Showing posts from January, 2008

our evolving culture - paper

1st Millennium – A.D. 105Invention – According to tradition, an imperial eunuch named Cai Lun invented paper. The material, however, has been found in Chinese tombs dating to the 2nd century B.C. By the end of the 8th century, Chinese paper craftsmen had set up shop in the Middle East.

11th CenturyMovable type was developed in China by the year 1048 and the metal variety in Korea by 1403. However, it was impractical for the ideographs both used (as many as 400,000 characters). Rubbing off wood blocks and stone, practiced since the 7th century, was the preferred technology of a versatile book trade.

1150Technology transfer – The Arabs took paper from Iraq and Egypt to North Africa and Muslim Spain.

13th CenturyItaly gets paper – Finally Europe had a cheap alternative to vellum and parchment. (It took the skins of 80 lambs to create a 200-page parchment manuscript.)

1300sBlock printing arrived in Europe, perhaps brought by merchants and bureaucrats of the expanding Mongol Empire…

the best of the century

Best Childdren's Book - Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (1952)
Best Film - Citizen Kane, directed by and starring Orson Welles (1941)
Best Novel - Ulysses by James Joyce (1922)
Best TV Show - The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening (1989-)
Best Dance - The Four Temperaments by George Balanchine (1946)
Best Nonfiction Book - The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1947)
Best Opera - Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten (1945)
Best Comedy Routine - Who's on First? by Abbott and Costello (1938)
Best Song - Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday (1939)
Best Musical - Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein (1945)
Best Design - The Eames molded plywood chair, designed by Charles Eames (1946)
Best Play - Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello (1921)
Best Classical Composition - Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky (1930)
Best Poem - The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot (1922)
Best Painting - The Red Studio by Henri Matisse (1911)
Best Sculpture - Bird in Space by Constantin Brancusi (c.1941…

six billion and counting

Here is an interesting read from the 1999.11.15 issue of Time magazine sent by Harold Musnitsky from Penn Valley, Pennsylvania.

If we could shrink the world’s population to a village of 100 persons, maintaining all the existing ratios, the village would look like this: 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the western hemisphere (North, Central and South America) and 8 Africans. Seventy of the 100 would be nonwhite. Seventy would be non-Christian. Six people would control 50% of the world’s wealth, and all of them would be citizens of the U.S. Seventy people would be unable to read, more than half would suffer from malnutrition, and 80 would live in substandard housing. Only 1 of the 100 would have attended college.

Some believe we do not inherit our land from ancestors but borrow it from our children. What we leave them will be determined by an increasing population and the calendar. Our failure to solve the population problem will no longer be a fault; it will be a judgment.

Indeed so!

learning english is fun

Let us begin the new year with a funny post - a post that includes some remarkable sentences in the English language. The insurance is invalid for the invalid.The bandage was wound around the wound!How do I intimate it to my most intimate friend?Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.I shed my clothes in the shed, but upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.And have you ever thought :Why Boxing Rings are Square?Why sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat?Why you fill in a form by filling it out?Why Bakers bake, but grocers don't groce?Why a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig?We drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?Why do people have noses that run and feet that smell?We ship by truck and send cargo by ship?If two mouse are called mice, what should two house be called?And finally, when you want to shut do…