August 12, 2002
Two random words... Syzygy & Theremin

Today I learned two new words, and I thought I'd share them with you:

Syzygy
  • Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with the sun.
  • Either of two points in the orbit of the moon when the moon lies in a straight line with the sun and Earth.
  • The configuration of the sun, the moon, and Earth lying in a straight line
Source: Google Glossary: syzygy --> Dictionary.com: syzygy

Theremin
the first real electronic instrument. The Theremin is played by standing and wavings one's hands.

Source: Metafilter --> Oddmusic.com



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Oddly enough, I've just been doing some (Internet) reading on Leon Theremin, aka Lev Termen. There's a decent bio at http://www.obsolete.com/120_years/machines/theremin/ that lists many of his less-well-known inventions (including the first electronic eavesdropping device). Also interesting is his kidnapping and subsequent time incarcerated in a Siberian labour camp with (among others) Sergei Korolyov, former Soviet space engineer and chief designer for many of their early space missions.

Posted by: Peter J. on August 14, 2002 06:09 AM
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