Saturday, April 25, 2015

Word of the day: miasma

The word of the day is miasma:

  1. noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.
  2. a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.

from Gk. miasma (gen. miasmatos) "stain, pollution," related to miainein "to pollute" (<a href=""></a>)

"Now staff and volunteers—mostly children and spouses of medical workers who had sought shelter at the hospital—hunched over the infirm, dispensing sips of water and fanning the miasma with bits of cardboard."

 - Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (2013)

Friday, April 03, 2015

Word of the day: bathymetry

The word of the day is bathymetry:

  1. the measurement of the depths of oceans, seas, or other large bodies of water.
  2. the data derived from such measurement, especially as compiled in topographic map.  (<a href=""></a>)

"Also sensitive to sea floor roughness are the internal waves in oceans that bring up deep, cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface and carry dissolved atmospheric carbon dioxide to ocean depths.  'Knowing the sea floor bathymetry better would definitely improve the mixing models that we use," says Steven Jayne, a physical oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts."

 - Eric Hand, "New satellite radar could find 100,000 underwater mountains", 20 March 2015 <a href="">Science</a>