MACE was an audio compression algorithm, usually seen used in non-lossless AIFF files. I know nothing about the technical aspects of MACE, but i used it a couple times around the mid-90s, and the quality was surprisingly good. It could get sound files down to what was, for the time, disturbingly small sizes-- the 6:1 level could get entire songs into 500k. The only problem is that it was very, very lossy, and the 6:1 sounded like it was playing over a telephone.. not good for music at all. These days, compared to MP3 and realaudio, MACE seems almost pathetic in terms of tradeoff between sound quality and file size, but for its time it was pretty cool.

This wonderful spice is the aril, or covering layer of the nutmeg that acts as a placenta, transferring nourishment from the fruit to the seed of the nutmeg tree, Myristica fragens.

The tree is native to the Banda Islands in Indonesia, but is now grown in spice producing nations the world over. It is a tropical evergreen that grows to a height of 10 metres (25 feet). The tree is fully mature and hence produces a reliable crop at the age of 15 years. The fruit itself bears more than a passing resemblance to a nectarine, but has a pungently sour flavour and is of only limited culinary interest.

Opening the fruit reveals the nutmeg. It is enmeshed in a blood red lacy web, clinging so tightly to the nutmeg that it leaves its imprint, this web is mace.

Once dried, the colour of mace tones down to a dull reddish brown colour. When sold whole or in pieces mace is referred to as a blade, however, it is more often found powdered. The flavour of mace is unsurprisingly reminiscent of nutmeg, with a slightly subtler taste containing overtones of coriander seeds. Unlike nutmeg, mace will often be found flavouring seafood and lighter meat dishes, such as chicken, in line with its more gentle flavour. It is an indispensable ingredient in the ancient English bread sauce.

Just like nutmeg, mace contains small amounts of the hallucinogenic compounds myristicin and eleminicin.

The mace is a common medieval weapon, and is very popular in most Fantasy Role-playing games.

The mace is in essence a much improved club. Being a wooden handle with a stone or iron head. The design of the head varies wildly with some being spiked, some flanged, and others having pyramid shaped knobs. Some ceromonial maces will even have perfectly round heads with no protrusions at all. The mace was one of man's earliest metal weapons, and were designed to be more effective than the universally used club.

The ancient Romans often provided bronze headed maces for their allies, as they were cheap to manufacture. But they seldom used maces themselves. By the 14th century two basic head designs had become prominant. The first was round with extended nodes or spikes. While the second featured geometrically shaped vanes extending from the handle itself. Maces became more and more decorative leading up to the 16th century, with may Polish and Turkish maces having elaborate onion shaped heads.

The mace became a symbol of power and status during the middle ages. Higher ranking Army Officers and Nobles would often carry highly decorated maces that had been produced especially for them. The owner of a mace was usually recognized a s a person of power and influence. While the number of flanges and general design of the mace could be used to determine the owners status.

The Knight's mace was the more common of the professionally produced maces. Having an 18 inch handle, a wrist strap, and an elaborate head. The Knight's mace was designed to be used on horseback, and were often constructed completely from metal.

The Footman's mace was a much larger, heavier mace. Requiring two hands to swing properly. These maces usually had a wooden handle, and would feature far less ornamentation than their smaller cousins.

The morning star was eventually invented as an improvement on the overall design of the mace.

TheBooBooKitty says "The mace became a symbol of power and status during the middle ages. Higher ranking Army Officers and Nobles would often carry highly decorated maces that had been produced especially for them. The owner of a mace was usually recognized as a person of power and influence."

This still very much applies in the case of the ceremonial Maces used in the British Houses of Parliament.

Essentially, the Mace in the House of Commons is a sign of the Queen's authority. It is a silver gilt ornamental club of about five feet in length, dating from the reign of Charles II. It is carried in as part of the Speaker's procession by the Serjeant at Arms before each day's sitting and placed on the table of the House, except when the House is "in committee" when it rests on supports below. It is then carried out when the Speaker leaves.

Michael Heseltine during a debate in 1976 once famously picked up the Mace and waved it over his head. He was restrained by another MP and replaced it, and the Speaker suspended sitting for the day. He then apologised the next day.

The House of Lords has two maces, one dating from the time of Charles II and another from the reign of William III. One of the maces lies on the woolsack when the House is sitting and is the symbol of the royal authority under which the House meets. The other is carried with the Lord Chancellor (who is ex officio the Speaker of the House of Lords) when he is performing his other official duties.

During the State Opening of Parliament, the mace in the House of Lords is removed. With the Queen sitting on the throne at the end of the House, there is clearly no need to have the mace there to represent her authority!

Mace (?), n. [Jav. & Malay. mas, fr. Skr. masha a bean.]

A money of account in China equal to one tenth of a tael; also, a weight of 57.98 grains.

S. W. Williams.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mace (?), n. [F. macis, L. macis, macir, Gr. ; cf. Skr. makaranda the nectar or honey of a flower, a fragrant mango.] Bot.

A kind of spice; the aril which partly covers nutmegs. See Nutmeg.

Red mace is the aril of Myristica tingens, and white mace that of M. Otoba, -- East Indian trees of the same genus with the nutmeg tree.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mace, n. [OF. mace, F. masse, from (assumed) L. matea, of which the dim. mateola a kind of mallet or beetle, is found.]

1.

A heavy staff or club of metal; a spiked club; -- used as weapon in war before the general use of firearms, especially in the Middle Ages, for breaking metal armor.

Chaucer.

Death with his mace petrific . . . smote. Milton.

2.

Hence: A staff borne by, or carried before, a magistrate as an ensign of his authority.

"Swayed the royal mace."

Wordsworth.

3.

An officer who carries a mace as an emblem of authority.

Macaulay.

4.

A knobbed mallet used by curriers in dressing leather to make it supple.

5. Billiards

A rod for playing billiards, having one end suited to resting on the table and pushed with one hand.

Mace bearer, an officer who carries a mace before person in authority.

 

© Webster 1913.

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