LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD (Fr. “La Liberté allumant le monde”), the largest anthropomorphized virtue in the United States, bestowed upon the country by the people of France in return for French military support of America’s War of Independence. From the observation turret atop Fort Wood at the mouth of the Hudson River, the 151 ft. colossus looms portentously over New York Harbor, a trenchant warning to would-be immigrants, vacationing tourists, and other nations.
OCCAM’S RAZOR (Lat. argumentum ad eviscerandum), a rhetorical technique by which key aspects of one’s opponent’s belief system are deconstructed through relentless application of reductio ad reductum. Thus dislodged from all epistemological underpinnings, the unhappy victim then is left to float helpless throughout eternity in a solipsistic sea of undifferentiated consciousness. It is called such because it was the favorite weapon of English renegade monk and Nominalist philosopher William of Occam (c.1285–1349).
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the world's third largest nation by land area and population; the oldest, largest, and most expensive republic in the western hemisphere. Predominantly located in North America, the nation borders Canada to the north (and, from Alaska, to the east), and Mexico to the south; it also has a very narrow maritime border to its west with Russia.
Historically, it occupies the latter half of the Modern Era: the five-hundred-year period beginning with the end of the Renaissance and terminating abruptly at the start of the forthcoming dark age. Its geographical center is in Topeka, Kansas between June and July of 1954.
The country’s full title, “The United States of America,” being of cumbrous length and formality, may be condensed by omitting “The United States of” from the beginning, or by omitting “of America” from the end, or both.
MOUNT ST. HELENS, ERUPTION OF, the most deadly volcano attack ever to have occurred on U.S. soil. On the morning of March 27, 1980, at 8:32 Pacific Standard Time, Mount St. Helens, then a little-known member of the Cascade mountain range, erupted with the explosive force of nearly seven megatons—comparable to that of a hydrogen bomb’s detonation.
Fifty-seven people perished in the blast and hundreds more were left homeless. A panic ensued over vulnerability to the nation’s roughly 170 officially dormant volcanoes, and President Jimmy Carter’s inability to convince the voting public that his administration was not “soft” on the environment ultimately cost him his re-election that November.
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, central banking system of the United States of America. Established in 1913, it brought a decisive end to the cycle of regional banking panics and minor recessions which had plagued the nation since the end of the .
Though created by an act of , the Federal Reserve is actually a semi-private institution, combining the transparency and beneficence of a commercial bank with the efficiency and accountability of a government agency. This unique arrangement ensures that the conduct of America’s monetary policy remains insulated from political tampering and economic verities.
COLUMBIFORM PASSERINES, International Order of. Pigeons, as they are more commonly known, are the largest and most militant avian dinosaur syndicate, responsible for patrolling the world’s cities and other areas of human concentration. As such, they have final authority in matters regarding the management of human populations. With the dual mission of surveillance and food extraction, they serve as the first line of detection of potentially dangerous levels of human advancement (or, as is now thought slightly more probable, collapse).
Pigeons are extremely efficient and ruthless dictators. It is only their ongoing territorial feud with the squirrels which has thus far spared humanity the full focus of their wrath.
The convention is to express the measurement (e.g. “34C”) as a numeric value followed by a letter. The number represents strap length in inches, while the letter describes local curvature of spacetime as a Riemann tensor in four dimensions.
DINOSAUR, highly aggressive zoölogical franchise comprising Earth’s dominant species. Its reign, unchallenged for over 160 million years, is some twentyfold in excess of even the most charitable estimate of the entire span of human evolution and was only moderated—not terminated—by an extinction 65 million years ago that otherwise destroyed most terrestrial life. Owing to incredible genetic diversity, its avian descendants have not merely survived but now number in the hundreds of billions.
The word “dinosaur” is also used non-zoölogically as a term of derision, implying that one is slow, sluggish, stupid, ridiculously massive, unable to adapt, bound for extinction, or (in the language of birds) a human.