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Senet: board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Board and table games

Senet (or senat) is a board game from ancient Egypt, whose original rules are the subject of conjecture. The oldest hieroglyph resembling a senet game dates to around 3100 BC. The full name of the game in Egyptian is thought to have been zn.t n.t ḥˁb, meaning the "game of passing".

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Hindu units of time

India Time Hinduism Measurement

Hindu texts describe units of Kala measurements, from microseconds to Trillions of years. According to these texts, time is cyclic, which repeats itself forever.

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China Psychology

Guanxi (simplified Chinese: 关系; traditional Chinese: 關係; pinyin: guānxi) defines the fundamental dynamic in personalized social networks of power, and is a crucial system of beliefs in Chinese culture. In Western media, the pinyin romanization of this Chinese word is becoming more widely used instead of the two common translations of it—"connections" and "relationships"—as neither of those terms sufficiently reflects the wide cultural implications that guanxi describes.

Guanxi plays a fundamental role within the Confucian doctrine, which sees the individual as part of a community and a set of family, hierarchical and friendly relationships. In particular, there is a focus on tacit mutual commitments, reciprocity, and trust, which are the grounds of guanxi and guanxi networks.

Guanxi also has a major influence on the management of businesses based in Mainland China, and businesses owned by Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia (the latter is known as the bamboo network).

Closely related concepts include that of ganqing, a measure which reflects the depth of feeling within an interpersonal relationship, renqing (人情 rénqíng/jen-ch'ing), the moral obligation to maintain a relationship, and the idea of "face" (面子, miànzi/mien-tzu), which refers to social status, propriety, prestige, or a combination of all three. Other related concepts include wu-lune, which supports the idea of a long term, developing relationship between a business and its client, and yi-ren and ren, which respectively support reciprocity and empathy.

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  • "Guanxi" | 2016-09-19 | 125 Upvotes 101 Comments

North American Phalanx

Socialism Urban studies and planning New Jersey

The North American Phalanx was a secular utopian socialist commune located in Colts Neck Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey. The community was the longest-lived of about 30 Fourierist Associations in the United States which emerged during a brief burst of popularity during the decade of the 1840s.

The North American Phalanx was established in September 1843 and included the active participation of writer Albert Brisbane and newspaper publisher Horace Greeley, two of the leading figures of the Fourierist movement. The Association was disbanded in January 1856, following a catastrophic fire which destroyed a number of the community's productive enterprises. At the time of its termination it was the last of about 30 Fourierist Associations established during the 1840s still in existence and thus was the longest-lived.

The main residential dwelling of the phalanx, a three-story wooden structure, stood vacant until it was itself destroyed by fire in November 1972.

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Computing Computing/Software

dvdisaster is a computer program aimed to enhance data survivability on optical discs by creating error detection and correction data, which is used for data recovery. dvdisaster works exclusively at the image level. This program can be used either to generate Error-Correcting Code (ECC) data from an existing media or to augment an ISO image with ECC data prior to being written onto a medium. dvdisaster is free software available under the GNU General Public License.

Cognitive Architecture

Cognitive science Robotics

A cognitive architecture refers to both a theory about the structure of the human mind and to a computational instantiation of such a theory used in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and computational cognitive science. One of the main goals of a cognitive architecture is to summarize the various results of cognitive psychology in a comprehensive computer model. However, the results need to be formalized so far as they can be the basis of a computer program. The formalized models can be used to further refine a comprehensive theory of cognition, and more immediately, as a commercially usable model. Successful cognitive architectures include ACT-R (Adaptive Control of Thought - Rational) and SOAR.

The Institute for Creative Technologies defines cognitive architecture as: "hypothesis about the fixed structures that provide a mind, whether in natural or artificial systems, and how they work together – in conjunction with knowledge and skills embodied within the architecture – to yield intelligent behavior in a diversity of complex environments."

Inferno Operating System

United States Computing Computing/Software Computing/Free and open-source software Plan 9 Computing/Networking

Inferno is a distributed operating system started at Bell Labs and now developed and maintained by Vita Nuova Holdings as free software. Inferno was based on the experience gained with Plan 9 from Bell Labs, and the further research of Bell Labs into operating systems, languages, on-the-fly compilers, graphics, security, networking and portability. The name of the operating system and many of its associated programs, as well as that of the current company, were inspired by Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Interestingly, in Italian, Inferno means "hell" — of which there are nine circles in Dante's Divine Comedy.

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Pheasant Island belongs to Spain and France in alternating 6 months periods

International relations France Law Politics Basque Islands Spain

Pheasant Island (French: Île des Faisans/Île de la Conférence, Spanish: Isla de los Faisanes, Basque: Konpantzia) is an uninhabited river island in the Bidasoa river, located between France and Spain, whose administration alternates between both nations.

Half-Life of Knowledge


The half-life of knowledge or half-life of facts is the amount of time that has to elapse before half of the knowledge or facts in a particular area is superseded or shown to be untrue. These coined terms belong to the field of quantitative analysis of science known as scientometrics.

These ideas of half-life applied to different fields differ from the concept of half-life in physics in that there is no guarantee that the knowledge or facts in areas of study are declining exponentially. It is unclear that there is any way to establish what constitutes "knowledge" in a particular area, as opposed to mere opinion or theory.

An engineering degree went from having a half life of 35 years in ca. 1930 to about 10 years in 1960.

A Delphi Poll showed that the half life of psychology as measured in 2016 ranged from 3.3 to 19 years depending on the specialty, with an average of a little over 7 years.

It has also been used in Christian missiology to increase the effectiveness of their teachings.

US Senate Candy Desk

U.S. Congress

The candy desk has been a tradition of the United States Senate since 1968, whereby a senator who sits at a particular desk near a busy entrance keeps a drawer full of candy for members of the body. The current occupant of the candy desk is Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey.

In 1965, California's George Murphy joined the Senate, and kept candy in his desk to offer his colleagues, and for himself, though eating is not allowed on the Senate floor. When he left the Senate after a six-year term, other Republican senators maintained the custom. The nascent tradition did not become publicly known until the mid-1980s, when Washington Senator Slade Gorton disclosed it in announcing that he would be sitting at the candy desk.

Senators who have maintained the candy desk tradition include John McCain, Harrison Schmitt, and Rick Santorum, who stocked it with confectionery from his home state of Pennsylvania, including from the Hershey Chocolate Company. After Santorum left the Senate in 2007, the candy desk was maintained by a number of senators for a short time each, before Pennsylvania Senator Toomey began his stay in 2015.

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