PRATIE PLACE

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Some things I've seen lately

The ginsu guys. My favorite kitchen knife, a Ginsu knife which I bought for less than three dollars, does indeed get used to cut boxes of frozen vegetables (while they're still frozen) as well as bread, tomatoes, and whatever else, and has stayed sharp for about thirty years. But the Ginsu knives you can get now are not like it at all. Maybe now that the guys are reviving their brand, I'll be able to get another of these miraculous implements. On their website I see they have even written a book!

Buzz Kimball makes wonderful musical instruments, including gamelans.

Speaking of unusual instruments, my band-mate Ken is the luthier behind the Bowed Dulcimer - in fact, he invented it and is the only person who makes them and the only person who teaches how to play them. He recently hosted the "First Annual Pilot Mountain Bowed Dulcimer Festival." Also, for those who are fond of unusual headgear, he writes:
I think we need a link on the bowed dulcimer site for people to get an 1868 Foreign Service helmet of their very own. After all, it is the hat that looks so great on everyone and is so practical.
I will have to write more about Ken, soon.

Gode Cookery for medieval recipes, actually cookable and edible things (like bread) and also the fantastic, to whit "A boiled Peacock may seem to be alive: A peacock is redressed in its own feathers & is made to breathe fire. From Magia Naturalis."

Ourmedia.org which states: "We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever. No catches." Has anybody tried this?

How to discover your life purpose in about 20 minutes. I'm going to have to try this as soon as I have 20 minutes.

The Worst Jobs in History. Two good ones:
  • Fuller. "The 13th century is boom time for the wool trade. With three sheep to every man, woman and child, wool is our biggest export. But nobody likes stiff and itchy cloth that falls to pieces, so we have several openings for fullers.

    "As a fuller, you are expected to walk up and down all day in huge vats of stinking stale urine. ... it creates the softest cloth by drawing out the grease (lanolin) from the wool."

  • Violin-string maker. "Fancy hanging about in an abattoir and pulling 9 metres (30 feet) of warm intestines from a barely expired sheep? ... How about separating the hot guts from the fat and then kneading the offal to milk out the stinking sheep excrement? I know, it's too good to be true. You will also have to soak the guts in cold water for a while, strip and crush them, fumigate them (with the added delight of the horrid stench of burning sulphur) and then twist them into strings.
Ramelli's Machines: Original drawings of 16th century machines. Wow! Great illustrations! These gizmos are even better than mutoscopes.

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