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Archive for the ‘Contributions to the World’ Category

R.I.P. Tim Conway (1933-2019)

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The guy was naturally funny, especially when ad-libbing, and he did it all without profanity. Tim Conway was a real class act. We’ll miss him.

[Update:

A cartoonist named Randy Bish posted that tribute (via here).]

 

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Robert H. Keaton’s Contribution To The World: The Music Typing Machine

Monday, 6 May 2019

It’s an interesting arrangement that gives the Keaton Music Typewriter its distinctive look. In terms of engineering, thanks to a curved meter on the left that Keaton called the Scale Shift Handle and Scale Shift Indicator, it’s easy to control exactly where the notes and characters fall on the page. By moving the handle up or down a notch, the typewriter adjusts to print 1/24 inch in either direction. Moving one notch up or down will cause the character to fall one musical step either way.

It appears that the typed sheet music in the museum display (the 2nd image) is turned 90 degrees from the way the machine types, or perhaps it’s a different model.

[Images and text found here; Original Patent here; Video here.]

Benjamin J.S. Cahill’s Contributions To The World

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

From the map inset:

“THE NEW STYLE WORLD MAP IS MADE BY CUTTING CROSSES AT 6 EQUIDISTANT POINTS ON THE COVERING OF A SPHERE WHICH IS THEN LAID OUT FLAT.

THE BUTTERFLY MAP

SHOWS THE WORLD JUST ABOUT AS ONE SEES IT ON A GLOBE WITHOUT EXAGGERATION OR DISTORTION OR ERRORS OF DISTANCE, AREA, OR DIRECTION. LONG DISTANCE FLIGHTS ALL OVER THE WORLD CAN BE ACCURATELY COMPARED ON THIS MAP AS ON NO OTHER.”


Bernard Joseph Stanislaus Cahill (1866–1944), cartographer and Architect, was the inventor of the octahedral “Butterfly Map” (published 1909; patented 1913).


At the start of his professional career in 1896, Cahill participated in the Phoebe Hearst competition for the design of the U. C. Berkeley campus. He was elected an Associate Member of the A.I.A. in 1899. He wrote articles for the “California Architect and Building News” and later for “The Architect and Engineer.” An early advocate of city planning, Cahill helped to define the concept of a “civic center” with his 1904 design of the San Francisco Civic Center, which he felt was the basis for the plan adopted by the city in 1912. He continued to be involved in the plan for the city, and wrote letters to the editor and articles expressing his ideas on the proper plan.

A specialist in mausoleum design and mortuary architecture, Cahill designed the catacombs and columbarium for the Cypress Lawn Cemetery, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (San Francisco), Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Memorial Building (Oakland), the St. Mary’s Cemetery mausoleum (Sacramento), and the Diamond Head Memorial Park in Honolulu [more here].


[Map found here.]

Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delightful Butt Music

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

[Hieronymus Bosch‘s Butt Music found here.]

Driftwood Charlie’s Contribution To The World

Monday, 18 February 2019

In 1947 the doctors said that Charles Kasling had only a short time to live unless he moved to a hot, dry climate. First he moved to the Death Valley area, and in 1960 he left for Yuma, Arizona, where Driftwood Charley’s World of Lost Art was created.”

Social Security records indicate Charles Kasling was born July 10, 1901 and passed away in March of 1985, a testament to desert living.

Unfortunately most of his artwork has been destroyed by vandalism and the elements.

[Postcard image found here. More about Driftwood Charlie here and here.]

Freddy Heineken’s Contribution To The World: Beer Bottle Masonry

Thursday, 3 January 2019

 

…The idea of turning waste into useful products came to life brilliantly in 1963 with the Heineken WOBO (world bottle). Envisioned by beer brewer Alfred Heineken and designed by Dutch architect John Habraken, the “brick that holds beer” was ahead of its ecodesign time, letting beer lovers and builders alike drink and design all in one sitting.

This is masonry. Each course is restrained by the male/female neck/punt connection, but the glass frogs (the bumps on the tops and bottom sides of the bottle) don’t provide a lot of friction, so some method of vertical reinforcement is required. Can’t tell how they anchored it to the foundation, or how they attached the roof framing.

I suppose it works in regions with few earthquakes, no serious windloads, and for people who really like green beer bottle natural lighting.

[Found here via here.]

Huang Yung-fu’s Contribution To The World: Painted Village, Taiwan

Monday, 3 December 2018

What started as a hobby became something with more of a purpose. Local families were protesting the scheduled demolition of an abandoned 1940s military encampment just on the outskirts of Taichung. Huang Yung-fu, who is now known as ‘Grandpa Rainbow’ is a veteran with no previous professional trainings. He just picked up a paintbrush about 4 years ago and the whole neighborhood is his huge and borderless canvas to paint.

[Images and caption found here via here.]

A Da Vinci Bridge – 15th Century Engineering

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Okay 1502 AD is technically the 16th Century, but the engineering was already in existence.

VERY cool – You can build it on the spot if there’s available timber, no connectors required, and you can knock it down and take it with you once your army has crossed the stream, arroyo, ravine or ditch. Here’s one in use (with planks installed):

This kid constructed one without notches or connectors, using friction and compression only.

[Top image from Da Vinci. 2nd image from here, video from here, links found in here.]

Ruth Norman’s Contribution To The World: Intergalactic Psychic Communications

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Ruth Norman (1900-1993) was the gilded leader of “Unarius,” a UFO cult founded with her husband Ernest in 1954. Ruth was not only a figurehead for “interdimensional understanding” but a master at putting together looks fit for an intergalactic space queen.

[Photos & modified caption found here and, yes, there’s more.]

Huang Shiguo’s Contribution To The World: Making Paper The Hard Way

Monday, 2 July 2018

“A 65-year-old resident of a Chinese village named Huang Shiguo has been making paper according to old traditional technology for the last 36 years. According to him, for a month he produces about 3,000 sheets of such paper, earning about 9,000 yuan or 1,400 dollars.
[Huang] argues that paper made in a traditional way is much more durable, quality and soft compared to the manufactured methods. The master sells its products in the local markets of China.”

At time of posting, 9,000 yuan is equivalent to US $1,355, so each sheet of handmade paper earns him about 45 cents. Not bad, given the cost of living in rural China, but he’s not living in rural China. He’s demonstrating and preserving ancient technology, and selling his expensive product while living in a tourist mecca. Pure undiluted capitalism. Kudos.

“Huang Shiguo, 65, makes paper using ancient methods in his home in Baishui Village, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Southwest China’s Guizhou Province. Huang said he began learning the traditional paper-making craft at 29 and has been dedicated to the ancient craft ever since. Locals in the area have a more than 1,000-year history of paper making as the region is rich in Yangshan Bamboo, a main material needed for the craft. Huang said the typical process involves 72 steps and 55 days to produce paper.”

[Photos and 1st caption (translated from Russian via Google Translate) found here. 2nd caption from here.]


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