Pringle Chip Equation
The widely-sold fried snack food Pringles potato crisps resemble a truncated hyperbolic paraboloid. According to Pringles marketing, the shape allows the snack to be securely stacked in a canister to prevent breakage during packaging and transport. To see more on the actual equation used for a hyperbolic paraboloid see WIKI.
Aldehydic, or modern, perfumes are those with significant notes of the aldehydes which are synthetic compounds, with clean, diffusive, sparkling notes and a family of chemicals. It appears the Pardaugava mini-mobsters got too strong a whiff.
prewar nitro musk and jasmine absolute
Nitro musk is an aromatic synthetic musk (aka white musks, in the perfume industry). These musks are a class of synthetic aromachemicals to emulate the scent of deer musk or other natural musk. Wikipedia
Jasmine absolute is an essential oil derived from the flowers of the jasmine bush, used for fragrance and skin care. Its properties are nervine, antidepressant/euphoric, and aphrodisiac. Interestingly, it is mentioned in Pynchon's Mason & Dixon at p. 456.
Baby Beluga is a music album by children's entertainer Raffi, released in 1980. The title track was inspired by Kavna, a beluga whale that Raffi saw at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC, and is considered by many to be his greatest hit. From WIKI.
Programming code that is written so poorly that it could only have been written by someone after that person drank an entire bottle of vodka. Thought it may run without error, it may be overly inefficient, useless, or a re-implementation of a function that already exists as part of the programming language.
a rich young person who adopts a bohemian lifestyle and lives in a nonaffluent area.
Little black dress. See WIKI.
Karl Dönitz (16 September 1891 – 24 December 1980) was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine, or "Imperial Navy") before World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of UB-68, the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner. While in a prisoner of war camp, he formulated what he later called Rudeltaktik ("pack tactic", commonly called "wolfpack"). At the start of World War II, he was the senior submarine officer in the German Navy. In January 1943, Dönitz achieved the rank of Großadmiral (Grand Admiral) and replaced Grand Admiral Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine). On 30 April 1945, after the death of Adolf Hitler and in accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Dönitz was named Hitler's successor as Staatsoberhaupt (Head of State), with the title of Reichspräsident (President) and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. On 7 May 1945, he ordered Alfred Jodl to sign the German instruments of surrender in Rheims, France. Dönitz remained as head of the Flensburg Government, as it became known, until it was dissolved by the Allied powers on 23 May. From WIKI.
"Having changed what needed to be changed." Often used when comparing to phrases or ideas that, while similar, have key differences. From Wiktionary.
as in 'Bird Dog' by the Everly Brothers . . . nobody's quail
"Bird Dog" is a song about a guy trying to steal another guy's girl. It includes the lyric: "Hey, bird dog get away from my quail."
"New York campus of Fraud University"
Given the unlikeliness of such an institution existing, Pynchon's probably having fun with initialisms again. NYC-FU
Welcome to the Johnsons
Dive bar on the Lower East Side that has a 1970s rec-room theme.
International Flavors & Fragrances is a major producer of flavors and fragrances with sales of $2.78 billion in 2011. website
proösmic - she can foresmell things that're going to happen
Echoes of Tyrone Slothrop in Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow whose sexual dalliances foretell V-2 rocket strikes, the rockets hitting places where Slothrop's just previously had sex.
Probably not intended that she started laughing, i.e. laughing gas; but that she became "out of it" on the vibes and intuitions the sample was giving her.
a reverse sillage, a wake from the future
Sillage is the degree to which a perfume’s fragrance lingers in the air after the wearer has departed. It comes from the French word for “wake,” as in the trail left in the sky by an airplane or on the water by a boat. Sillage defines how fragrance diffuses around the wearer, and a strong sillage means that a fragrance projects well. Also, there is a French graphic novel series called "Sillage": Wikipedia
no one alive has smelled it before
She can smell 9/11 coming? That's why she's getting out of NY and DC.
Reference to the 1980s television show, Dynasty. Alexis and Krystle were known for getting into catfights. For a picture of one, see WIKI.
A zhlub is a crude person lacking in social skills along with insensitivity, clumsiness and a lack of manners. Recall Richard M. Zhlub from Gravity's Rainbow