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Actually, this film had a profound affect on my life, as well a friend of mine -- a guy who just happens to be blind.

When we saw the film together -- and yes, blind folks go to movies -- we got some good ideas. Thanks to Sullivan's story, my friend Brian got to drive a car, play golf, and skydive. He'd never done these things before, but we were inspired and we did all of these things.

I lost track of Brian after he moved from NC to Los Angeles, and I wonder if he's dropped his handicap and bought a car. I wouldn't be surprised by either.

Strangely, the Mathematical Painting blog featured The Great Wave off Kanagawa this past weekend.

Back in 2000 the History Channel did a show on the top 100 persons of the past thousand years. I felt that they should have included Chester Carlson. As I recall they had Princess Di on the list, and Gutenberg was number 1.

"Woodblock printing first made its appearance in China sometime between the fourth and seventh centuries AD, possibly deriving from the ancient Babylonian seals"

Do you have a reference for that? I'm curious about the connection, having a degree in Near Eastern studies and a recent interest in East Asian art, and would like to read more. Thanks! :)

One of the best things about walking around Santa Barbara is how it messes with your sense of direction. Go to the downtown beach and look for sunset, ts upsetting. I loved the way you took the time to find inspiration in your artistic inclinations to teach about printing and copying. I love to follow your wanderings.

"Woodblock printing first made its appearance in China sometime between the fourth and seventh centuries AD, possibly deriving from the ancient Babylonian seals."

The seal stamp (and its close relative the printing press) has been invented many times. China's greatest contribution was probably the invention of paper: something for a printing press to print on. A stamp is prohibitively expensive to carve out, and rather pointless to have, if you could only use it a few times before you ran out of media to print on, such as sheepskin or papyrus. Easier to hire a scribe to make the few necessary copies by hand.

Paper was mass manufactured -- possibly the first mass manufactured item in history. Thanks to its cheapness, you could finally run off thousands of copies without bankrupting your country. So the printing press finally caught on, somewhere in China.

We owe China a lot. The invention of paper was possibly the most crucial event of the last 5000 years.

Great post!
I did a search for Hokusai on Google and interestingly enough a few erotic japanese paintings came up on Google images. I checked the wikipedia article for Hokusai and it makes no mention of this "hentai". I would have thought a highly respected artist in Japan wouldn't have gotten away with these drawings back in the day.

"The title refers to the Japanese master's greatest work, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (circa 1831), including his most famous creation, The Great Wave of Kanagawa. (It's one of my favorite artworks -- yeah, I know, how original...) Zelazny's protagonist tours the region surrounding Mt Fuji, stopping at each location painted by Hokusai -- or most of them, at least."

Not quite correct. Zelazny wasn't referring to the Thirty-Six Views. Instead, he meant the book he owned entitled Hokusai's Views of Mt. Fuji, published by Charles Tuttle in 1965. This book contains precisely 24 prints and in the exact order that Zelazny refers to them in the story. The character also remarks in the story "My little book of Hokusai’s prints – a small cloth-bound volume by the Charles E. Tuttle Company – had been a present from Kit." It is an illuminating experience to re-read that story with a copy of that book in hand and see what the character was referring to about the details in the artwork.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.