The Lanston Monotype, circa 1890.


This old-style description of  The Tolbert Lanston Monotype invention is from “The Advertiser,” Adelaide, South Australia. circa 1900.

The age of miracles has not, as some would have us believe, gone by.
The discoveries of science, the wonders of invention, are as astonishing in their way as any of the marvels dreamed of by men of old. In the matter of printing, for instance, what wonderful triumphs have been accomplished. So great are tbey that one would scarce imagine anything new could be invented.
Typeseting machines of marvellous speed and accuracy are already in use in hundreds of offices.
But the recent invention of an American engineer Tolbert Lanston  (1844-1913) is a marvel. This latest invention is the Lanston Monotype machine.
Its name indicates its essential difference from those typesetting machines which cast their type in whole lines, for tbe Monotype casts each letter singly, thus allowing ease of correction.
The Monotype is in two parts. The first is a keyboard, and the second is the typecasting machine proper. The keyboard is operated by a compositor, who strikes keys representing letters, points of punctuation, etc.
The pressing of a key does not, however, liberate the type, but simply perforates a ribbon of paper, which, when placed on the castng machine, governs all its movement.
Everything that can reasonably be required of a printing machine can be done by the Monotype. The perforated ribbon when put into the casting machine works backward, so that the last letter, quad, or point struck by the compositor is the first to be set by the machine. As the spool of ribbon is unwound the perforations govern the mechanism.
This consists brieffly of a pan of molten type metal kept liquid by a set of gas burners. A series of matrices  set in a die case into which the molten metal is injected, a carrier of type, and a maker of lines which is almost human in its action.
Although so complex in its parts, the working is so easy and methodical that one man can look after some 10 machines. All he has to do is to oil the machinery, occasionally put a block of metal into the melting pan and puts the lines of type onto a galley, which, when filled, is replaced by empty ones by the engineer.
Tbe type on the galley is then corrected, made up and dealt with by the compositor in precisely the same way as a galley of type set by hand. The superiority of the Monotype over most of its rivals is that instead of the line being cast solid, each letter is separate, and should any error have been made it can be remedied without the whole line having to be remade.
Another and obvious advantage of this is that the type, after being once used, can be distributed and used over and over again, just like the ordinary type bought from the type foundry. If the original type is not  wanted, it can be thrown into the melting pot and the metal used time and again.
The power required to drive the machine is claimed by the inventor Mr Lanston to be very small. The molten metal is forced into the matrices by pneumatic pressure, and is immediately cooled by cold water, which circulates through the mold. It is claimed that the types thus cast are equal to those made in the ordinary way at the type foundry.
Another advantage is that the Monotvpe requires so few men to attend to it. Thus eight operators and the machinist can work 10 machines. Yet another advantage is the small amount of space required for the plant, for the keyboard takes up no more room than a sewing machine, while the actual typesetter covers scarce a square yard.
From the foregoing facts and details some idea of the machine we have described may be gathered. But the Monotype must be seen to be appreciated.
Understood by the layman it cannot be, but appreciated it must be by all who witness its wonderful performance-
There is something almost uncanny about the way the thing works. A ribbon of perforated paper is put into a machine, and immediately types issue from it, words are spelled, lines are made and put into their place, and before the eyes of the spectator the column of type visibly grows. It will work day and night. It is useless to praise the inventive genius which created such a machine.
The Lanston “Monotype” type setting machine is one of the most wonderful inventions even of this age of wonderful things.

A Stormy Day for the Tevennec Lighthouse.


 Foamy waves, agitated by European storm Ruzica, swell around the Tévennec lighthouse in Brittany, France.
Local lore complements this moody scene—the lighthouse is believed to be haunted.
The image does possess a phenomenal quality, according to Your Shot photographer Mathieu Rivrin:
“When we went there, the light was divine, bringing a touch of green to the magnificent Sea or what remains one of my favorite pictures the storm.”
Source: Photo of the Day: Best of October

Fog over San Francisco.

fog-fingers_lorenzomontezemolo_2048pxby Lorenzo Montezemolo
San Francisco genuinely is really foggy. It’s not a joke.
The fog rolls in from the Pacific and floats up against the beach, stacking up above Twin Peaks until it drops like an ephemeral avalanche onto the city below … blasting through the Golden Gate as if sprayed from a fire extinguisher, erasing the Bridge, obscuring Alcatraz, turning Berkeley into an overcast Pacific Northwest knockoff even as it leaves Oakland in bright, shining California sunlight.
Lorenzo Montezemolo’s favorite place to experience it is from Mount Tamalpais, which provides a commanding view from just north of the city.
Seen from the summit at 2,576 feet, the fog rolls through in waves to envelop the region like a shroud.
“I think there’s a little bit of Sleepy Hollow to it,” he says.
Montezemolo grew enamored by the city’s ubiquitous fog after moving the Bay Area 18 years ago to work as a network engineer. The fog was particularly thick this August, and he developed something of an obsession.
Each day after work, Montezemolo drove an hour north from San Mateo to Mount Tamalpais State Park to photograph it.
He snapped hundreds of photos, but none quite like this one, made on August 17 during the full moon.
He and a few friends hiked a steep gravel trail to a point about 1,000 feet above the fog.
Montezemolo put his Nikon D810 on tripod and set to work. He used an F8 aperture and a low ISO of 31, together with a six-stop neutral density filter that let him stretch the exposure to three minutes.
Montezemolo’s stunning image shows one of the Bay Area’s most enchanting features, one that rivals that iconic orange bridge for its beauty.
Source: San Francisco’s Iconic Fog Sure Looks Stunning From Above | WIRED

Jean Harlow, ‘The Blonde Bombshell’.

Jean Harlow, the “Blonde bombshell” (1911-1937) is often used to describe an exciting, dynamic, sexy woman with blonde hair, particularly blonde celebrity sex symbols.
The expression seems to have come from, or at least was popularized by, a movie and originally referred to a specific blonde bombshell.
In 1933, the platinum blonde Jean Harlow was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood.
That year, Harlow starred in a movie called Bombshell (at the time “bombshell” in American slang was already being used to refer to incredibly attractive, flamboyant women, with the first documented case of this in 1860).

One of the advertising lines for the film was “Lovely, luscious, exotic Jean Harlow as the Blonde Bombshell of filmdom.”

When the film was released in England, they even renamed it “Blonde Bombshell” as it was thought in England that the original title sounded like a war film, which the movie is decidedly not. (It’s actually about an actress who gets fed up with being a sex symbol and just wants to lead a normal life).
While it seems probable that this wasn’t the first time someone out there uttered the words “blonde bombshell” (those two words fitting together so nicely), this does appear to be the first documented instance of it with, of course, the first actress to be labeled such being the lovely Jean Harlow, who incidentally died at the tender age of 26.
via Today I Learned.

What causes these shark species to glow green?

The lighter areas on the skin of this chain cat shark contain a special molecule that absorbs the ocean’s blue light and turns it into green light.
Scientists have figured out why certain species of shark can absorb blue light in the ocean and essentially turn the light green, making them appear to glow. It’s due to a newly discovered family of small-molecule metabolites in the lighter parts of the sharks’ skin, according to a new paper in the journal iScience.
The phenomenon is known as biofluorescence, not to be confused with a related phenomenon, bioluminescence.
These are not “glow in the dark” sharks. Fluorescence is a phenomenon where light is absorbed and emitted at a longer wavelength.
“There are some bioluminescent sharks, and some animals have both properties, making it even more confusing,” said co-author Dave Gruber of the City University of New York.
“The simplest way to think about it is that some animals make their own light [bioluminescence] and some transform light [biofluorescence].”Most bioluminescent species thrive deep in the ocean, below the so-called “photic zone,” where no photons from the sun can reach, so the animals must make their own light.
“Biofluorescence is more of a shallow phenomenon, because that’s where the light is,” said Gruber.
Gruber became interested in studying sharks several years ago, when he discovered that biofluorescence was surprisingly common in more than 180 marine species, some of which were species of sharks and stingrays. Prior to that, most biofluorescence studies had focused on jellyfish and corals.
“There has been a lot of debate about the function of fluorescence in corals, but sharks are animals with very strong visual senses,” said Gruber—something the corals are definitely lacking.
He and Crawford were working on another project when Gruber mentioned the existence of biofluorescent sharks, and it became a joint passion project, even though they didn’t have funding at first.
Continue reading via Source: We now know what causes these two shark species to glow green | Ars Technica

Lauren Bacall.


Lauren Bacall, Image Credit: Scotty Welbourne—Getty Images
Lauren Bacall (16September, 1924 to 12 August, 2014) was born Betty Joan Perske in the Bronx, New York, Bacall first rose to prominence opposite Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not in 1944–which featured her famously saucy line, “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow”–setting off one of Hollywood’s most iconic romances.
Bogey and Bacall would marry in 1945, when she was 20 and he was 45, and were paired in three more movies together: The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo.
Bacall’s list of costars reads as a who’s who of the Golden Age of Hollywood: Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire, Gregory Peck in Designing Women, June Allyson in Woman’s World.
Equally well known for her stage work, she won two Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical: in 1970 for Applause, based on the Oscar-winning film All About Eve, and in 1981 for Woman of the Year.
She remained active throughout into her old age, with notable appearances in 1990’s Misery, as James Caan’s agent and 2003’s Dogville, alongside Nicole Kidman. She also made a cameo as herself on HBO’s The Sopranos, and recently lent her recognizably resonant voice as a guest star on an episode of Family Guy.
Bacall remained with Humphrey Bogart until his death from cancer in 1957. They had two children together, Stephen and Leslie Bogart.
She later married actor Jason Robards in 1961, but they divorced eight years later. They had one son together, the actor Sam Robards.