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Re: [BKARTS] WOID #VIII-48. Beam me up, Scottie



A PhD gets eaten? Remind me not to be a character in one of
his books.

MayKitten PhD
--- Paul T Werner <paul.werner@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> Michael Crichton: Timelines. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1999.
>
>
> A French poet wrote that the pleasure of books lies in the
> "Delectation of discovering someone dumber than one's self."
> Michael Crichton's "Timeline" satisfies that craving.
>
> It's actually well written and might be useful on a airplane -
> you could bop a hijacker with the hardcover version. Crichton's
> the author of "Jurassic Park" and "the Andromeda Strain:" all his
> novels involve fancy concepts from Scientific American, and
> usually a PhD gets eaten. My favorite exchange in "Timeline"
> goes: "What if we lose the graduate students, too? - A publicity
> nightmare."
>
> But "Timeline's" about traveling back to the Middle Ages, and
> while I can't vouch for the stuff about quantum foam, the
> historical background should keep Medievalists smiling, and
> laughing out loud on occasion.
>
> Below is a short passage from "Timeline": our heroes are trying
> to determine if a manuscript was written in Southern France in
> 1357. A prize copy of either "Dragonsblood and Ashes" or "Vellum
> Preparation" to the reader who can find the most bloopers.
> Employees of WOID and their *famuli* are not eligible.
>
>
>      "Chemically speaking," Stern said, "it's exactly what you'd
> expect: iron in the form of ferrous oxide, mixed with gall as an
> organic binder. Some added carbon for blackness, and five percent
> sucrose. In those days, they used sugar to give the inks a shiny
> surface. So it's ordinary iron-gall ink, correct for the period.
> But that in itself doesn't mean much."
> "Right." Stern was saying it could be faked.
> "So I ran gall and iron titers," Stern said, "which I usually do
> in questionable cases. They tell us the exact amounts present in
> the ink. The titers indicate that this particular ink is similar
> but not identical to the ink on the other documents."
> "Similar but not identical," Marek said. "How similar?"
> "As you know, medieval inks were mixed by hand before use,
> because they didn't keep. Gall is organic - it's the ground-up
> nuts of an oak tree - which means the inks would eventually go
> bad. Sometimes they added wine to the ink as a preservative.
> Anyway, there's usually a fairly large variation in gall and iron
> content from one document to another. You find as much as twenty
> or thirty percent difference between documents. It's reliable
> enough that we can use these percentages to tell if two documents
> were written on the same day, from the same ink supply. This
> particular ink is about twenty-nine percent different from the
> documents on either side of it."  (pp. 93-94)
>
>
> Paul T Werner, New York
> http://theorangepress.com
>
> WOID: A journal of visual language
> THE ORANGE PRESS, publishing "Vellum Preparation: History and
> Technique"
> DRAGONSBLOOD AND ASHES, a project to research and practice the
> techniques of the medieval scribe
>
>
>
> Paul T Werner, New York
> http://theorangepress.com
>
> WOID: A journal of visual language
> THE ORANGE PRESS, publishing "Vellum Preparation: History and
> Technique"
> DRAGONSBLOOD AND ASHES, a project to research and practice the
> techniques of the medieval scribe
>
=====
Pagan, Pagan, what are you finding?
Yours is the road that winds lonely and far,
Strange are the shadows that round you come creeping,
Still through the clouds is the glint of a star!

>From the book, Charge of the Goddess
BY: Doreen Valiente

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