any complex instrument or mechanism for a particular purpose.
Apparatus “a complex instrument for a particular purpose” is a borrowing of Latin apparātus “equipment, act of equipping, preparation.” Using the suffix -tus, which indicates verbal action, apparātus—literally meaning “equipped (thing)”—is the past participle of the verb apparāre “to equip, make ready,” from parāre “to prepare.” The stems of parāre, para- and pera-, appear in a wide variety of Latin-derived terms, from imperative and preparation to vituperate and separatist. As a result of the regular sound changes that emerged as Latin evolved into French, parāre still exists today, albeit in disguise, in French-derived terms such as empire, rampart, repair, spar, and even sever. Apparatus was first recorded in English in the 1620s.
New research shows that six species of Caribbean and Latin American anoles, a type of lizard, can exhale air to create large, oxygen-filled bubbles that cling to their head. The anoles were seen periodically inflating the bubbles and then drawing them back in through their noses …. “We think this is operating like a rebreathing device,” says study first author Christopher Boccia, a doctoral student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. That device, also called a rebreather, is an apparatus that allows divers to extend time underwater by recycling exhaled air and breathing the previously-unused oxygen in it.
Scientists, philosophers—and parents—have asked similar questions about what is innate and what is learned in the infant brain, going all the way back to the ancients. A study conducted using an apparatus specifically designed to inspect the brains of babies may bring an answer one step closer …. Rebecca Saxe, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her colleagues scanned 42 infants ranging in age from two to nine months using a special functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) helmet designed specifically for babies.
somewhat reddish; tinged with red; rufous.
Rufescent “somewhat reddish” comes from the Latin verb rūfescere “to redden,” which is formed from the adjective rūfus “red, tawny” and the inchoative infix -esc- “to become, to begin to be.” Our longtime followers should be well acquainted by now with the infix -esc-, which has cropped up in the recent Words of the Day iridescent, evanesce, and violescent. There are numerous words for “red” in Latin, but among the best-known terms are ruber, rubeus, rūfus, and russus. In English, ruber gives us rubella, after the typical red rash, as well as rubric, because instructions in legal and religious texts were once often written in red ocher. Rubeus is the source of ruby and (via French) rouge, while descendants of russus include russet as well as roux (from French beurre roux “browned butter”) and the names Rousseau and Russell (from French roux “redhead”). Rufescent was first recorded in English in the 1810s.
From Queensboro Bridge Park, his gaze shifts back to center and the dusty rufescent brown chain link fence momentarily pops back into focus—its color not unlike that of dried blood, a darker version of the still coagulating reds covering the arches over on the Hell Gate and Roosevelt Island Bridges; except for the Triborough, which is the cool blue of a corpse in livor mortis, the paths to Queens seen here are all seemingly slathered in blood—before his eyes can adjust to their target, the slowly moving water below.
Enter the grove, and it is like walking into a vast, dimly lit dome with sunlight barely filtering through the canopy of incredibly old trees, many with a thick covering of green moss and lichen, and others with a decoration of wildflowers and orchids of various species. The floor is covered with a carpet of rotting, rufescent leaves, several inches thick, judging from the way one’s feet sink into them. The atmosphere is as peaceful and solemn as a house of worship. One can hear only the calming sounds of the forest.
the vertical groove on the surface of the upper lip, below the septum of the nose.
Philtrum “the vertical groove on the surface of the upper lip” is a Latinized version of Ancient Greek phíltron, of the same meaning. However, phíltron could also mean “love potion,” and it is this sense that is preserved in the English term philter (not to be confused with the unrelated homophone filter, which is of Germanic origin). Phíltron is formed from the adjective phílos (stem phil-) “loving, dear” and the suffix -tron, which—as an instrumental suffix—roughly translates as “thing that does/is used for something.” The stem phil- (also philo-) is the source of dozens of words in English, from philosophy (“love of wisdom”) and philanthropy (“love of humankind”) to Philadelphia (“brotherly love”) and Philip (“love of horses”). Philtrum was first recorded in English in the first decade of the 17th century.
The early human embryo looks very similar to the embryo of any other mammal, bird or amphibian—all of which have evolved from fish. Your eyes start out on the sides of your head, but then move to the middle. The top lip along with the jaw and palate started life as gill-like structures on your neck. Your nostrils and the middle part of your lip come down from the top of your head. There is no trace of a scar; the plates of tissue and muscle fuse seamlessly. But there is, however, a little remnant of all this activity in the middle of your top lip—your philtrum.
[Channing Tatum] likes everywhere he’s ever been—every phase, every fad, every quirk of life in the fringes of large American cities. He makes being a latchkey kid in lower-middle-class Tampa sound like a picaresque novel …. And while I’m listening, I grab my last crab end-to-end and split it with one hand. It crumbles a little, then snaps open and sprays Tatum with a spritz of crab juice straight in his million-dollar philtrum, lips and all …. To the credit of his everlasting graciousness, Tatum plays it off, pretends he doesn’t notice.
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