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Category Archives: Sociology

Painters’ Colours, Oils, and Varnishes: A Practical Manual by George H. Hurst, F.C.S. – published in 1892

Painters’ Colours, Oils, and Varnishes: A Practical Manual by George H. Hurst, F.C.S. Published in 1892 by Charles Griffin & Company, Limited, Exeter Street, Strand, London

I love this book and, I want to share some of what is in it, with links, so that the information can be used by artists and people doing various crafts.  The old information is fascinating and, coupled with what is available today – it is usable!  Be safe!  Be careful!  Most of this is not safe for children.  Please, always  keep safety in mind.

IMG_0088As I get going on this little project, I will add excerpts and links below.  Please feel free to comment, add and send links – the more information and the easier it becomes to find it, the better for everyone!

I am going to try to update this post regulary, with more excerpts and more links, as I work my way through this book!

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Chapter I:  Introductory. Colour, Colours, Paints and Varnishes.

from page 4, “Cause of Colour in Coloured Bodies. — The actual reasons why bodies such as vermilion, magenta, or emerald green are coloured, it is almost impossible to investigate in the present state of knowledge, since the cause, whatever it may be, must be due to the molecular construction of the different compounds about which very little is known…”

  • Geology is the key word here.  Geologists have been working to increase our knowledge base of Earth in general and specifically, in this case, our knowledge of pigments. Here is a great place to read about colour, Dust to Dust:  A Geology of Color by Heidi Gustafson  –  if you like playing in the dirt, foraging for rocks and then doing something with them, Heidi Gustafson’s website has some great information in it!

from page 5, “Colour Theories. — Two theories of colour are in use to explain the coloured effects of light.  The old theory… Brewster… The more modern theory, first broached by Young and more fully developed by Helmholtz…”

  • Sir David Brewster’s (1871-1868) work on colour theory is from the 1830’s.  His work “On a new analysis of solar light” was written in 1831 and published by Charles Tait, and Bell & Bradfute; and T. Cadell, London.  One place I have found credit for Sir David Brewster’s theories on the perception of colour is in an article by Peter John Brownlee, “Color Theory and the Perception of Art“, published in 2009 by The University of Chicago Press Journals.
  • Thomas Young, M.D. (1773-1829), was a scientist studying human perception of colour and in 1802 wrote a treatise speculating on how the human eye works to perceive colour.  There is also a lecture series by Thomas Young, “A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts” which was published in London by Joseph Johson, St. Paul’s Church Yard, in 1807.
  • Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894), continued work on the development of Thomas Young’s theories of human colour perception.  This work is known as the “Young-Hemholtz Theory” and furthers Thomas Young’s theories as to how our eyes actually work to perceive color.
  • This body of knowledge has been expanded upon for more than the 250 years shown in these writings and continues to grow today.  Here are just a few examples of the psychology of colour perception that are a little more recent.

from page 6, “Colours. — … the term “colours” is used in two senses — first, to express the sensation which light of various kinds… excites on the retina of the eye, and which sensation is purely functional; second, … [the] imparting [of] colour to other bodies;  such bodies are known as colouring matters and may be divided into two groups, dyestuffs and pigments….”

  • sensations of light, through rather than on the retina, continue to be studied by the scientific and psychological communities today.  This is fascinating research and the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas has some open access resources on this subject.
  • dyestuffs, as referred to by George Hurst, are materials which provide ‘soluable’ material that can be used to add colour to another item.  In other words, dyeing or staining, imparts temporary colour to other items.  If you have access to a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition and history of the word ‘dyestuff’ is fascinating.  Most libraries have a copy of the OED and may also allow access to the online version.
  • pigments, then, as defined by George Hurst in 1892, are ‘nonsoluable’ materials which provide a more permanent, opaque colour to things like paint.  Most of the chapters in this book are about pigments, where to find them, what to find them in, how to extract them and, how to use them.

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Chapter II:  White Pigments

Chapter III:  Red Pigments

Chapter IV:  Yellow and Orange Pigments

Chapter V:  Green Pigments

Chapter VI:  Blue Pigments

Chapter VI:  Brown Pigments

Chapter VII:  Black Pigments

Chapter IX:  Lakes

Chapter X:  Assay and Analysis of Pigments

Chapter XI:  Colour and Paint Machinery

Chapter XII:  Paint Vehicles

Chapter XIII:  Driers

Chapter XIV:  Varnishes

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A related post, and… a very interesting one!

Colour Theory from 1882

book cover   title page

The link takes you to a high resolution copy of this amazing 800+ page book.

 

… of things relative

There are dozens of tiny green tomatoes on this plant.  Even more exciting, there are dozens more bright yellow flowers….

 

Currently Reading:  The A B C of Atoms, by Bertrand Russell.  E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, 1923.  Date of first issue, 1908.

“But even if the size of an electron should ultimately prove… to be related to the size of the universe, that would leave a number of unexplained brute facts, notably the quantum itself, which has so far defied all attempts to make it seem anything but accidental.  It is possible that the desire for rational explanation may be carried too far.  This is suggested by some remarks… by Eddington, in his book, Space, Time and Gravitation…  The theory of relativity has shown that most of the traditional dynamics, which was supposed to contain scientific laws, really consisted of conventions as to measurement, and was strictly analogous to the “great law” that there are always three feet to a yard.  In particular, this applies to the conservation of energy.  This makes it plausible to suppose that every apparent law of nature which strikes us as reasonable is not really a law of nature, but a concealed convention, plastered on to nature by our love of what we, in our arrogance, choose to consider rational.  Eddington hints that a real law of nature is likely to stand out by the fact that it appears to us irrational, since in that case it is less likely that we have invented it to satisfy our intellectual taste.  And from this point of view he inclines to the belief that the quantum-principle is the first real law of nature that has been discovered in physics.

This raises a somewhat important question:  Is the world “rational,” i.e., such as to conform to our intellectual habits?  Or is it “irrational,” i.e., not such as we should have made it if we had been in the position of the Creator?  I do not propose to suggest an answer to this question.”

I LOVE skipping to the end of a book!

 

 

In The Beginning (of this blog)…

There was a tomato plant….

Several years later, there is another tomato plant!  It is gaining momentum!

2017-06-07_08.19.341

No need for a chain of command to appear here or, is there?

Sir!  Do we have enough tomatoes yet?  Do we need a discussion on this matter?  What about the aphids?  Sir!  Sir?  There are aphids!

Aphids?  This is not the Middle Ages!  We have to ask for permission.  This isn’t something we can just ‘handle.’  We need a committee!

Sir?

Stick around kid, I’m calling parliament — I’m on hold….  Be with you in a minute!  Do we have a call-back number?

SIR?

Offensive and Defensive Weapons – Churchill’s Thoughts…

I was reading.  It happens….

Actually, I was reading Winston Churchill’s “The Coming Storm.”  My thought on reading the following was that it stands repeating.

 

“The Foreign Secretary told us that it was difficult to divide weapons into offensive and defensive categories.  It certainly is, because almost every conceivable weapon may be used in defence or offence; either by an aggressor or by the innocent victim of his assault.  To make it more difficult for the invader, heavy guns, tanks, and poison gas are to be relegated to the evil category of offensive weapons.  The invasion of France by Germany in 1914 reached its climax without the employment of any of these weapons.  The heavy gun is to be described as “an offensive weapon.”  It is all right in a fortress; there it is virtuous and pacific in its character; but bring it out into the field – and, of course, if it were needed, it would be brought out into the field – and it immediately becomes naughty, peccant, militaristic, and has to be placed under the ban of civilisation.  Take the tank.  The Germans, having invade France, entrenched themselves; and in a couple of years they shot down 1,500,000 French and British soldiers who were trying to free the soil of France.  The tank was invented to overcome the fire of the machine-guns with which the Germans were maintaining themselves in France, and it saved a lot of lives in clearing the soil of the invader.  Now, apparently, the machine-gun, which was the German weapon for holding on to thirteen provinces of France, is to be the virtuous, defensive machine-gun, and the tank, which was the means by which these Allied lives were saved, is to be placed under the censure and obloquy of all just and righteous men…

A truer classification might be drawn in banning weapons which tend to be indiscriminate in their action and whose use entails death and wounds, not merely on the combatants in the fighting zones, but on the civil population, men, women, and children, far removed from those areas.  There, indeed, it seems to me would be a direction in which the united nations assembled at Geneva might advance with hope…”

Winston Churchill.  The Gathering Storm.  1948.  Houghton Mifflin Company.

 

Weapons do not harm people. People harm people.  People with weapons can usually cause more harm than people without weapons.  I believe that a good portion of Britain’s Bobbys are still armed only with a hickory nightstick…

Time, Through the Eyes of a Child and, William Faulkner…

I have been reading lately.  I have been reading a lot, lately….

 

The Sound and the Fury.  Written by William Faulkner.  First published in 1929.  Free to read online.  Free and available at most public libraries.  Inexpensive at book sales.  Available in used book stores…

I have not actually finished this novel.  It is a very difficult work to read.  I think I could just skim through it and I would know a few names, a few characters.  I can’t do that to this book.

There are no chapters.  There is simply an awareness of others and the unspoken thoughts of one.  It took me a long time to realize this even though the difference between the two modes of communication are visibly apparent (unspoken thought is in italics).  Neither the past nor the future seems to hold any relevance as the present unravels with painful awareness.

The book begins with the unspoken thoughts of a pre-verbal child.  A slow child.  A child not like the others.  Faulkner gave me the opportunity to listen in to this child’s impressions of the world.  To the unspoken needs and desires of one.

About halfway through the book, possibly this is about halfway through a young man’s life, a watch crystal is purposefully broken and the hands are removed.  Time is still running but the ability to count the seconds into minutes, the minutes into hours….  using that watch, has been stilled.  Does time have meaning if you can no longer measure it?

This book has grown difficult again.  I am putting it down, again.  I have not read any of the hundreds of discussions on this book.  I would like to wait until I finish it and come to my own conclusions.  For this reason, Faulker and his boys will have to wait on me.  Time, for the written word may be almost endless.  These words will wait for me….

 

I found this book, and many more, in a library book sale.  I had purchased other books the day before and was given a paper bag with $5 written on it.  If I came back the next day I could fill my paper bag with paperbacks.  As many as the bag would hold.  They would all be mine for that $5.  I did.  I have found some wonderful books this way.

Library book sales are often run by groups called “Friends of the Library” or a similar name.  Your local library may hold these sales several times a year.  There are many charitable organizations that also hold book drives and book sales.  These are fun events and great places to begin building a library of real books or, adding to your existing collection, with real friends….

 

 

 

 

Solving for Pattern or, an Economy of Size

I have been reading lately.  I have been reading a lot, lately….  I could not sleep last night.  An old article by Wendell Berry gave me thoughts to consider and apply to my own small business.

 

Solving for Pattern.  Written by Wendell Berry.  Chapter 9 in The Gift of the Land:  Further Essays Cultural & Agricultural.  North Point Press, 1981.  Originally published in the Rodale Press periodical The New Farm.

Wendell Berry is a farmer and an author.  His writing is thought provoking and disturbing, well written, easy to read and difficult to walk away from…

 

Wendell Berry has been on my reading list for a long time.  It is time for us to get to know him, now!  Solving for Pattern is a short article that poses questions and discusses the long term meaning of economy.  Not of economics.  Economy.  Economy of size.  Small businesses.  Small farms.

Questions…  I went back to university several years ago.  I thought I just wanted to take a few courses, make my evenings a little more interesting.  I discovered that I was learning to read in a way that I had not even considered possible.  I am still learning about reading but now, I am also reading to learn to ask questions.  Wendell Berry has been asking these questions for a long time.  His questions about patterns, economy, conservation, and healthy living are worth considering.

 

Further Readings (I have already started reading The Unsettling of America):

Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America:  Culture & Agriculture.  1977.  Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1977.  This book is available in most libraries.  Read a review of this book here.

James George Frazer, The Golden Bough.  First published in 1890.  My edition was published in 1994 by Oxford University Press.  Available online, free, here.

 

 

 

Water Rights & Environmental Damage

I have been reading lately.  I have been reading a lot, lately….  I finished reading this article last night, on the bus on my way home from work.  Yes, I use public transit.  I gave up my personal gas pedal almost 3 years ago.

Water Rights and Environmental Damage:  An Enquiry into Stewardship in the Context of Abstraction Licensing Reform in England and Wales.  Written by Donald McGillivary.  Published by Environmental Law Review, Volume 15, 2013.  Pages 205-224.

Donald McGillivray, Professor of Environmental Law, University of Sussex, has a current publication list here.

I found this article doing a random search on water rights.  I was looking more towards Western Canada, where I live, but all information is good and this article is full of definitions that will probably help me in further reading.  And, bonus marks, Professor McGillivray’s writing is concise and clear.

Probably the most important things that I realized while reading this article was that the environment is not protected by stewardship rights or laws.  That the only time we really protect the environment is when there is an overlap of needs between someone holding water (or land) rights and the environment.  In other words, when it benefits someone to protect something, the environment is looked after.  Not something that I had not realized before but, seeing it in a published article is different.

 

A couple of ‘Further Readings’ (from the footnotes) that I made note of:

E.D. Elliot, ‘The Tragi-Comedy of the Commons: Evolutionary Biology, Economics and Environmental Law‘ (2001) 20 Viriginia Environmental Law Journal 17, pages 17-18.

C.P. Rodgers.  ‘Nature’s Place? Property Rights, Property Rules and Environmental Stewardship‘ (2009), Volume 68(3) Cambridge Law Journal 550.

 

 

National Gallery Postcard, circa 1950’s – van de Velde, Coast Scene: Calm

This is a vintage postcard out of my collection.  I like pieces of paper.  They are tangible things that people place a great deal of trust in.  Maps, charts, postcards, money, stamps….  They are all worth something, they just aren’t always worth a lot.

Please note that several of the links I have placed in this post are slightly ‘off topic.’  That is, there is a link showing for Trafalgar Square but, it is a link to “interglacial deposits” that were found there during the 1950s.  There is so much to this world that is just beneath the surface (or, the pavement….).

 

This postcard was printed for the National Gallery in London – and most likely purchased as a gallery souvenir.

National Gallery, Card No. 1115. Van de Velde: Coast Scene: Calm (871).  Printed in Great Britain for the Trustees under the authority of Her Majesty's Stationery Office by Waterlow & Sons Limited, London.  Wt: P1838

National Gallery, Card No. 1115. Van de Velde: Coast Scene: Calm (871). Printed in Great Britain for the Trustees under the authority of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office by Waterlow & Sons Limited, London. Wt: P1838

The National Gallery, located in Trafalgar Square, London, was established in 1824 and has been open to the public – free of charge – for most of the years between then and now…

The painting on this postcard is “Dutch Vessels Inshore and Men Bathing” by Willem van de Velde, 1661.  It is a painting of Men-of-War and men.

 

There are links to peer-reviewed articles in this post.  There is a lot of knowledge in these papers.  One of my many habits is to go through the reference lists, end notes and bibliographies to look for more information that I might enjoy reading.  This is a link to a small portion of the research that the authors of the articles have included.

Reading List for April 16, 2015 post

Why?  Because everything is connected…

 

 

Beautiful Warnings….

The cherry trees lining the street where I work now are in bloom.  I have the privilege of walking by them several days a week.  Many of the buds have opened.

The "For Rent" sign was removed from this nest on Monday afternoon.  Renovations are underway and the new tenants are noisy and cheeky....

The “For Rent” sign was removed from this nest on Monday afternoon. Renovations are underway and the new tenants are noisy and cheeky….

 

This afternoon, there are more blossoms open.  Tomorrow the show of pink against blue should be stunning.

Tuesday Blossoms and the sky is even bluer....

Tuesday Blossoms and the sky is even bluer….

 

I have been privileged to stand watch as a four hour sunset turned into a four hour sunrise.  That was many July’s ago during a 12 hour graveyard shift on the roof of a coker at Syncrude.

I do not have a photograph, only memories…  Inside the plant, personal cameras are not allowed to be carried by employees.

 

Today is February 23, 2014.

The photos of the cherry blossoms were taken in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada where in February’s past we have huddled under umbrellas, pulling our jackets close as the cold winds blew in off of the water.  I grew up here.  The cold winds and wet weather of winter are what is necessary to keep the rain forests green.

 

Climate change is real.

 

I have recently read Naomi Klein’s newest book, This Changes Everything:  Capitalism vs. The Climate.  I do not believe that she exaggerates any point.

 

Every small thing we do (or don’t do) to stop the change helps.

Mangrove Forests….

I just found a wonderful and interactive site!  Well, this isn’t just a site, this is a database and, it is worth a visit….

http://mangroves.elaw.org/map

 

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Now, I tried to put the following into my own words but, it is so perfectly written that I have copied and pasted it here for you:

A Case for Mangroves
The approximately 70 distinct species of mangroves in the world cover roughly 17,000,000 hectares globally (Valiela et al.  2001) – only 0.12 percent of the Earth’s surface (Sullivan 2005, Ellison 2008).  The greatest diversity is in Southeast Asia (36-46 species); the lowest diversity is in the United States and the Middle East (1-3 species) (Polidoro et al.  2010).  Mangroves are being cut down or otherwise destroyed at such a high rate that they may be functionally extinct by 2100 (Duke et al.  2007).  In just the last 50 years, 30-50 percent of the global acreage has been lost.  (Alongi 2002, Duke et al. 2007)  Mangroves are among the most valuable and most threatened ecosystems on Earth.  The ecosystems services they provide—e.g., buffering coastal communities against flooding and storms, fiber production, habitat for thousands of species of birds, mammals and marine species—are estimated to be worth US $1.6 billion dollars/year (Polidoro et al.  2010).  In addition, recent evidence suggests that mangroves sequester carbon more effectively than any other tropical forest (Donato et al.  2011).”

This is important!

 

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There are 65 of the most influential papers on mangroves and mangrove forests listed on this site.  All are worth reading but, we don’t all have that much time….

If there is a paper that you feel is missing, please add it in the comments below.  I look forward to hearing from you.