reversed its decision under immense public pressure and scrutiny. After the reversal of the ban, the blog became more popular than it was before.[29]

See more examples at

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Types of suit stripes

Stripes on suits are always vertical, but come in a number of different styles.

The first, foremost, and most classic is the pinstripe. A pinstriped suit, particularly a navy pinstriped suit, is an extremely traditional look, almost a uniform of sorts for the businessman. Pinstripes, as the name suggests, are very narrow though generally prominent stripes, most often in white, although gray is a not-uncommon choice, especially on dark gray or black suits.

These, and all stripes, help to make the wearer appear taller, as they draw the face upwards, and can make a heavyset man appear thinner, by breaking up and drawing attention away from the solid midsection. This is particularly true for thin, close set stripes like the pinstripe.

There are also other stripes, including the thicker chalk stripe, as an option for the gentleman's wardrobe. These stripes, which are generally set farther apart due to their greater width, are significantly less formal than the pinstripe, and while continuing to provide the appearance of increased height, are less appropriate for large men, as they can draw attention to ones girth.


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Horses, Hikers, and Bikers

The first hiking etiquette thing that you need to know is that there is a hierarchy on the trail. Horses have priority, followed by hikers, and then bikers. It’s pretty simple to remember and makes encounters much more pleasant when everyone knows who gets to go first. Always check to see what other kinds of travellers will be sharing the trail with you before you start. If horses or bikes are allowed, then be mentally prepared to encounter them.

See 6 Reminders on Hiking Etiquette at