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2010-09-23 15:29:32

A barometer is an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure. The barometer measures pressure exerted by the atmosphere using water, air, or mercury. Through measuring the pressure one can forecast short term weather changes. Evangelista Torricelli is credited with the invention of the barometer in 1643. However, Gasparo Berti unintentionally built a water barometer around the same time. Rene Descartes was also noted as describing an experiment to determine air pressure but there is no...

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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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