definitions - hortus

Quants is the nickname given to quantitative analysts who work in finance. They design algorithms for banks and trading firms that can make profits up to a million times a second. Up to 70% of NY Stock Exchange traffic is controlled by so-called black boxes: huge windowless buildings containing only computer servers.

Sap flow is the transport of water and minerals from the roots of a plant to the leaves in order to generate photosynthesis, the process of capturing sunlight in order to split off water's hydrogen from oxygen.

Stock - The oldest digital instrument for counting money was a wooden STOCK. Back to the 12th century each nobleman would carve the data in a stick, a big cut representing 100 pounds in gold, a smaller one representing 10 and then they would break the stock in two identical pieces. The person who brought the money kept one half of the stock, and the bank kept the other half that uniquely matched the amount of money left at the Treasure.

Tulipmania - The first economic bubble burst because of a single flower. In the 17th century the bulbs of a Semper Augustus or a Viceroy tulip were considered the most valuable due to their unusual beauty and could be sold in exchange for a house.

Entropy - The Second law of thermodynamics states that while energy is conserved in a closed system, its usefulness inevitably declines. 

Climate - Raising the thermostat of the Earth to 3 degrees more will take us to the temperature of 3 billion years ago, when humans were not around yet and photosynthesis was not producing enough oxygen.