A race condition occurs when two or more threads can access shared data and they try to change it at the same time. Because the thread scheduling algorithm can swap between threads at any time, you don't know the order in which the threads will attempt to access the shared data. Therefore, the result of the change in data is dependent on the thread scheduling algorithm, i.e. both threads are "racing" to access/change the data.
Problems often occur when one thread does a "check-then-act" (e.g. "check" if the value is X, then "act" to do something that depends on the value being X) and another thread does something to the value in between the "check" and the "act". E.g:
if (x == 5) // The "Check"
y = x * 2; // The "Act"
// If another thread changed x in between "if (x == 5)" and "y = x * 2" above,
// y will not be equal to 10.
The point being, y could be 10, or it could be anything, depending on whether another thread changed x in between the check and act. You have no real way of knowing.
In order to prevent race conditions from occurring, you would typically put a lock around the shared data to ensure only one thread can access the data at a time. This would mean something like this:
// Obtain lock for x
if (x == 5)
y = x * 2; // Now, nothing can change x until the lock is released.
// Therefore y = 10
// release lock for x
The name reflection is used to describe code which is able to inspect other code in the same system (or itself).
For example, say you have an object of an unknown type in Java, and you would like to call a 'doSomething' method on it if one exists. Java's static typing system isn't really designed to support this unless the object conforms to a known interface, but using reflection, your code can look at the object and find out if it has a method called 'doSomething' and then call it if you want to.
So, to give you a code example of this in Java (imagine the object in question is foo) :
Method method = foo.getClass().getMethod("doSomething", null);
One very common use case in Java is the usage with annotations. JUnit 4, for example, will use reflection to look through your classes for methods tagged with the @Test annotation, and will then call them when running the unit test.
There are some good reflection examples to get you started at http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/reflect/index.html
And finally, yes, the concepts are pretty much similar in other statically typed languages which support reflection (like C#). In dynamically typed languages, the use case described above is less necessary (since the compiler will allow any method to be called on any object, failing at runtime if it does not exist), but the second case of looking for methods which are marked or work in a certain way is still common.
Update from a comment:
The ability to inspect the code in the system and see object types is
not reflection, but rather Type Introspection. Reflection is then the
ability to make modifications at runtime by making use of
introspection. The distinction is necessary here as some languages
support introspection, but do not support reflection. One such example
The recommended way is to use JMatch Query and Prevayler.execute(Query). Either directly or by using subclassing.
The returned results must be either primitive values or immutable objects. If you plan to return mutable objects you should subclass JMatch Query to do these deep copies. This way you get a system that locks every sensible read with other (sensible) reads and writes. This can speed up and simplify development, especially for developers without multithreaded programming expirience.
If you need more performance under high concurrent load, which is supposed to be a rare case, you indeed can use described above fine grained locking - using "synchronized" and java.util.concurrent.
See this discussion for more details.