Burdujan Radu

A blog for those who study English language

Archive for Februarie 2009

The Word of the Day: vinaceous

Posted by burdujan pe 28/02/2009

• \vye-NAY-shus\ • adjective

: of the color of red wine
: roşu ca vinul; de culoarea vinului

Example Sentence:
At the art museum, we saw a portrait of Mary II wearing a magnificent vinaceous dress.
În muzeul de arte am văzut portretul Mariei II purtând o rochie splendidă de culoarea vinului.

The first recorded evidence of vinaceous in English dates from 1688, shortly before the accession of Mary II. If ever the queen used „vinaceous,” she was probably in the confines of her garden, admiring the vinaceous shades of petals or looking indifferently at the vinaceous cap of a mushroom; since its beginning, „vinaceous” has flourished in the earthy lexicon of horticulture and mycology. It has also taken flight in the ornithological world as a descriptive word for the unique dark-red coloring of some birds, like the vinaceous amazon or vinaceous rosefinch.

Vinaceous – HEX: #70112D RGB: 112, 17, 45

Vinaceous Rosefinch

Vinaceous Amazon


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This Day in History: February 28th

Posted by burdujan pe 28/02/2009

1932. Automobile. Last Model A is produced

The last Ford Model A was produced, ending an era for the Ford Motor Company. The successor to the Model T, the Model A driven both the Model T’s success and its ultimate failure in the market. The vastly improved Model A boasted elegant Lincoln-like styling, a peppy 40 horsepower four-cylinder engine, and, of course, a self-starting mechanism. The Model A was as affordable as its predecessor, however, and with a base price at $460, five million Model A’s eppeared onto American highways between 1927 and 1932.

1944. WW-II. Test pilot Reitsch pitches suicide squad to Hitler.

Hannah Reitsch, the first female test pilot in the world, suggests the creation of the Nazi equivalent of a kamikaze squad of suicide bombers while visiting Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden. Hitler was less than enthusiastic about the idea.

It was while receiving this second Iron Cross from Hitler in Berchtesgaden in 1944 that she pitched the idea of a Luftwaffe suicide squad of pilots who would fly specially designed versions of the V-1. Hitler was initially put off by the idea, only because he did not think it an effective or efficient use of resources. But Reitsch’s commitment persuaded him to investigate the prospect of designing such planes and was the first to take the following pledge: „I hereby…voluntarily apply to be enrolled in the suicide group as a pilot of a human glider-bomb. I fully understand that employment in this capacity will entail my own death.” The squad was never deployed.

1953. Science. Watson and Crick discover chemical structure of DNA

On this day in 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes.

Though DNA–short for deoxyribonucleic acid–was discovered in 1869, its crucial role in determining genetic inheritance wasn’t demonstrated until 1943. In the early 1950s, Watson and Crick were only two of many scientists working on figuring out the structure of DNA. On the morning of February 28, they determined that the structure of DNA was a double-helix polymer, or a spiral of two DNA strands, each containing a long chain of monomer nucleotides, wound around each other.

1975. Disaster.  A subway crash in London killed 43 people.

A London Underground train has crashed at Moorgate, killing the driver and at least 29 passengers and injuring more than 70 in the worst-ever Tube disaster.

The 08.37 train from Drayton Park to Moorgate was packed with passangers going to work when it overshot the platform and ploughed into a dead-end tunnel at 08.46

The driver of the train apparently made no effort to brake as the train headed toward a dead-end brick wall, leading some to speculate the crash was a suicide. Following this disaster, the London Underground installed an automatic braking system in end-of-the-line locations

1987. Cold War. Gorbachev calls for nuclear weapons treaty

In a surprising announcement, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev indicates that his nation is ready to sign „without delay” a treaty designed to eliminate U.S. and Soviet medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe. Gorbachev’s offer led to a breakthrough in negotiations and, eventually, to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in December 1987.

Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan had been wrestling with the issue of nuclear arms reduction in Europe since 1985, when they first met face-to-face to discuss the matter.

1994. First NATO Military Action.

In the first military clash in NATO’s 44-year history, American F-16 fighters shot down four Serbian warplanes today after the Serbian planes bombed a munitions plant controlled by the Bosnian Government.

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Ochiul lui Dumnezeu

Posted by burdujan pe 27/02/2009

Astronomii europenii au fotografiat ceea ce seamănă uimitor cu un ochi care ne priveşte direct din cosmos. Descoperirea a fost numită Ochiul lui Dumnezeu. Fotografia captează o formaţiune formată din gaz şi praf, substanţe împrăştiate de o stea ce a dispărut. Sistemul nostru solar va avea o soartă asemănătoare peste cinci miliarde de ani.

Ochiul lui Dumnezeu se află la 700 de ani lumină de Pământ, în constelaţia Vărsător. Fotografia a fost făcută cu un telescop al European Southern Observatory. La o analiză detaliată, prin Ochiul lui Dumnezeu se văd galaxii îndepărtate.

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The Word of the Day: revanche

Posted by burdujan pe 27/02/2009

\ruh-VAHNSH (the N is mute, but the vowel is nasalized)\ • noun

: revenge; especially : a usually political policy designed to recover lost territory or status

Example Sentence:
Soon after losing the northern territory, the king began drafting a plan of revanche to get it back.
În scurt timp după pierderea teritoriei de nord, regele a început să întocmească un plan de revansa pentru a-l recupera.

Etymology: „Revanche” first appeared in English in the mid-19th century, deriving, along with the noun „revenge,” from the Middle French verb „revenchier” („to revenge”). The word developed its specific political application in the years following the Franco-German War (1870-71), which resulted in France losing the territory known as Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. (The territory was returned to France following World War I and then twice switched hands again during World War II.) Although „revanche” appears occasionally in English today, you are more likely to encounter its relatives revanchism,” which refers to a government’s policy of revanche, and „revanchist,” referring to a follower of such a policy. These words did not appear in English until the 20th century.

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basilisk • \BASS-uh-lisk\

Posted by burdujan pe 26/02/2009


– suggesting a legendary reptile with fatal breath and glance : baleful; spellbinding.

Example Sentence:
Trina leveled a basilisk glare after I told her what had happened to her car.
Trina a aruncat o privire rautacioasa când i-am spus ce s-a întâmplat cu maşina ei.

In Hellenic and Roman legend, a basilisk (also called a cockatrice) was a serpent-like creature capable of destroying other creatures by way of its deadly stare. The modern basilisk is a lizard that belongs to the family Iguanidae and supposedly resembles this fabled monster; it has a large crest atop its head and is sometimes called a Jesus Christ lizard for its ability to run quickly across the surface of water. The use of “basilisk” as an adjective occurs most frequently in phrases such as basilisk stare; recalling the notorious gaze of the legendary basilisk, it describes the deep and piercing look of someone who is frightening or seductive.

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Marele jaf al trenului

Posted by burdujan pe 26/02/2009

Producător Thomas Edison şi filmat de un funcţionar din Edison Company, Edwin S. Porter, The Great Train Robbery (1903) a fost primul film narativ.

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Venediktov despre Moldova

Posted by burdujan pe 25/02/2009

Venediktov nu crede ca alegerile din Moldova vor fi falsificate. Diferenta intre concuretii electorali este mare.

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Interviul Presedintelui Republicii Moldova

Posted by burdujan pe 25/02/2009

Interviul Presedintelui Republicii Moldova acordat Radioului ЭХО-Москвы.

Oaspete: Vladimir Voronin
Prezentantor: Alexei Venediktov

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