WORD LISTS

This Week In Culture: May 24–30, 2020

May 25, 2020
Stories about the discovery of an Earth-like planet, some new music, and self-driving deliveries all contributed words to this week's list of vocabulary from the arts, tech, and sports worlds.
autonomous
CVS customers in Houston will soon have the option of having their prescriptions delivered in self-driving vehicles. In response to a huge increase in demand for deliveries, Nuro hopes its R2 vehicles will fill the need. Autonomous is Greek; auto means "self" and nomos means "law."
They will also need to confirm their identity to unlock their delivery when Nuro’s autonomous vehicle arrives curbside at their home.
The Verge (May 28, 2020)
dividend
Cineworld plans to open its 9,500 movie theaters around the world in July. The company, which carries $3.5 billion in debt, says it received new funding from investors and will institute extensive safety procedures as part of the reopening. Dividendum is Latin for "that which is to be divided."
Last month it announced it was suspending dividend payments to investors.
Variety (May 28, 2020)
eventuality
The SpaceX rocket launch to the International Space Station was postponed due to weather. The historic flight, the first using a private company to ferry NASA astronauts into orbit, was rescheduled for Saturday. If you're prepared for "every eventuality," that means you're ready for whatever might happen. The root event goes back to Latin, where eventus means "outcome" or "result."
Hurley, meanwhile, said Behnken has "every potential eventuality already thought about five times ahead of almost anybody else."
USA Today (May 27, 2020)
frenetic
Charli XCX's new album How I'm Feeling Now manages to take the frustrations of quarantine life and turn them into an energetic dance record. Not all attempts at quarantine records have been successful, but this one is getting great reviews. Phrenetikos is Greek for "delirious," and is also the origin of frantic.
There have been flashes of frenetic D.I.Y. genius, but, in general, boredom and desperation have not been the wellspring of innovation they were once hoped to be.
New Yorker (May 24, 2020)
iconic
Jimmy Cobb, the jazz drummer who played with many of the genre's giants, died of cancer at 91. He's most famous for playing on Miles Davis's legendary 1959 record Kind of Blue, the most successful and popular jazz record of all time. Cobb was the last surviving player from that record. He remained active as a performer until recently, releasing two albums in 2019.
Jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb, best known for backing Miles Davis on a string of iconic records, including 1959’s Kind of Blue, has died from lung cancer at age 91, NPR reports.
Rolling Stone (May 25, 2020)
machination
Former Hamilton star Daveed Diggs stars in the new TNT show Snowpiercer, based on the film by Bong Joon-ho. Diggs also plays the famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass The Good Lord Bird, which releases August 9th on Showtime. He gave an interview talking about the two series, and about the ways in which the two stories — one past and one future — both reflect on our current time.
We're not just watching the machinations of how one person or one character moves through different classes.
Salon (May 24, 2020)
nominee
The Basketball Hall of Fame announced that it would be postponing the enshrinement ceremonies for the class of 2020 until next year. Originally scheduled to take place in August, the event will now happen in 2021, but at a different time than the class of 2021 induction. The 2020 class includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and the late Kobe Bryant. Nominee can refer to a politician, and also to anyone who is on a short list to win an award.
Bryant, Duncan, Garnett and Catchings were first-time nominees.
Sports Illustrated (May 28, 2020)
pastiche
The Vast of Night premieres on Amazon May 29. The show tells the story of two people who believe that a UFO is hanging out over their town. In Italian, a pasticcio is a pie made of mixed ingredients, and the word came to refer to a musical medley or a confused or jumbled work. This became pastiche in French, which specifically describes a work of art made using a number of different styles.
But the film is not a pastiche: The content may be familiar, but the style is entirely Patterson’s own.
Slate (May 26, 2020)
puerile
Run The Jewels released their fourth record, appropriately titled Run The Jewels 4. El-P and Killer Mike both worked as solo artists and producers for a long time before they met, and have taken their success in stride. The mix political awareness with cutting-edge production and plenty of humor, and don't take themselves too seriously. Puerilis is Latin for "immature" or "childish."
On “Run the Jewels 4,” the raunchy machismo of their earlier lyricism has flaked off to reveal a less puerile righteousness, and the production is funkier while remaining hard-hitting and densely textured.
New York Times (May 26, 2020)
velocity
An Earth-sized planet has been discovered around Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our Solar System. The planet's mass is 1.17 times that of Earth, and it orbits the star every 11.2 days. The planet exists within what's known as the "habitable zone," meaning temperatures should allow for liquid water and the presence of life.
This breakthrough was possible thanks to radial velocity measurements of unprecedented precision using ESPRESSO, the Swiss-manufactured spectrograph, the most accurate currently in operation, which is installed on the Very Large Telescope in Chile.
Phys.org (May 28, 2020)

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