Wednesday, January 9, 2008


We will keep adding to this as needed, but below is a guide toward understanding some of the foreign phrases you may come across from here on out:

Feeding Tube: A flexible tube that is inserted through the pharynx or abdomen through which liquid food is passed to the stomach. [For more information, please refer to post on Feeding Tubes]

Bulkhead (p5):
One of the upright partitions dividing a vehicle, such as a subway, into compartments and serving to add structural rigidity and to prevent the spread of leakage or fire.

Scrub (p13):
A group of small trees and shrubs, often found in arid areas.

Easel Painting (p25/26):
A method of painting using a panel or canvas.

Land Art (p25/26): A style of art which manipulates existing natural formations to create artistic works

Asphyxiation (p27): to cause to die or lose consciousness by impairing normal breathing, as by gas or other noxious agents; choke; suffocate; smother.

Persistent Vegetative State (p28): [] Can follow a coma; a condition in which individuals have lost cognitive neurological function and awareness of the environment but retain noncognitive function and a perserved sleep-wake cycle. It is sometimes described as when a person is technically alive, but his/her brain is dead. However, that description is not completely accurate. In persistent vegetative state the individual loses the higher cerebral powers of the brain, but the functions of the brainstem, such as respiration (breathing) and circulation, remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli, but the patient does not speak or obey commands. Patients in a vegetative state may appear somewhat normal. They may occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh.

CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan (p28): A special type of body scan which creates a multi-layered, sometimes three-dimensional image of internal organs and functions. They are often used to locate tumors, cysts, infections, or to gauge injuries sustained from trauma. For stroke victims, they are one of the first tests done after a stroke and are used to determine where hemorrhaging in the brain has occurred (which will then help to understand what kind of stroke it is, what areas of the brain will continue to function, etc.). The test is painless and uses very little x-ray radiation.

Larkspur (a.k.a. Parish Larkspur) (p35): Delphinium parishii. A rare purple flower found in desert scrub (see Images posting)

Barrel Cactus (p35): Ferocactus. A cylindrically-shaped cactus with sharp heavy spikes and flowers coming out the top. There are many different types of barrel cacti, but most grow on desert slopes and under desert canyon walls. For more information, click here:

Jumping Cholla (p35):
Opuntia bigelovii. A spined plant which grows in desert valleys. It gets its name from the ease at which the spines detach themselves from the plant (this is primarily how the plant reproduces. For more information, click here:

Fairy Duster (p35): Calliandra eriophylla. A desert flower with thin spindles protruding around a darker center. Go here for more information:

Indian Paintbrush (p35):
Castilleja miniata. The state flower of Wyoming. A very resilient flower which grows in many different types of climates, but requires a bit more precipitation than the average desert. Some very interesting information about the Paintbrush can be found here:

Navajo Tea (p36):
Thelesperma simplicifolium. Navajo Tea is an upright perennial that can be found in calcareous soils of the Edwards Plateau. It grows from 1 to 2 1/2 feet tall with threadlike leaves that are 1 to 3 inches long. The flower head consists of eight yellow ray flowers and numerous yellow disk flowers. Navajo Tea blooms from May to November. []

Paloverde (p36): A shrub/small tree, with thin, green exterior & yellow flowers. A very useful tree in the ecosystem, and generally found on lower mountain slopes in the Arizona side of the Sonoran Desert. For more info, go here:

Apache Plume (p36): Fallugia paradoxa. A shrub found in all deserts of the southwestern United States; has round white flowers with a yellow center. More info can be found here:

Joshua Tree (p36): Yucca brevifolia. A type of Yucca tree that grows only in the Mojave Desert, in dry soil on many different elevations, often in groves. For more information, go here:

Night-Blooming Cereus (p36): Peniocereus greggii. One of the strangest plants of the desert, the Night-blooming Cereus is a member of the Cactus Family that resembles nothing more than a dead bush most of the year. It is rarely seen in the wild because of its inconspicuousness. But for one midsummer's night each year, its exquisitely scented flower opens as night falls, then closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun. [lifted from DesertUSA...]

Desert Mariposa (p36):
Calochortus kennedyi. A yellow, orange, or red bowl-shaped flower which usually grows only a few inches off the ground and in heavy soil in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. For more information, see here:

Brown-eyed Evening Primrose (p37):
Camissonia claviformis. A member of the evening primrose family, has white-off white flowers and is quite prevalent in hot flat areas (such as Death Valley and the Sonoran desert). Visit here for photos & more information:

Sacred Datura (p37):

Hawkmoth (p37):

Sweetbush (p38):

Brittlebrush (p38):

Scarlet Four o'clock (p38):'clock

Love-Lies-Bleeding (p38):

Amaranthus (p39):

Polyethylene (p42):
a plastic polymer of ethylene used chiefly for containers, electrical insulation, and packaging.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (p54):

Cactus Wren (p55):

Ocher (p62):
the color of any of a class of natural earths, mixtures of hydrated oxide of iron with various earthy materials, ranging in color from pale yellow to orange and red, and used as pigments.

Amber (p62): the yellowish-brown color of resin

Burnt brick (p62): a dark red/black/brown mixture.

Lampblack (p62):
a fine black pigment consisting of almost pure carbon collected as soot from the smoke of burning oil, gas, etc.

Gravlax (p66): boned salmon, cured by marinating in sugar, salt, pepper, and other spices, esp. dill, served as an appetizer.

M'illumino d'immenso (p67):

Acrylic (p80): a paint, prepared esp. for artists, in which an acrylic resin serves as a vehicle.

Masonite (p80): a type of fiberboard.

Tidal Volume (p82): The volume of air inhaled and exhaled at each breath.

Cheyne-Stokes respiration (p82):

Cyanosis (p82):

Somnolence (p82): A state of drowsiness; sleepiness.

Muscle Flaccidity (p83): A diminution of the skeletal muscle tone marked by a diminished resistance to passive stretching.

Bradycardia (p83): a slow heartbeat rate, usually less than 60 beats per minute.

Hypotension (p83): decreased or lowered blood pressure.

(Many thanks to our friends at, as well as other websites across the internet, for this useful information!)

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