Local Area Network (LAN)
Any communication network for connecting computers within a building or small group of buildings.
Occurring within a closed or remote location, such as an isolated house or an island, this type of mystery takes place when there is a crime, such as a murder, and only the people known to be in the location are possible suspects. Sometimes there is the suggestion of a hidden person or presence who may be responsible for the act. Agatha Christie and Wilkie Collins were revered locked-room mystery authors. A typical locked-room mystery is solved by process of elimination … unless, of course, there is a hidden or unknown presence at the location!
First appearing in Pep Comics #26 in 1942 and a well-known character in the subsequent Archie comic book series, Riverdale’s privileged princess is the richest gal in town. She tends to focus on the finer things in life and has no issue waving her money around for the world to see. Known as “Ronnie” to those in her inner circle, she has a habit of using her wealth and beauty to snag Archie away from her best friend Betty. Throughout the series, the trio tended to find themselves entangled in a love triangle with no apparent end in sight. Also a friend and bandmate of Jughead Jones, as the heiress to Lodge Industries, her bottomless wallet allows Veronica to be the ultimate fashionista, always sporting the hottest clothes in town.
- In the computer world: As a verb, to go through the procedures to begin use (“log on/in”) or end use (“log off/out”) of a computer, database, or system. As a noun, a record of computer activity used for statistical purposes, as well as for backup and recovery procedures. Log files are written by the operating system or other control program for such purposes as recording incoming dialogs, error and status messages and certain transaction details.
- In the universe of Star Trek and other military settings, a record of an event or an extended mission, as in the captain’s log.
An unauthorized program or programming code, inserted surreptitiously or intentionally into a computer program or operating system, that is designed to interfere with the operation of the target computer(s). Logic bombs are typically set to execute (or “explode”) under specific circumstances, such as the lapse of a certain amount of time or the failure of a program user to respond to a program command. It is, in effect, a delayed-action computer virus or Trojan horse. A logic bomb may be designed to perform some destructive or security-compromising activity, such as displaying or printing a spurious message, deleting or corrupting data, or have other undesirable effects. Also called “slag code.”
In programming, a connection place; specifically, using the internet‘s protocol Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), the way a client program specifies a particular server program on a computer in a network. Higher-level applications that use TCP/IP such as the internet protocol Hypertext Transfer Protocol (“http”), have ports with preassigned numbers. These are called “well-known ports,” which have been assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Other application processes are given port numbers dynamic to each connection. When a server program is started, it is said to “bind” to its designated port number. When any client program wants to use that server, it must request to bind to the designated port number.
Port numbers range from 0 to 65535. Ports 0 to 1024 are reserved for use by certain privileged services. For the http service, port 80 is defined as a default and does not have to be specified in the Uniform Resource Locator (URL).
- Portrayed as the wily trickster god of Norse mythology, who had the ability to change his shape and sex, Loki (pronounced “LOAK-ee”) is treated as a nominal member of the Aesir tribe of gods, Loki occupies a highly ambivalent and ultimately solitary position amongst the gods. His father was the giant Fárbauti (“Cruel Striker”), and his mother, Laufey could have been a goddess, a giantess or something else entirely; the surviving sources do not specify. By the giantess Angrboða (“Anguish-Boding”), Loki is the father of Hel (the goddess of the grave), Jormungand (the great serpent who slays Thor during Ragnarok) and Fenrir (the wolf who bites off one of the hands of Tyr and who kills Odin during Ragnarok).
Loki demonstrates a complete lack of concern for the well-being of his fellow gods, and he often runs afoul not only of societal expectations, but also of what we today might call “the laws of nature.” In addition to the progeny listed above, Loki is also the mother of Sleipnir, Odin’s shamanic horse, whom Loki gave birth to after shape-shifting into a mare and courting the stallion Svaðilfari, as is recounted in the tale “The Fortification of Asgard.” He can be playful, malicious and helpful, but he’s always irreverent and nihilistic. He alternately helps both gods and giants, depending on which course of action is most pleasurable and/or advantageous to him at the time. During Ragnarok, when the gods and giants engage in their ultimate struggle and the cosmos is destroyed and re-created, Loki joins the battle on the side of the giants. He and the god Heimdall mortally wound each other.
Rather, the principle to which Loki corresponds seems to be the disregard for or hatred of the sacred. For Loki, the gods are not to be worshiped, but are more like elements to be overcome, ignored or mocked. Paradoxically, Loki features so prominently in the tales of Norse mythology because, from the perspective of the heathen Norse themselves, those tales expressed the notion that everything, even irreverence itself, is ultimately worthy of reverence. Odin, in fact, shares many of Loki’s boundary-crossing trickster-like attributes. Indeed, in at least one Old Norse poem, the two are represented as blood brothers.
2. With a first appearance in 1949’s Venus #6, and his first modern-day comics appearance in Journey into Mystery #85 in 1962, the Norse god Loki has wreaked havoc in the Marvel Universe’s Thor comics ever since. His origin story, as told in Journey Into Mystery #112, 113 and 115 in 1965, reveals that Loki was born in Jotunheim, Asgard. Odin, once the ruler of the Asgardian gods, led his subjects into a war against their enemy, the frost giants from the land of Jotunheim (one of the nine worlds of Asgard). After Laufey, king of the frost giants, was slain in battle and the giants were defeated, an Asgardian baby was discovered hidden at the giants’ main fortress. The infant was Loki, whom Laufey had kept hidden due to his shame over his son’s diminutive size. Odin adopted Loki into his own family, raising Loki like a son alongside his biological son Thor. Jealous of Odin’s favored son, Loki began studying the dark arts of sorcery as a boy, for which he had a natural affinity. He became infamous for his mischievousness, but secretly resented Thor and the fatherly love Odin lavished upon him. When Odin was preparing his greatest gift for Thor, the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, Loki interfered with its creation, causing its handle to be forged too short. Loki was envious that Thor would one day wield Mjolnir, and over the years repeatedly crafted schemes to make Mjolnir’s power his own.
Loki eventually learned of the prophecies of Ragnarok, a cataclysmic event in which he was fated to bring about Asgard’s ruin by slaying Balder, then leading the enemies of Asgard into a final battle. Loki ultimately embraced this destiny, and sought the means to bring about Ragnarok on more than one occasion. However, Loki usually crafted his schemes so subtly that Odin and Thor could rarely justify punishing him, and Loki would continue to live in their midst, awaiting his next opportunity.
Loki finally obtained an advantage over his half-brother when Odin sentenced Thor to Earth in the guise of Dr. Donald Blake. Loki sought victory over his brother by exploiting Blake’s human weakness, and employed many pawns against him on Earth. At one point, Loki’s meddling caused the formation of the Avengers, which he would deeply regret.
In addition to original Marvel comics, Loki has appeared as a regular villain in a 1966 animated TV series Mighty Thor, and on the movie screen in Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012) and Thor: The Dark World, (2013), portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. Loki is also slated to appear in the next film in the series, Thor: Ragnarok, due out in 2017.
Japanese term meaning “Lolita complex,” after the novel (and two movies). This term typically refers to pornographic art, anime or otherwise, of females aged between 12 and 16, and also to those people who are attracted to such girls. However, real child pornography is sometimes called lolicon, as well. Art of underage girls is legal in most countries, which explains the popularity of lolicon. Despite the fact that the age bracket is technically outside the realm of pedophilia, lolicon is frowned upon, especially in the West.
Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD)
A device developed by the American Technology Corporation, capable of emitting sound at a maximum 151 dB within a 30-degree span of where the device is pointing. The device can be used as a combatant deterrent weapon, as well as a crowd-control device. The LRAD weighs about 463 pounds, and is capable of emitting sound within a 15-to-30-degree beam. The range of the LRAD is 300 to 500 meters, and at maximum volume, it can emit sound 50 times greater than the human threshold for pain, with the capability to cause permanent damage.
Instead of the usual diaphragm that normal speakers use to make sound, the LRAD uses a set of piezoelectric transducers which are capable of converting electrical energy into sound. These transducers are permanently polarized, so any distortion of their shape creates an electrical impulse, and vice versa. By using a power source to supply this electrical impulse, piezoelectric transducers can rapidly change their shape, therefore, creating sound waves in the process. The transducers are also arranged so that they are in phase with each other so that the resulting sounds they emit can combine to make the projected sounds louder.
The sound that the LRAD produces can be directed, so there is less-than-normal dispersion. This results in a 20 dB drop in the volume of sound 15 degrees outside the beam. This directional sound propagation stems from the fact that the LRAD employs outer and inner transducers to create sound waves that are not completely in phase with each other. This enables other sound waves to cancel out those that are in the outermost portion of the beam. The resulting wave front of the sound is also flatter than usual, preventing the sound from being dispersed as it propagates. Moreover, as the LRAD-produced sound waves interact with the air, they create additional frequencies within the wave and thus amplify the sound and pitch.
In military and law enforcement circles, the primary advantage is that the LRAD is a non-lethal solution that prevents suspects from continuing illegal activities, without endangering friendly personnel. The major disadvantages of the LRAD system include the facts that the loud sounds the LRAD emits may cause permanent hearing damage to those within its range, the LRAD sound wave can be cancelled altogether through the use of common earplugs, and sounds emitted from the LRAD can be reflected back to the source by using a flat solid object.
In video and online games, items dropped from defeated enemies.
A gamer or game character who is addicted to picking up loots.
Lord, Max IV
At the age of sixteen, Maxwell IV came home to find his father dead, an apparent suicide. Max was told by his mother that powerful people are always evil and that he must have control over them all. She stated that if Max ever meets powerful men or women, then he must plan every step. When he was still very young, Lord built his own business. At around the age of 20, he had already bought many businesses in areas all over the world, including Metropolis and Gotham City. Maxwell uses his wide reach over the world to set up many, secret, locations which allow him to not be watched by heroes like the Justice League International or the Justice League of America. Being wanted all over the planet for would-be world domination and murder, his business was shut down and bought by Bruce Wayne.
Years later, Maxwell Lord, still a wealthy business man and entrepreneur, was portrayed as having been playing a double game holding a deep distrust of non-humans. When Max was helping during the Coast City destruction, Max ultimately decided that heroes would have to be exterminated for the good of mankind leading to the events of The OMAC Project, where Lord managed to hijack a satellite Batman had built, calling it Brother Eye, and creating millions of sleeper agents to attack the worlds superbeing populace.
A representation of the business-minded yuppies of the 1980s, Maxwell Lord was created for DC Comics by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMateis and Kevin Maguire, and introduced as a conniving opportunist with a good heart. He was involved with turning the Justice League of America into the Justice League International. Lord has the extreme power of mind control, which he has demonstrated at close range, as well as from great distances. While originally not being a metahuman, Max gained this ability while serving as a leader of the Justice League International. While the mind control ability is useful, his power does have a downside: the more minds he controls, the more blood he loses. Controlling one mind can make him bleed out of his nose, but wiping his entire existence from everyone’s mind off of the planet caused Max to lose much blood from his eyes, ears, and nose. Eventually leading to blacking out, Max only uses his mind control ability when needed, however tries not to use it on many people all at once, as it could lead to his own death.
In the super villain community, Lord has been called “one of the greatest masterminds on Earth,” possibly second to only Superman’s archenemy Lex Luthor. (While Lex and Max share the same goals, they despise each other.) Lord carries a .45 caliber pistol, which he used to kill the Blue Beetle. Not one to use brute force to get the job done, Max will do whatever it takes to get complete control over any obstacle.
Maxwell Lord was portrayed by Gil Bellows in two episodes of the WB television series Smallville.
“Lost Generation, The”
In general, a term for the post-World War I generation, but more specifically, the group of American writers who came of age during the World War I and established their literary reputations in the 1920s. The term stems from a remark made by Gertrude Stein to Ernest Hemingway: “You are all a lost generation.” Hemingway used it as an epigraph to The Sun Also Rises (1926), a novel that captures the attitudes of a hard-drinking, fast-living set of disillusioned young expatriates in postwar Paris. The generation was “lost” in the sense that its inherited values were no longer relevant in the postwar world, and its spiritual alienation under President Warren G. Harding’s “back to normalcy” policy seemed to be hopelessly provincial, materialistic, and emotionally barren. This group embraces Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, E.E. Cummings, Archibald MacLeish, Hart Crane. As these writers turned in different directions in the 1930s, their works lost the distinctive stamp of the postwar period. The last representative works of the era were Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night (1934) and Dos Passos’ The Big Money (1936).
Born Howard Phillips Lovecraft on August 20, 1890, in Providence, Rhode Island, the future writer had an unusual and tragic childhood. His traveling salesman father developed a mental disorder caused by untreated syphilis when Howard was around three. In 1893, his father became a patient at the Butler Hospital, and there he remained until his death in 1898. Meanwhile, Howard himself was a sickly child, spending many of his school years at home. He became an avid reader, devouring the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and developed a special interest in astronomy. As a teenager, he did attend high school, but suffered a nervous breakdown before he could graduate. Lovecraft became a recluse for many years, staying up late to study, read and write, then sleeping late into the day. During this period, he had some articles on astronomy published in several newspapers. He joined the United Amateur Press Association in 1914, and the following year, he launched his self-published magazine The Conservative, for which he wrote several essays. While he dabbled in fiction early on, Lovecraft became serious about writing stories around 1917, influenced by Poe and other writers.
The horror magazine Weird Tales bought some of Lovecraft’s stories in 1923. The following year, he married Sonia Greene, and the couple lived together in New York City before splitting up only two years later. After his marriage failed, Lovecraft returned to Rhode Island and began work on some of his best stories. “The Call of Cthulhu” was published in Weird Tales in 1928, and more than any other single tale of his, it perhaps best illustrated Lovecraft’s effort to create an otherworldly type of terror. Elements of this story would appear in other tales of his, which would collectively become known as the “Cthulhu Mythos.” Also during this period, Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard became correspondents, inspired by their mutual fondness for each other’s writing.
Lovecraft’s later stories reflected his own philosophical ideals. According to American Heritage magazine, Lovecraft once wrote, “All of my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and emotions have no validity or significance in the cosmos-at-large.” In his final years, Lovecraft was barely able to support himself. He took editing and ghostwriting work to try to make ends meet. Lovecraft died of cancer on March 15, 1937 at the age of 46 in Providence. He left behind more than 60 short stories and a few novel and novellas, including The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Lovecraft’s passing was mourned by his devoted following of colleagues and aspiring writers with whom he corresponded and collaborated. Two of these friends, August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, formed a publishing company called Arkham House to promote and preserve Lovecraft’s work.
Since his death, Lovecraft has earned greater acclaim than he ever enjoyed during his lifetime. He has been an inspiration to such writers as Peter Straub, Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, and his stories have served as inspirations for numerous films, including 2007’s Cthulhu and 2011’s Hunters of the Dark. As Stephen King explained to American Heritage magazine, “Now that time has given us some perspective on his work, I think it is beyond doubt that H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the 20th Century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”
The famed director, writer and producer was born George Walton Lucas Jr. on May 14, 1944 in Modesto, California. His parents sold retail office supplies and owned a walnut ranch. He grew up in the sleepy suburb of Modesto and discovered an early passion for cars and motor racing (which would eventually serve as inspirations for his 1973 Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon American Graffiti). While attending community college, Lucas developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks. Following the advice of a friend, he transferred to the University of Southern California filmmaking school. There, he produced a short futuristic science fiction film called THX-1138:4EB, which earned the attention of Francis Ford Coppola, who convinced Warner Brothers to make a feature length version of the film. Although a few critics recognized some philosophical depth behind all the technical wizardry, the film (re-titled THX-1138) flopped terribly in its 1971 release.
Intimidated by the failure of his first film, Lucas went back to work on his next project, American Graffiti. Released in 1973, the film featured such burgeoning young talents as Ron Howard (who had played Opie on TV’s The Andy Griffith Show), Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford, and was recognized as a stunning portrait of listless American youth in 1962. The film, which was made for only $780,000, grossed $50 million in the box office. It was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Director, and despite not winning any of the categories, it is still considered one of the most successful low-budget features ever made. Having won the confidence of his supporters, Lucas next set out to make a children’s Saturday morning serial that would be part fairy tale and part Flash Gordon. The project eventually evolved into a full-length feature entitled Star Wars (later known as Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope), starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. In its 1977 release, Star Wars blew audiences away with its awe-inspiring special effects, fantastical landscapes and captivating characters. Made for $11 million, the film grossed over $513 million worldwide during its original release. Lucas continued the story of the Jedi and the Dark Side in The Empire Strike Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983). In the meantime, he set up a state-of-the-art special effects company called Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and a sound studio, Skywalker Sound, which he named for the protagonist of Star Wars. Executing more and more control over the finished product of his films, Lucas eventually built his own moviemaking operation outside of the controlling influence of Hollywood in the hills of Marin Country, California.
Overlapping with his work on Star Wars, Lucas was developing a new adventure series featuring an adventurous archaeologist named Indiana Jones. After considering Tom Selleck and other actors, he cast Star Wars alum Harrison Ford in the title role, and Steven Spielberg signed on direct Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Instead of deep space, Lucas mined the past for this action-packed tale. Indiana Jones battled Nazis over the Ark of the Covenant in what was to be a major blockbuster film. Lucas helped create the stories and worked as a producer on the two sequels that soon followed. Ford starred with Spielberg’s future (now ex-)wife Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
Finally technology was catching up with Lucas’ creative vision for his famous science fiction saga. He had seen ILM’s capabilities when it was commissioned to bring the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park (1993) to horrifying life. The progressions in technology also convinced Lucas that it was time to go back to Star Wars, so Lucas embarked on the development of three new prequels. The first in the series, Star Wars — Episode I: The Phantom Menace, was released in spring of 1999. Star Wars – Episode II : Attack of the Clones followed in 2002, and the final installment, Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, debuted in May 2005.
In 2008, Lucas released the latest installment of his Indiana Jones series. He served as one of its writers and as a producer, while Steven Spielberg once again acted as director. Harrison Ford returned as the famed adventuring archaeologist in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull proved to be one of the summer’s biggest hits. In 2012, Lucas brought the story of the famed African-American World War II pilots known as “The Tuskegee Airmen” to the big screen in Red Tails, which may prove to be one of Lucas’ final “hands-on” project. Announcing his retirement from bigger projects, Lucas decided to sell his company Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Company in October 2012.
Away from the camera, the filmmaker created the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the early 1990s. His organization encourages the use of project-based and team-based learning among other education reforms. After his 1983 divorce from film editor Marcia Griffin, Lucas spent many years as a single father to his adopted daughter Amanda, and adopted two more children, Katie and Jet. In January 2013, Lucas announced his engagement to Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, and in late June 2013, the couple wed at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California.
One of two central characters (along with Titus Pullo) in the HBO/BBC series Rome, Vorenus is not typically mentioned in the history books, but was nonetheless mentioned by Julius Caesar himself as a participant of the Gallic War in the winter of 54-53 BC. According to Caesar’s account, Vorenus and Pullo were rival centurions in Quintus Cicero’s legion who quarreled continually over seniority and assignments.
In the HBO series, Vorenus’ legion is the 13th. It has been suggested, however, that the real Vorenus served in Caesar’s 11th Legion, but in his account of the siege, Caesar does not identify the numeral of the legion commanded by Quintus Cicero. In 54 BC, Caesar had eight full legions, the 7th through the 14th. Caesar’s account of the exploit of the real soldiers underlines their status as centurions; indeed, in the Roman legions, only centurions could get away with such dangerous acts of bravado. Their rivalry and competition for honors suggests that they were of equal status. Caesar refers to Vorenus only in a single campaign, and he is not mentioned by any other Roman author. Lucius Vorenus was portrayed in Rome by Kevin McKidd.
Introduced in the 1987 Mel Brooks Star Wars parody Spaceballs, it is a velocity beyond the speed of light, beyond Ridiculous Speed, and so fast that it causes a human’s brain to go into his feet. Externally, any vessel achieving ludicrous speed will appear to have “gone to plaid” to the casual observer.
First appearing in Action Comics #23 in 1940, and eventually becoming a DC Comics character, Superman’s archenemy was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to be Superman’s main enemy. Son of wealthy Metropolis residents Lionel and Letitia Luthor, and brother to Lena Luthor, Luthor spent years in Smallville, Kansas with his Aunt Lena. There, he encountered Clark Kent and first learned about the existence of Smallville’s own hometown hero Superboy. He followed Superboy’s adventures with great zeal and soon became the young Kryptonian’s greatest fan. Superboy constructed a brand new state-of-the art laboratory for the eager would-be scientist, and with the new lab equipment at his disposal, Luthor set about experimenting with his many chemical solutions. He even created a non-sentient protoplasmic entity out of some of the more rare chemicals that Superboy provided him. Using the protoplasm as a template, Luthor sought to create an antidote to kryptonite poisoning. It was his intention to present the antidote to Superboy as a gift, as a means of solidifying their friendship. He succeeded in creating the antidote, but in his excitement, he knocked over a beaker, which set the laboratory ablaze. Superboy flew past the lab and noticed smoke pouring out of the windows. Noticing that Luthor had exposed kryptonite in the lab, Superboy remained outside and quickly decided to extinguish the fire in the lab with a gust of his super-breath which would put out the fire and remove the Kryptonite to a safe distance. Superboy successfully extinguished the fire, but the blast accidentally mixed various chemicals together that destroyed all of Luthor’s experiments. These gases passed onto Luthor’s head, destroying his hair and left him completely bald. Enraged at the devastation of his work and his personal appearance, Luthor accused Superboy of destroying his experiments on purpose out of jealousy. From that moment onward, Lex Luthor became the sworn enemy of Superboy.
Lex soon began acting on his criminal impulses to attack Superboy with his ever-increasing array of weapons and devices, but despite their fearsome powers, Superboy always managed to defeat Lex and send him to the Smallville Juvenile Detention Center. Fearing that their son would never reform his ways, Lex’s parents decided to move away from Smallville and changed their last name to “Thorul” in hopes to raise their daughter Lena Thorul in a relatively peaceful life away from the evil Lex. Despite this name change, Lex would later find his sister and find some sort of reconciliation with her and her children.
Luthor is a complex man. A power-hungry criminal mastermind who freely admits to being “evil,” he considers Abraham Lincoln to be a “great man” (Superboy #85) and has, on occasion, performed acts of great nobility, such as saving the lives of millions on a dying world (Superman #164), for which he is considered a hero there. Still, Luthor continued in his plans to dominate the Earth and known universe even during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, where Lex and the surviving villains would temporarily side with our Earth’s superheroes.
On the small screen, Luthor was portrayed by John Shea in the 1993-97 series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and by Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville (2001-2011). On the big screen, Luthor has been portrayed by Gene Hackman in Supterman: The Movie (1978), Superman II (198) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; by Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns (2006); and by Jesse Eisenberg in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.