Sep 252005

…even making artists’ brushes:

“The kolinsky is a small rodent which is found on the borders of Russia and China and its tail provides the high quality hair, soft, springy and expensive, that is used in making red sable brushes. Only the extreme tip of the tail is used in the best brushes as the hairs feather off naturally to form a point. The hairs must all be pointing in the same direction and are graded and selected before being tied together in a bunch, the longest hairs in the centre and the shorter ones ranged around it. The hairs are then glued to the ferrule. Red sable itself is also used, together with oxhair taken from the ears of certain cattle.”

— Painting in Watercolour, by Kate Gwynn

 Posted by at 6:34 pm
Sep 132005

From “Breeding evil?” in the Aug 4th 2005 edition of The Economist:

“Scepticism of new media is a tradition with deep roots, going back at least as far as Socrates’ objections to written texts, outlined in Plato’s Phaedrus. Socrates worried that relying on written texts, rather than the oral tradition, would “create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves.” (He also objected that a written version of a speech was no substitute for the ability to interrogate the speaker, since, when questioned, the text “always gives one unvarying answer”. His objection, in short, was that books were not interactive. Perhaps Socrates would have thought more highly of video games.)”

 Posted by at 3:44 pm