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General Knowledge Pt. XVII

 

What is terroir?

Terroir is a French term that means soil or earth and is generally used to refer to all the physical and environmental characteristics in and around a particular vineyard that influence the quality of wine — climate, soil composition and geographical location. Without a direct English equivalent, terroir specifically refers to the consistent, distinctive qualities in wine that are not the results of the variety of the grape or the skills of the grower and winemaker.

What is sabre-raifling?

Sabre-rattling is an idiomatic phrase that originated in the early 20th century when an officer would threaten to draw his sabre. It usually refers to a flamboyant display of military power or as an implied threat like a company threatening another with a lawsuit.

What are heartwood and sapwood?

Wood is, in fact, the secondary xylem formed by cambium (layers of tissues) during secondary growth. As the tree grows old, the wood at the centre ceases to perform the function of conduction and is blocked with organic compounds like oil, resins, and tannins, and develops a dark colour. This darkcoloured portion of the wood is called heartwood. The peripheral, light-coloured, better water-conducting wood is called sapwood.

What was austria’s currency before the euro was introduced?

From 1924 to 1938 and between 1945 to 1999, Austria’s currency was the schilling, which was divided into 100 groschen. Thereafter, the euro replaced the schilling.

What’s special about the encoded cylinder?

The encoded cylinder refers to the Cyrillic Projector sculp ture by American artist James Sanborn which was created in the early 1990s. The 32-character Cyrillic alphabet has been used on it with the Russ ian word for ‘shadow’ — TEHb — appearing several times.

What is the big read?

It is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts of America designed to encourage book reading among citizens. The literature in focus is on American popular culture. The National Endowment has partnered the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. Support for the Big Read is given by the W K Kellogg Foundation and a grant by the Paul G Alien Family Foundation.

How old is tintin?

Tintin is 80 — he was created in post-war France by Belgian artist Georges Remi, who took the name of Herge. Tintin is a Belgian reporter, and has a faithful fox terrier called Snowy. The comic series first appeared on January 10,1929, in a Belgian newspaper and was a hit with children. Later, Herge added the popular Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, the two incompetent detectives, Thomson an4 Thompson and the opera singer Bianca Castafiore.

What is zorbing?

Zorbing is an extreme adventure sport involving a ball made of PVC, also called the zorb. The person, or persons,in case of ‘group zorbing’, getsinside and the ball is closed. Itis then rolled down a hill. There are two ways to zorb: one involves getting wet.

What is the devil quartet?

The devil or ‘evil quartet’ is a sobriquet used to describe four major causes that have led to the accelerated rate of extinction of species. These causes have been attributed mainly to human activities like extensive deforestation and poaching.

Which is the oldest civilization?

The Sumerian civilization is the oldest civilization known to mankind. The term ‘Sumer’ is today used to designate southern Mesopotamia. In 3,000 BC, a flourishing urban civilization existed. China is the oldest surviving civilization.

What is meant by “ceteris paribus’?

‘Ceteris paribus’ is a Latin phrase that means “with other things the same”. Ceteris paribus clauses are widely used in economics to simplify formulation and description of economic outcomes.

What is the governor’s ball at the academy awards?

The Governor’s Ball at the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood is its concluding event, and a celebration for the around 1,500 invitees, winners, nominees and other guests.

What is seaflux?

It is a study of the changes in oceans and its waves affected by momentum, heat and quantum of water. It involves creation of comparable datasets and constant observation of the effect of heat and momentum on the ocean front.

What is a sungrazer?

When comets break up, smaller comets and sungrazers are formed. As these approach the sun, they break into smaller fragments before colliding into it. Sungrazers are classified into families and the largest is the Kreutz family with over 500 sungrazers.

Why are zodiac signs named after animals?

The term ‘zodiac’ stands for animals. However, all zodiac signs do not represent animals, like Libra is represented by a balance. Astrologically and astronomically, zodiac signs are representative of various pattern formed by stars.

What does ‘jack of all trades’ mean?

‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ is a figure of speech used for a person who is competent with many skills but is not outstanding in any particular one. The phrase was in common use during the 1600s and was used as a term of praise. ‘Jack’ in those days was a generic term for ‘man’.

What is kosher rating?

By definition, Kosher is food prepared according to Orthodox Jewish law. Kosher rating is an internationally accepted symbol of purity and quality that is both recognized and respected throughout the world. To achieve this qualitymark, arabbi froma certified laboratoryis required toinspect the processing facilities, the formula of the stabilization method, the manufacturing process and all the ingredients in the products. The standard set are high and rigidly adhered to. Many religious groups throughout the world, especially the Jewish faith, perceive the Kosher mark as an accepted measure of high quality.

Why is the black sea called so?

In ancient times, colours were assigned to the cardinal directions — with black referring to the north. The Black Sea is an inland sea bou nd by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus, and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas and various straits. It was also called “inhospitable” (dark area, black) before Greek colonization, because it was difficult to navigate, and because its shores were inhabited by savage tribes. The waters of the Black Sea appear darker than the Mediterranean because of its hydrogen sulphide layer that begins about 200 metres below the surface and supports a uniciue microbial population which produces black sediments.

What is astrobiology?

A branch of astronomy that deals with the identification of habitable regions in the universe, the search for extraterrestrial life and effects of outer space environments on living organisms. It is the study of the origin and distribution of life in the universe. Astrobiology makes use of physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, molecular biology, ecology, planetary science, geography and geology to investigate the possibility of life in other worlds.

What is the benga blast?

Benga is the predominant style of popular music in Kenya performed in Swahili. It combines indigenous dance rhythms with guitar music. Daniel Owino Misiani was a musician from Kenya and was known as the “the grandfather of Benga”. In 1989, D.O. Misiani and Shirati Band produced an album called Benga Blast! This was a compilation of older material and two additional tracks, Meg Nyangiand Augustine Opiyo Ochino.

What is kangaroo touch?

Kangaroo touch is a technique used to encourage skin-to-skin contact between a newborn, usually premature baby and its mother as this touch is believed to keep it healthy It is also encouraged between siblings. The name comes from the way kangaroos hold their young in their pouches. Kangaroo touch or care is now increasingly promoted in hospitals for the many benefits the mother’s warmth provides to the baby. It was initially developed to care for pre-term infants the way an incubator would in areas where it was not available.

What is a time capsule?

A time capsule is a cache of goods/information created to serve as a mode of communication with people in the future. These may include archaeologists, anthropologists or historians. The capsules are sometimes buried at sites where events are held. The term has been used since about 1939. There are two types of capsules: intentional and unintentional. Intentional time capsules are placed somewhere deliberately, to be accessed at a particular future date. Unintentional capsules are usually archaeological in nature.

Why does a bull react violently to the colour red?

It is the movement of the cloth that makes the bull react violently as like most mammals, the bull too is colourblind and cannot be affected by the colour of the cloth. When a matador moves a cloth (irrespective of the colour) in front of the bull, it perceives the movement as a threat and is angered, and as a result, reacts violently

What is the Cinderella effect?

The Cinderella effect is a term used by psychologists to describe the high incidence of stepchildren being physically or sexually abused, neglected or murdered, or otherwise mistreated at the hands of their step parents at a significantly higher rate than their genetic counterparts. It takes its name from the character Cindrella from the fairytale, who in the story was cruelly treated by her stepmother and stepsisters.

What is the origin of the term manhole?

The term manhole originated between 1785 and 1795. A manhole is a hole, usually with a round cover, through which a person may enter a sewer, drain, steam boiler, etc, especially one located in a city street. The word is a Combination of two words man and ‘hole”. However in today’s era of gender neutrality, some would argue that any use of the word ‘man’ in manhole is biased and should be avoided.

Who are the Berbers?

Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa. They were made up of many tribes but had managed to retain their culture, Hamitic language and considerable military power during successive invasions of their land. Some berbers were Christian, some Jewish and some maintained their polytheist religion before being converted to Islam by the Arabs. The Berbers once occupied the entire stretch of land along the coast of Libya and Tunisia through Algeria, up to Morocco.

What is edupunk?

It is an education reform movement in which traditional methods teaching are set aside for a self-study approach, involving online technology — through virtual classrooms, downloadable tools and free learning material — as the favoured mode for education People taking to edupunk believe in a do-it-yourself approach and many are driven to this sort of low-cost, even free education, by a troubled economy. While free lectures and online classes may not give one a degree, they can educate effectively.

What is a cloud burst?

A cloud burst is a form of torrential rainfall accompanied by hail and thunder. It is usually observed in high altitude areas and occurs due to the formation of a low pressure area on the top of a mountain. The low pressure zone attracts clouds to the top of the mountain with great force. When they hit the peak, the moisture content is released in the form of rain. The state of Himachal Pradesh witnesses the most number of cloud bursts. Valleys affected by cloud bursts are generally strewn with huge boulders brought down by the rain. Cloud bursts mainly occur in the Himalayas and can cause ramfall of up to 75 mm per hour.

What is the origin of the word —nat’?

In the United Kingdom, Australia and many other parts of the world, the word ‘flat’ is used to mean an apartment or a house. It is derived from the Scottish word ‘fief which means the interior of a house. In Old English, flet means house or floor. The word flat may also be linked to the “flatness” of the abode.

What are lemon laws and why are they called so?

Lemon laws are American state laws that provide a remedy for purchasers of cars as compensation for vehicles that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality and performance. These cars are called lemons. The federal lemon law protects citizens of all states. State lemon laws vary from state to state and need not necessarily cover used or leased cars. The rights afforded to consumers by lemon laws may exceed the warranties expressed in purchase contracts.

Why do men’s shirts have buttons on the left side while women’s shirts have them on the right?

The rationale dates back to over a century: men’s buttons are on the left because men have always tended to dresK rhemseives and most men (and women, for that matter) are right handed. Women’s buttons are on the right side because years ago they re lied on their maids to help them get dressed. They would be right-hand ed and so when dressing someone else up would prefer to have the but tons on their right side (the left side of the garment).

What is an artificial coral?

Corals are porous marine animals that live at the bottom of the ocean. Coral attaches to a strong foundation and then grows to create a coral reef. Coral are naturally vibrant and colourful An artificial coral reef is a human made underwater structure, typically built for the purpose of promoting marine life. Artificial reefs also improve hydrodynamics and help control beach erosion. Making artificial coral also adds colour to an aquarium.

Who is a ghetto parent?

A bad parent is a ghetto parent — someone who does not care for, abuses and hits, and fails to give a good education and upbringing to his or her child. Basically, it is a style of parenting in which the parent has the mindset of those living in a ghetto. But there are many who shrink from using the term ‘ghetto’ as it has racist and class connotations. Actually, a rich and educated person can also be a ghetto parent.

What is the gene revolution?

The gene revolution is the application of bio-technology in food production. It is of great potential to farmers as it provides them with disease-free planting material and develops crops that resist pests and diseases, reducing use of chemicals that harm the environment and human health. It can provide diagnostic tools and vaccines that help control devastating animal diseases. It can also improve the nutritional quality of staple foods such as rice and create new products for health and industrial uses.

What is a cogwheel train?

A cogwheel train is a train fitted with one or more cogwheels, which mesh with the toothed rail-rack, running usually between the normal rails. The system, operating on rack and pinion arrangement, is used in regions where trains operate on steep heights within a short span of time. Most cogwheel railways are mountain railways, although a few are transit railways 6r tramways, built to overcome a steep gradient in an urban environment. The first cog railway was Middleton Railway, UK. Now it is a major tourist attraction of Jungfraujoch, Switzerland.

What is green accounting?

The term ‘green accounting’ hasn’t yet been fully defined. Most agree, however, that in order for a business to be able to reduce its carbon footprint, it must first be able to measure it. Then, once the size of the carbon footprint is known, a business must be able to report the data to regulators, taxation officials, carbon credit trading organizations and other relevant parties. Energy-reliant manufacturers and power-generating utilities feel the most pressure to embrace green accounting, but companies in nearly all business sectors can expect to do so at some level within the next few years.

What is a kangaroo court?

A kangaroo court describes sham judicial proceedings which are conducted without giving the rights of defence to the accused by invoking the expediency clause. In this process, prosecution cases are taken up without witnesses and cross-examination. As the trial proceeds by leaps like a kangaroo, it is known as kangaroo court. It may also mean punishing players in sports with fines for coming late and other minor mistakes. Fines collected are given to charity.

Why is the Forbidden City called so?

The Forbidden City, also known as Palace Museum, is a walled section of Beijing located right at its centre, enclosing the Imperial Palace, formerly the residence of the emperor of China. The ‘Forbidden City’ is the English equivalent of the Chinese name ‘Zijin Cheng’ — Jin meaning forbidden, with reference to the fact that no one could enter or leave the walled city or Cheng, without the emperor’s permission. Built in the early 15th century with over 1,000 buildings and a large collection of ancient wood structures, it is now a major tourist at- traction and has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

What is a chop shop?

It is slang for an illegal business or unit where stolen cars or other goods are disassembled and then sold. The other meaning stands for businesses whose products, services or equipment are of questionable quality. The term gained currency when US Senator Charles Schumer used it for Infosys and other IT companies, in context of the US losing jobs. Chop shop can also mean a brokerage that sells fraud non-existent equities. It is used colloquially for shops run by butchers or barbers.

Where is ‘magnetic’ hill in India?

India’s magnetic hill is located close to Leh and is alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars uphill. Locals and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel claim that aircraft passing through the area have to fly at a greater speed to avoid the pull the hill has on the aircraft in order to avoid its radius which could cause the aircraft to jerk. Vehicles allegedly move uphill even with the engines off. There are similar magnetic hills in Mocton in Canada and New Brunswick in the USA.

What is a digital pet?

A digital or virtual pet is an artificial human companion that exists only in hardware. Interaction with the pet may or may not be goal-oriented. If interaction with virtual pets is goal-oriented then the user must keep it alive and even help it to grow by ‘feeding’, grooming and playing with it. If the interaction is not goal-oriented, the user can focus solely on building a relationship with it. There are digital pet cemeteries where, after the use of the pet, the owner can lay it to rest.

How did the *$’ symbol originate?

The origin of the dollar symbol ($) actually comes from the handwritten ‘ps’, an abbreviation for ‘peso’ in old Spanish-American books. The word ‘dollar’ has been derived from the Flemish or Low German word daler (in German taler or thaler), short for Joachimstaler, referring to a coin from the silver mines of Joachimstal in Bohemia. It was adopted as the name of the US currency unit in the late 18th century Some believe it is US, with the S written over U with a flourish.

Why don’t we sneeze while we are sleeping?

Sneezing is a normal physiological phenomenon caused by irritation in the nasal membrane. This may be due to an infection, allergy to pollens, dust or smoke. While sleeping, we do not sneeze because the reticular process — a part of brain that controls sleep, does not allow many stimuli, including that of a sneeze, to come into the central nervous system.

What is pina?

Pina in Spanish means pineapple, the fruit. A cocktail called pina colada, made with pineapple, rum, and coconut milk, is a common drink in Cuba and Puerto Rico. In the Philippines, the fibre extracted from the leaves of the pineapple plant is used for making textile fabric called pina. Pina fabric is known for its lustrous white colour, lightness, stiffness, and transparency. It is used for making table linen, bags and mats.

What is future mail?

Future mail is a facility through which a person can send a letter — even to oneself — in the future. The sender can choose the time and date of delivery and the letter will reach the address at that particular time. Beside letters, future emails can also be sent sometimes as reminders to oneself. While email is all about speed and in stant messaging, this facility can be timed. Many find this the best way to capture feelings and freeze them. Future mail business is especially picking up in China where service agencies deliver letters, flowers and gifts in the future.

What is the Bridge of Sighs?

The Bridge of Sighs, in Venice, Italy, houses two overlapping corridors and was built at the beginning of the 17th century. It served as a link between the Old Prisons and the New Prisons in the Doge’s Palace situated beyond the Palazzo river. The name ‘Bridge of Sighs’ is an invention of Romantic literature: Legend has it that from this bridge one could hear the sighs of the condemned as they were led to prison.

What is the origin of the copyright symbol?

The copyright symbol originated in the US copyright law, according to which a work was required to have a proper copyright notice. Without this notice, the work would not be protected by copyright. The copyright symbol is C in a circle or), and its original meaning is to indicate that copyright has been obtained for the work on which it is displayed.

What is a cosmic microwave?

Just after the birth of the universe, the atmosphere was extremely dense and glowing white hot. Through the ages, the universe has been cooling — a process that is still going on. Light waves from a very distant part of the early universe reached the earth, making it possible to see the glow. However, since the universe is still expanding, the frequency of the waves of visible light changes to microwave frequency This occurs due to the relative motion of either the source or receiver of the waves or both, with respect to each other. These waves, originating in the early stage of the cosmos, are cosmic microwaves.

What is Fat Tuesday?

Fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday among other names) is the name given to the last day of epiphany or the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent? The word Fat (Gras in French) referred to the ritual of eating sugary fat-filled foods before Lent, when rich foods are given up. In some customs, it refers to the entire season of epiphany where practices like wearing masks and costumes, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc were held before the fasting and religious obligations of Lent. Fat Tuesday is also Mardi Gras, the festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Who invented soap bubbles?

The history of soap bubbles is as old as that of soap. But bubbles are no longer simply soap and water. Invented by Taiwanese bubble solution expert Jackie Lin, the top-secret solution contains a polymer that allows bubbles to resist evaporation. The polymer reacts with air to harden three to four seconds after a bubble is blown. With little or no disturbance, the bubbles can last as long as 10 days and can be caught with dry hands without popping.

What is latte art?

It is art in a coffee cup — the pattern is formed when milk and shots of espresso are poured into a cup of coffee. It could get a designer touch, depending on the expertise of the person serving it. This art could take the form of a creamy-looking heart, a flower, leaves, even cartoon faces, anything which can fit into the cup. All the artist needs is the espresso machine and a deft hand. Latte art takes its name from the Italian caffelatte, meaning coffee-milk.

Why is a theatre screen called silver screen?

Since the advent of films in the early 1900s, theatres have been trying to optimize their viewing quality During the 1920s, movie producers began to incorporate silver because of its reflective qualities, which delivered a better image. Eventually the use of silver lenticular screens would fall out of fashion as alternatives became available. But because of the early prevalence of silver in the production of screens, the term “silver screen” stuck.

Why are the Nazca drawings one of the great mysteries of archaeology?

In the hot deserts of southwest Peru are some immense, mysterious drawings called geoglyphs. Huge geometric patterns, spirals and figures of animals, and thousands of straight lines are immaculately drawn on the desert surface. Known as the Nazca Lines, after the Nazca Indians who lived there in ancient times, the drawings have mystified scientists ever since they were discovered in the 1920s. From the ground level, the drawings seem like a confused mass of lines. Only when viewed from the air, they convey a definite pattern. Scientists feel they could represent an astronomical calendar, or were part of a religious ritual.

Which plant has the biggest seed in the plant kingdom?

The nut of the coco de mer, also called giant fan palm, double coconut, Seychelles nut, or Maldive coconut, is considered to be the biggest nut in the entire plant kingdom. It is the size of a coconuty and weighs around 27 kg. The alm is found only in the islands of Praslin and Curieuse of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, and its botanical name is Lodoicea Maldivica. It is a rare species. The nuts were well-known as they were always floating in the sea around Seychelles, but their source was discovered only in 1768.

What is cruel accounting?

There are two methods of maintaining accounts of a business enterprise, namely cash method and accrual method. In cash method, revenues/expenses are taken into account only when hard cash has been received/paid. In accrual method of accounting, revenues are recognized the moment goods or services are pr(|Mg

vided. Both revenue and expenses are

recorded, regardless of income or out go in terms of cash. The accrual method provides better matching of income and expenditure than cash method, but is complicated, errorprone and costly No wonder people call it cruel accounting.

What is a scale model?

A scale model is a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller in size. Its size is proportionate to the original size of the object that it represents. The proportion is often shown in some ratio eg 1:10, which means one inch of scale model is equivalent to 10 inches of original object. Very often, the scale model is smaller than the original and is used to represent an original object, an imagination or model for an upcoming project. Scale models are built for many cars, buildings, landscapes and huge projects.

What is cybertecture?

It is architecture in another form, the creation of living and working spaces which are a harmonious blend of technology, multimedia, intelligent systems and user interactivity. These spaces can be customized and the residents can claim to be the world’s most connected community. Cybertecture even allows a person to select preferred background music. One such cyberstructure is coming up on an area of 32,000 square metres in Mumbai called the Cybertecture Egg. It will have 13 floors of offices, and include a feature to monitor occupants’ health, besides virtual scenery which can be changed.

What was Indian mythological figure Rishyashringa or Shringirishi famous for?

Shringirishi, son of rishi Vibhandak and descendant of Lord Brahma, was a noble rishi. He was famous for performing Puttreshthi and Parjanya yagna. He performed Parjanya yagna to the rain god to help King Rompad overcome famine in his kingdom, Ang Desh (Bihar). On an invitation from rishi Vashishtha, he performed the uttreshthi yagna for King Dasharath, and four sons — Rama, Laxman, Bharat, and Shatrughna — were born to him. It is believed Rishyashringa led the way for the Mahanadi river from Sihoba, Chhattisgarh and em- phasized water management. There are 64 temples and ashrams dedicated to him.

How did the term French leave originate?

French leave primarily means taking leave without permission from work. Some believe it is meant to convey the act of leisurely desertion from a military unit. Being away on leave from one’s post or duties has its roots in the 17th century and does not so much have its origins in cowardice but in a French custom of leaving a party without saying goodbye or thanking the hosts. The term is still in use in the Indian Navy for sailors who overstay on land.

What is crowdfunding?

The crowdfunding approach has its precedent in charity. It is inspired by crowd sourcing, that describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the internet, to support efforts by other people. Crowdfunding occurs for purposes like disaster relief, artistes seeking support from fans and political campaigns. Crowdfunding is now receiving attention from both commercial and social entrepreneurs, as social media, online communities and micropayment technology make it straightforward to secure donations from potentially interested supporters at very low cost.

What is guerrilla advertising?

Guerrilla advertising encompasses all forms of non traditional methods of communication. They can be open and honest like environmentally friendly high-impact street advertising or subversive like supermar kets pumping up the smell of fresh bread at the entrance. Guerrilla advertising is exposure that is unconventional and unexpected. It can be anything from street teams in costume to abnormal promotional exhibits to provocative street poster campaigns. Basically, guerilla advertising can be anything that is not used on a mass scale already.

What is the Sidewalk Catwalk?

The Sidewalk Catwalk is an unorthodox fashion show on display from June 24 to September 3. The show has a collection of 33 mannequins; each dressed by a designer and is staged on the streets of the Garment District in New York.

Who is the Omega man?

The Omega man is an ordinary, nextdoor, happy-go-lucky chap, who may or may not have a regular job, prefers to stay with his parents, and likes to stay single. He has no qualms about cooking his meals and doing his laundry The Omega man is the antithesis of the Alpha male. He does not set any goals for himself and stays out of the rat race. Yet, he does not consider this trait less masculine. This new-age man is finding voice in today’s movies.

What are cookies in computer language?

A cookie is a text string that is included with Hypertext Transfer Protocol requests and responses. Cookies are used to maintain information as you navigate different pages on a website or return to the website at a later time. Cookies cannot be used to run code (programmes) or deliver viruses to your computer. One of their primary purposes is to provide a convenience feature that you can use to save time — it tells the web server that you have returned to the page. If you personalize web pages or register for products and services, a cookie helps the page server recall your specific information, like billing address, shipping address.

Why do tornadoes usually spin anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere, and clockwise in the southern hemisphere?

The spin in the two hemispheres is explained by the coriolis effect, which states that the earth, when viewed from the poles, rotates anti-clockwise in the northern, and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Hence, thunderstorms (which usually travel from the equator to the poles) tend to veer to their left in the northern and right in the southern hemisphere. Tornadoes which occur in a particular area tend to inherit their spin from the direction of the prevailing winds, but this phenomenon is evident in only in large tornadoes.

What is albedo?

Albedo is a term used in reflectivity It is derived from Latin and means ‘whiteness’. The albedo of an object is a measure of how strongly it reflects light from sources like the sun. It is given as a number from 0 (dark) to 1 (bright). It is the ratio of total reflected to incident electromagnetic radiation, and is an important expression used in climatology, astronomy, computer graphics and computer vision.

Is smoking hookah better than smoking cigarettes?

It is a myth that smoking a hookah is safer than smoking cigarettes because hookah smoke is filtered through water before it is inhaled. Recent studies have found that hookah smokers actually inhale more nicotine than cigarette smokers because of the massive volume of smoke they inhale. A recent World Health Organization advisory laid that a typical one-hour hookah session exposes the user to 100-200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette. Even after passing through water, the smoke produced contains high levels of toxic corn pounds, including carbon monoxide heavy metals and carcinogens.

What is the Albertopolis?

Albertopolis is the nickname for the area around South Kensington in London, between Cromwell Road and Kensington Gore, which contains a large number of educational and cultural sites, including Imperial College, London, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Royal Geographical Society, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Albert Memorial.

What is neurolaw?

Neurolaw is a new discipline that studies the effect of neuroscientific evidence on law and legal cases. It also sets standards as to how neuroscience should be used in relation to the legal system. It is believed that neurolaw could play a more decisive role in cases involving rape and murder, where detection of the truth becomes im- perative. Proponents of neurolaw say neuroscience could have a huge impact on guilt, quantum of punishment, and detection of lies and biases.

What is a hermit crab?

The hermit crab is a type of crab that doesn’t have a very hard shell. Since its shell is not strong enough, it uses old shells of other animals for protection, especially that of old whelk. This habit of living in a second-hand shell gives rise to the popular name ‘hermit’ crab. Most hermit crab species live on the ocean floor, though there are many that live on land. Female terrestrial hermit crabs must return to the sea to breed. Hermit crabs are invertebrates, omnivores, and scavengers.

What is a banana problem?

The term comes from the story of the little girl who said, “I know how to spell ‘banana’, I just don’t know when to stop”. The banana problem basically means not knowing where or when to stop. It is usually used in computer programming when an algorithm with improper termination commands leads to repetition. It also applies to a web design, which is subjected to feature creep or the rapid expansion of features which complicate the simple design.

What is Operation Smile?

Based in Norfolk, Virginia (USA), Operation Smile is a non-profit medical charity NGO with branches in more than 50 countries, including India, providing remedial surgeries to children with cleft lips and cleft palates. Established in 1982 by Dr William Magee and Kathleen S Magee, Operation Smile organizes international volunteer missions, coordinates training for physicians and helps host countries in treating these medical complications. Operation Smile* has provided free cure to nearly 1,50,000 children and young adults across the world.

Who invented the kite and when?

No one knows exactly how or who invented the first kite. It is thought that the earliest use of kite s was among the Chinese, approximately 2,800 years ago. The kite was said to be the invention of the famous 5th century BC Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban. By 549 AD, paper kites were being flown — in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission. Ancient and mediaeval Chinese sources list other uses of kite for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signalling, and military communication.

What is the White Revolution?

In India, Gujarat and Rajasthan has excess production as compared to local consumption of milk. In 1970, the National Dairy Development Board initiated activities like building veterinary centres, milk chilling centres, processing plants and strengthened the milk cooperative movement based on Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL). This was done through Operation Flood, with aid from the Food and Agriculture Organisation in the form of butter oil and milk powder. This ushered in the White Revolution in India, making it the world’s largest milk producing country.

What is a nap pod?

A nap pod is a sleep chair designed like a cocoon to allow office-goers a power nap. Companies are opting for nap pods as part of their furniture, as a cat nap is being increasingly believed to refresh a person and increase productivity. The chairs are designed ergonomically to improve blood supply to the back and head; the cocoon-like structure keeps out office noise. There is also an alarm to wake up the sleeper.

What are transparent soaps made of?

Transparent soaps are made of glycerin, and are partly soap and partly solvent. Sodium hydroxide causes crystals to form in soap, which is why the soap becomes opaque. In order to make it transparent, the soap has to be dissolved in enough solvent to make the crystals so small that light passes freely through, making the soap look transparent. There is no magic number when it comes to the quantity of solvent required. A good way to find the right quantity of solvents is to start by calculating a 60:40 soap-solvent ratio and then changing it to a 50:50 soap-solvent ratio.

How does a computer or laptop keep track of time even when it is switched off?

A desktop PC has a lithium cell or battery (the same is used in digital diaries) called a BIOS cell inside the CPU, and attached to the motherboard, which keeps track of time even after the computer is powered down, whereas in laptops, the battery of the laptop itself is used to keep track of time. This battery also saves the settings required during a boot operation.

What is carnival glass?

Carnival glass is pressed glass, meaning that hot molten glass which may or may not contain colour of its own is poured into metal moulds and conforms to their shape. While the glass is still hot, various solutions of metallic salts are sprayed onto the surface and the piece is reheated. The result is a piece of iridescent glassware with a rainbow-hued finish. Many pieces of carnival glass feature a distinctive marigold colour with random swirls of other colours strewn throughout the glass. Carnival glass originated as a glass called Iridill, produced in 1908 by the Fenton Art Glass Company. Iridill was inspired by the fine blown art glass of makers like Tiffany and Steuben, but Fenton sold it cheap. They were used as carnival prizes and thus the name.

What is the origin of the term chutzpah?

The word chutzpah entered the English language in the late 19th century It is supposed to have been derived from khutspe, belonging to the Yiddish language Khuptse means impudence or gall. Khuptse itself was derived from the Hebrew word hutspah. Today, chutzpah means supreme self-confidence, courage bordering on arrogance, audacity or nerve. The words chutzpa, hutzpah and hutzpa are its variants.

What is Germany’s official name?or gall

Because of Germany’s geographic position in the centre of Europe and its long history as a disunited region of distinct tribes and states, it has many varying names in different languages, perhaps more than for any other European nation. For example, in German, the country is known as Deutschland, in French as Allemagne, and in Polish as Niemcy However, the official name of Germany is Bundesrepublik Deutschland. It is also known as the Federal Republic of Germany.

What is a halfalogue?

It is half a dialogue. For a person lis- tening in on a phone conversation, only half is audible. This audible half is termed halfalogue. Those who listen in — or are forced to simply because they happen to be in the vicinity — on such conversations generally find a halfalogue irritating. But a one-sided conversation usually piques a person’s interest into overhearing what is being said.

Who is a soul surfer?

The first published mention of soul surfer was in 1963, in an instrumen-tal ‘Soul Surfer’ by Southern Californian surf guitarist Johnny For-tune. It was intended to harness the popularity of the ‘soul’ movement in music, m 1969, theologian Tom Blake’s ‘Voice of the Wave’ examined the re-

ligious elements of surfing. The Soul Surfer expresses himself through his unity with the breaking wave, using his body to translate the essence of the wave’s spirit into art with no care for fame.

What is a bonobo?

The bonobo (pan paniscus) is a great ape most closely related to the chimpanzee. It is the least known of the great apes because it lives in a remote rain-forest region of central Africa, and was identified as a species only in 1933. Because of the similar morphological traits (physical appearance) between bonobos and humans, some anthropologists consider the bonobo to be the best living prototype for the common ancestor of humans.

What is the ‘Thor’s Hammer’?

Mjollnir is the hammer of Thor, a major god associated with thunder in Norse mythology. Distinctively shaped, Mjollnir is depicted as one of the most fearsome weapons, capable of levelling mountains. Thor is associated with strength and the protection of mankind. Ultimately stemming from Proto-Indo-European religion, Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples.

How did the handshake originate?

The origin of the handshake is difficult to specifically determine. Herbert Spencer in his book “The Principles of Sociology”* mentions that two Arabs met in a desert, accepting that they wouldn’t kiss each other’s hand and only clasp it, as kissing was consid ered an insult. A more practical ori gin comes from mediaeval Europe, where kings and knights would extend and grasp each other’s hand as a demonstration that they did not pos sess concealed weapons and intended no harm to each other.

From which language is the term ‘gymnastics’ derived?

The term ‘gymnastics’ is derived from the Greek word ‘gymnos’, meaning to exercise naked, a rule that applied in ancient Greece to all exercises practised in the gymnasium by male athletes. It was done so as to increase an appreciation of the male body and as a tribute to the gods. Of the modern events currently considered to be gymnastics, only tumbling and a primitive form of vaulting were known then.

What is email apnea?

Email apnea is the stress caused by the inability to process emails and connect even as mails flood the inbox. It is marked by a suspension of breathing, shallow breathing or hyperventilating while checking mail. Researcher Linda Stone coined this term after realizing that many people go through this process every morning, the mind whirling from mail to mail, filing, forwarding etc. She also found the effect of this kind of apnea on general health to be negative in the long term.

Sanjay Singh, Bhopal

What is time dilation?

In the theory of special relativity the slowing down of a clock as determined by an observer who is in relative motion with respect to that clock, is called time dilation. In this phenomenon, a person finds a clock (or other time device) similar or identical to their own, ticking at a slower pace, making the observer believe that time has “slowed down” for the other clock but in reality, tune passes at a constant rate. For example, as a spacecraft approaches, to an observer on earth, if he watches the clock on a spacecraft, it will seem that the clock is ticking slower than their own, as a result of relative motion.

What is marketing myopia?

The term was first used by Theodore Levitt, an economist and editor of Harvard Business Review, who is also famous for the term ‘globalization’. Management gurus define marketing myopia as a company’s short-sighted, ternporary or narrow-minded approach while marketing their product. Companies need to adapt themselves to the changing market. When a firm changes its marketing focus from customer to its product or the company itself, it is also called myopia. A classic example is Hindustan Motors, which failed to change with the economy

How is market size calculated?

Market size refers to the total revenue generated through the sales of a par- ticular good or commodity The most basic methodology is to multiply customer base with its wallet share for a typical customer. For instance, to calculate market size of toothpaste in India, we need to find the product of the number of toothpaste buyers across India with the price of toothpaste. A more accurate estimate can be found by segmenting the customer base as per income or geography, as they dictate the money spent on a particular commodity

What is the anti-sense gene?

The term anti-sense comes from the fact that messenger RNA is synthesized from one of the two strands of the DNA double helix — that strand is called the template, or sense strand. The complementary strand of DNA is called the anti-sense strand. The two DNA strands— sense and anti sense -—are complementary toeach other and form a double helix. The two RNA strands produced from these DNA strands are also complementary When bound into a double helix, the RNA strands cannot function to produce proteins.

How is the date of Buddha’s birthday celebration determined?

Traditionally Buddha’s birthday is known as Vesak or Visakah Puje Vesak is the major Buddhist festivel of the year as it celebrates the birth enlightenment and death of the Bud dha on the one day, the first full moon day of the sixth month of the Bud

dhist lunar calendar, or the fourth month of the Chinese calendar or in May, (except in a leap year when the festival is held in June). This celebration is called Vesak, the name of the month in the Indian calendar.

What is sunlighting?

A take-off from moonlighting — which means taking up a second job in the evening — sunlighting means taking time off from one’s day job to fit in other work and be paid for it. Sunlighting has a slightly adverse meaning: a person takes up a second job, and it begins interfering with the first job. Sometimes, moonlighting stretches into the day, and turns into sunlighting.

What is sweat equity?

The phrase ‘sweat equity’ refers to equity shares given to the company’s employees on favourable terms, in recognition of their work. With sweat equity, employees become part owners and participate in the profits, apart from earning salaries. The Companies Act defines ‘sweat equity shares’ as shares issued to employees or directors at a discount, for providing knowhow or making available intellectual property rights or value additions.

What is a super galaxy?

A galaxy is a group of large number of stars in the sky which have generally the same origin of evolution, such as our Milky Way. A galaxy may contain billions of stars. A cluster of galaxies, which may have up to 10 or even more galaxies is called a local group. Clusters of galaxies are known as a super galaxy, or a super cluster. This may have up to 50 or even 1,000 galaxies. The Milky Way is a member of the Virgo super cluster.

Who is dubbed patient zero?

Patient zero is the first patient who indicates the outbreak of a disease, and may help indicate its source and possible spread. The term was used by Dr William Darrow to refer to the spread of HIV in North America, which showed how ‘patient zero’ had infected multiple partners with HIV, and how the virus had spread across the world. Journalist Randy Shilts wrote about patient zero, Gaetan Dugas, a promiscuous flight attendant, based on Darrow’s findings.

What is a Jovian planet?

Jovian planets, also known as gas giants, is a collective term for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The term Jovian came from planet Jupiter, which describes the other gas giants in our solar system which are like Jupiter. These planets are surrounded by a number of moons and rings and their rotation is faster than terrestrial planets. Jovian planets have a dense core surrounded by a huge layer of gas which is made up of hydrogen and helium.

What is a baker’s, dozen and how did the phrase originate?

Baker’s dozen means 13, instead of 12. The tale behind its origin is that a mediaeval law specified the weight of bread loaves, and any baker who supplied less to a customer was in for dire punishment. So bakers would include a thirteenth loaf with each dozen just to be safe. It is said that during good harvests, bakers sold one excess loaf to middlemen. A baker’s dozen takes on importance in large families, where that little extra goes a long way

What is a vaudeville show?

Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s to early 1930s. Each performance was a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together. They included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, even scenes from plays and movies. Called “the heart of American show business”, vaudeville was very popular.

Who is a downager?

A downager is a person who acts younger than his or her age. There is a growing trend among women aged over 60 to live it up, hence the term dowager has been reinvented as downager. A study of independent, socially active Australian women found them working, studying, starting businesses and changing careers at the age of 60 and above. Downager reflects the “act younger, live younger” attitude of women who were earlier thought of as grandmotherly, retired individuals.

How does calcium carbide ripen mangoes?

For reasons of safe transportation of fruits, mangoes, bananas etc are picked before they ripen fully Slightly green harvested mangoes are subjected to small containers of calcium carbide (CaC2) with a plastic covering. CaC2 reacts with the moisture in the air to release acetylene (or ethyne) gas, which like ethyleneis — a chemical substance produced by fruits to accelerate the normal process of fruit maturation — is a ripening hormone. Industrial-grade calcium carbide contains arsenic and phosphorus, and its use for the purpose of ripening is illegal in many countries.

What is wet wing in aeronautical terms?

A wet wing is an aerospace engineering technique where an aircraft’s wing structure is sealed and used as a fuel tank. By eliminating the need for fuel bladders, aircraft can weigh less and offer improved performance. Wet wings are common among civilian designs, from airliners to small general aviation aircraft. Because tanks are an integral part of the structure, they cannot be removed, and require access panels for routine maintenance and visual inspections.

Who, or what, is Attaboy?

Attaboy is an alteration of ‘That’s the boy!’ It Is used to cheer somebody on and to express enthusiastic encouragement or approval to a man or boy. It is an act of congratulating somebody on an achievement. Example: he received several attaboys from the top management after the presentation.

What is gas flaring and why is it done?

In chemical factories, oil refineries, oil wells, rigs and landfills, gaseous waste products and sometimes even non-waste gases produced are routed to an elevated vertical chimney called a gas flare and burnt off at its tip. This is called gas flaring. Waste gases are subjected to such a process either because the gases are waste or it is difficult to store and transport them. Non-waste gases are burnt off to protect the processing equipment when unexpected high pressure develops within them. Gas flaring in oil rigs and wells contribute significantly to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

What is Bafana Bafana and how does it get its name?

The word ‘Bafana’ is a Zulu word, plural for ‘umfaan’, meaning boy. There is also a movie about Mandela in jail called “Goodbye Bafana”. Bafana Bafana is the national football team of South Africa and is controlled by the South African Football Association, which will be hosting the 19th FIFA World Cup in June 2010. Bafana Bafana, meaning Boys Boys, was coined by three Sowetan sports reporters in 1992, shortly after the readmission of South Africa to world football. South African football team members wear blazers with a springbok on the left breast pocket and are also referred to as Springboks.

What is an aggressocracy?

Aggressocracy is a society in which the most aggressive members rise to the top. The Greek lexicon describes it as a social sphere or group consisting of or dominated by predatory or conquest-oriented individuals. Aggressocratic hierarchies were once structured by penis length, but that was later changed.

Who won the first Paime d’Or at Cannes?

The Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded to the director of the best feature film at the annual Cannes Film Festival. It was introduced in 1955 by the organizing committee, and the first was awarded to director Delbert Martin Mann Jr for his film “Marty”. The Palme d’Or was established as the film festival’s highest award until 1964, when it temporarily resumed awarding Grand Prix due to copyright problems with the Palm. In 1975, the Paime d’Or was reintroduced and became the symbol of the Cannes Film Festival.

What is biomagnification?

Some compounds are neither recycled by decomposers nor are they released into the atmosphere. Instead, they remain in the ecosystem in virtually unchanged form as they are passed from one organism to another by predation. For example, if a large fish consumes five small ones every day for several years, some of the compounds in their flesh is transferred to the larger fish. Over time, the larger fish accumulates these compounds. An example is the pesticide DDT — its toxic effects may not be apparent in the little fish but accumulation in the larger fish allows the effects to be magnified. Hence, the term biomagnification.

What is apogee?

Apogee is the point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited. With reference to earth, it is the point in the orbit of a heavenly body, especially the moon, or a man-made satellite, which is farthest or most distant from the centre of the earth. It is also the farthest or highest point — the apex or climax. Perigee is the opposite of apogee and is the point in the orbit which is nearest to the earth.

What is the difference between rights and bonus issue?

Bonus issues are shares issued free of charge to shareholders. When a company accumulates a large fund from profits, much beyond its needs, the directors may decide to distribute a part of it among the shareholders in the form of bonus. Once a bonus is issued, the price of the shares is likely to drop as the value of the company’s assets is now spread over larger number of shares. Right shares are issued to existing shareholders who have the privilege to buy a specified number of new shares from the firm at a specified price within a specified time. A company can opt for a rights issue to raise capital under secondary market offering.

What is the Yellow Revolution?

The growth, development and adoption of new varieties of oilseeds and complementary technologies nearly doubled oilseeds production from 12.6 mt in 1987-88 to 24.4 mt in 1996-97, catalyzed by the Technology Mission on Oilseeds, brought about the Yellow Revolution.The term also stands for the People Power Revolution in Phillipines in 1986 against then President Ferdinand Marcos. It was a series non-violent protests where demonstrators used yellow ribbons during the arrival of Ninoy Aquino.

What is rumourtrage?

Rumourtrage is the practice of spreading false news about a company, leading to a drop in its stock price, and followed by increased trade in its shares. This is usually done before a takeover bid. Rumourtrage is common in the corporate world and authorities have found it tough to stamp out the practice as it hinges on hearsay. It is especially used by traders when the market is volatile.

Why do people sweat when theyare frightened?

Fight or flight are two universal responses to any stressful or life-threatening situation in every animal, including humans. In case of severe stress, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, which is meant for tackling such situations. It causes the release of adrenaline or epinephrine from the adrenal gland and nerve endings, this results in manifestations of symptoms of fright like sweating, increased heart rate, nervousness, pupil dilation, goose bumps, increased muscular and mental activity and blood supply to the brain and muscles.

What is the Kuiper Belt?

The Kuiper belt is a region of the solar system beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune. It is similar to the asteroid belt, although it is far larger — 20 times as wide and 200 times as massive. Like the asteroid belt, it consists mainly small bodies or remnants from the solar systern’s formation. The Kuiper belt objects are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed ‘ices’), such as methane, ammonia and water. It is home to at least three dwarf planets — Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Pluto, discovered in 1930, is considered its largest member.

Which was the first major language of Europe?

Most historians agree that Semitic was the mother of all European languages, including a few Asiatic languages. But Semitic had its birth in Asia (Syria and Palestine), so it cannot be called the first indigenous language in Europe. The first recorded indigenous language in Europe was an evolved form of ancient Phoenician, which later travelled north and west to the budding civilization in Greece where this language (crude with just around 22 characters) was developed by the addition of vowels. Thus, ancient Greek was the first major language of Europe.

Who invented the helmet and what is it made of?

The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900 BC. They wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from blunt objects, sword blows and arrows in combat. Soldiers still wear helmets, now often made of lightweight plastic material, to protect the head from bullets and shell fragments. Today’s armed services use high-quality helmets made of ballistic materials such as Kevlar, which have excellent bullet and fragment stopping power.

What is a coco taxi?

Coco taxis are the Cuban equivalent of a rickshaw — a three-wheeled, fibre glass egg-shaped vehicle with two seats glued to a moped. They are called so because they are almost like spherical giant coconuts. Their plastic and fibre glass body, which looks round from the back and sides, forms a protective canopy around the passengers. They tend to flock around busy tourist areas in Cuban cities. Coco taxis, powered by a 75cc two-stroke petrol engine are noisy and more affordable than a regular taxi.

What are time dollars?

Time dollars are the credit a person earns hourly in a Time Bank, set up to facilitate people in a community. A member of a Time Bank earns it by doing something for someone in the community, like baby-sitting or running an errand. After the time dollars are credited in the member’s account, he can spend it on whatever he needs. It is a sort of barter system which is serving to bond communities and has turned into a social change movement in 22 countries.

What is the origin of the term Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is the anglicized form of the Danish word Bletand — Ble meaning blue — the victory title given to the 10th century King Harald Gormsson. Harald was born in circa 935 and ruled as King of Denmark around 958 and as King of Norway around 970. Bluetooth technology was invented in 1994 by Swedish company Ericsson, which found it appropriate to name it after the Scandinavian king who had united several Danish tribes and parts of Norway into a single kingdom. The implication is that a Bluetooth does the work of uniting different communication protocols into one universal standard.

What is the Lady Macbeth Effect?

Lady Macbeth, a character from Shakespear’s play “Macbeth”, had plotted to kill the king and would repeatedly wash her imaginary bloodstained hands, hoping it would wash away her sins. The Lady Macbeth Effect describes a psychological condition in which people who have done something wrong feel a need to wash their hands or body in order to clear their conscience. They tend to think that physical cleanliness can be a substitute for moral purity.

What is a barcode?

A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data on certain products. It can be read by optical scanners called barcode readers or scanned from an image by special software. It is the small image of lines (bars) and spaces affixed to retail store items, identification cards and postal mail to identify a particular product number, person or location. The code uses this sequence to represent numbers and other symbols. A barcode symbol typically consists of five parts: a quiet zone, a start character, data characters (including an optional checkcharacter), a stop character, and another quiet zone. There is no standard barcode.

What is brand interest?

Establishing a brand in the market is the true art of marketing. It’s not the product being consumed, but rather the image one has of it. Building a brand is not simply giving a product a name, but also creating an experience. This means keeping in mind the contact people have with the brand. A brand is a name, but when it is powerful, it makes a person think of much more: this is brand interest.

What does breaking bread mean?

Breaking of bread refers to the rite of Holy Communion by Christians. In the Gospel of St Mathew, 26:26, it is mentioned: While they were at supper, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said: ‘Take this and eat it, this is my body’. In other places also in the Bible, wherever the breakingof bread is mentioned, it refers to the celebration of the Holy Communion by Christ himself, or by the early Christians.

About the Author

Dr. Ashok Kumar Sharma, Taxidermist, M.A.(History); Certificate in Taxidermy(Madras); Certifate in Library Science (TOPPER-ML Sukhadia Uni. Udaipur,(Rajasthan) INDIA. Hobby: Cricket; Postal Stamp Collection and Collection of Quotations since 1981.

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About the Author

Dr. Ashok Kumar Sharma, Taxidermist, M.A.(History); Certificate in Taxidermy(Madras); Certifate in Library Science (TOPPER-ML Sukhadia Uni. Udaipur,(Rajasthan) INDIA. Hobby: Cricket; Postal Stamp Collection and Collection of Quotations since 1981.

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