rad n 1: A unit of measurement of radiation, useful for determining whether or not one needs life insurance. As in golf, low scores are better than high ones. 2: adj A descriptive word assigning things into the great coal bin of cool. Generally reserved for those things that are a couple of steps in the direction of meaningless, illogical or possibly physically impossible.
radiation n Electromagnetic waves or very tiny particles going someplace too damn fast. From the standpoint of physics, heat is radiation. So is light in its other varieties, such as ultraviolet, gamma and x-rays. In the case of particles, one is generally referring to stuff so small, there’s a definite schizophrenic quality to the particles involved. Examples are alpha particles, protons, neutrons, and electrons. The last shows the most wave-like behavior, which is why we have electron microscopes taking lewd pictures of the HIV virus. Electrons being the smallest of the above mentioned particles, are also the most confused: They don’t know where they are half the time and can’t seem to pick up enough speed to get there the other half.
radical adj Any person two steps to the political left of the speaker, unless the speaker is under twenty, in which case the person must also be under twenty, make more than one million a year, and know at least 3 chords, none of which are Minor 7ths. Similar to way cool, which has nothing to do with distance, temperature, or the ability to read.
radiodating n Method of determining the age of once living materials that does not require the use of a spiritual medium. In essence, the amount of Carbon-14 in an object, tells how long the object has been without food, water, or air (i.e. dead). In earlier times, gravestones were used.
Rapture, The n A Christian concept based on portions of the Book of Daniel and Revelations of the Old and New Testament respectively. Briefly, the Rapture is thought to occur after the Second Coming of Christ, though there is disagreement among the varying denominations as to What, Who, Where, How, and When. Some Evangelical Christians believe that those who are truly born again will “disappear” or be caught up into the air to meet Jesus, leaving huge numbers of driverless Humvees. The Federal Highway Administration is already studying scenarios on the theory that most of any American administration will be left. As of this writing, the Guild of Air Traffic Controllers has not announced a position, but could at any time.
Raskolnikov’s 1st Law maxim Never claim an idea.
Raskolnikov’s 2nd Law maxim Never under budget on camouflage.
Raskolnikov’s 3rd Law maxim Never be the first to stop clapping.
reactionary n A person with muscular political beliefs.
rationalize v To concoct an explanation or pattern for meaningless, random events such as elections, weddings or promotions. A game that can be played anywhere, at any time. And is.
Reagan, Ronald pers First American president to serve in absentia.
reality programming n A recently concocted TV programming format of cops chasing anything that moves live on videotape, narrated by a pious, breathless and a brainless sycophant who’s never earned more than a buck ninety-five an hour before. One of the enduring charms of this sort of show is that the lack of worth is only matched by the lack of overhead to produce.
rebate n Marketing ploy based on the triple certainty of greed, sloth, and stupidity.
recall n A political process used in the United States, roughly similar to plebiscites. The term plebiscite comes from Roman history and originally meant a direct vote upon one issue by an entire people. California, at the present time, is the only state that requires that entire peoples must be on the ballot as candidates.
reengineer v The process of taking a working system apart and then putting it back together with parts left over. Extra parts are then discarded—particularly if they consist of personnel. Whether or not the system still functions is immaterial.
reinvent v 1: Ignorance and hubris working hand in hand. 2: The act of taking a process, system, or institution and inverting all values and procedures to see if anything still works. If something still does work, the reinvention is said to be successful. If not, more study is undertaken.
reinventing government n 1990’s political and bureaucratic maneuver that attempts to address troublesome problems unresolved by earlier attempts. This is accomplished by redefining the problems in such a way that they [the problems] are no longer obvious or understandable. If problems still persists, customer service jargon cooked with a dollop of TQM and streamlining babble are administered until condition is either alleviated or forgotten, generally the latter.
religion n The fetishism of faith. See faith.
rendition n If done by a musical group, a distinctive version of a known song or tune, such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” If done by a 3 letter governmental group, music is even more pivotal, though the actual tunes utilized are restricted to those tunes one normally employs for the game of musical chairs. Countries like Uzbekistan, Bosnia, Thailand and Egypt are substituted for chairs and the lucky ones are those left standing. Those who “manage” to find a seat get a three month course in being boiled alive, electroshock treatment and other memory enhancement techniques commonly outlawed by civilized countries. 2: A cost cutting technique of ancient times, whereby fats of various kinds were turned into a smoky, high cholesterol source of light. Modern methods are similar but generally require a lack of publicity to be effective. 3: The latest version of international Hot Potato.
resign v What one does when offered a choice between walking or going to jail.
Rico’s Raelian Revelation obs The only difference between a religion and a cult is clout.
right-of-way n 1: Having the right to make a movement before someone else. See armored personnel carrier 2: For motorcyclists anyone on the road but them.
right-sizing v 1: In upper management the stripping of personnel from a rival manager. 2: In lower management the doubling one’s staff. 3: For tax payers too stupid to be able to spell the word soup, the wholesale firing of public servants, all sections.
romantic adj Any activity involving no more than two people, conducted in the dark or illuminated only by small candles, that causes the palms to sweat. Other articles can be involved, such as wine bottles, zippers, or lots and lots of leather. If more than two are involved, see orgy.
roundabout n Either a song by a now very retro group called Yes, or a modern traffic engineering structure designed to trick people into driving in circles. The modern roundabout should not be confused with the old traffic circle concept, which was at least honest in name. The modern roundabout is a method to prevent people from driving too fast and congesting rural and suburban roadways with their pointless and annoying presence. It’s basically a moving parking lot.
RUBISH acronym Utilitarian acronym of the late 20th century, generated by the twin needs in the fields of computer technology and chaos theory. Stands for Really Useful Box of Important Stuff, Hold. Since all modern technology seems to come with an AC adapter and no two AC adapters have the same plug, one inevitably accumulates a vast number of AC adapters, which of course must be kept around for the required five year cooling-off period once an electronic doohickey dies. Modem dongles, patch cords, serial cords, Ethernet patch cords, PCMCIA cards and tiny squares of H2O absorbent chemicals inevitably ended up in the box as well and a new word was born.
Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer folklore The first known case of affirmative action, the direct result of the monumental civil case of Rudolf vs. Claus, decided in the 9th Appellate Court in 1896. Discrimination was proven and the court awarded Rudolf lead reindeer status as well as 228 bushels of oats in punitive damages. This landmark case ultimately brought on the Black Christmas of 1899 when the elves went out on a wild cat strike on September 21st, when the Elves Local 399 Chapter of AFL-CIO (American Folk Lore Characters Industry Operatives) broke off talks with Santa Industries, Inc.
Russell’s Reflection maxim Reasoning with religious fundamentalists is like trying to dehydrate water. It’s an extraordinarily difficult and dangerous task, yielding meager results.
rustic adj Any activity that requires a tetanus shot.