Category Archives: publishing

The drudgery of creativity…

…is putting it down in permanent form. I love to imagine things, but to then write them down, is hard.

Some of it I know is the loss of fidelity that comes with moving from the mind outward, but most of it is just the annoyance that it takes time.

This is also why my posts here are scarcer than they should be.


Sun day in the Park with Gibbs; or, I have no life and it’s all CarnotCycle’s fault

There are many data tables out there, that are unfortunately not transcribed into usable form, but are stuck as images that cannot be searched. A thermodynamical blog, CarnotCycle, has provided some of these here.

Having no entertainments of any lasting value, I’ve decided to transcribe that one into a common format, Microsoft Excel (2007+ file format). They are here: CarnotCycle-Thermodata.

Although he claims they are in SI, they aren’t. SI does not use the calorie as a unit of energy, instead using the joule. Similarly with degree centigrade and kelvin. I have added a tab to convert the semi-SI to full SI. Digit significance has been maintained while doing this.

I do not know what book he got them out of, so I have to request you cite them as coming from his blog, for now. If you want to credit me with the transcription, that is fine. Use your preferred/recommended/required citation style to do this.

Some notes:

  • Some values were given in parenthesis. In Excel, parentheses are used to indicate a negative number in accounting. I changed this format to gray background with center-aligned numbers.
  • One value was given with a question mark. This is marked with a red background.
  • One value is suspiciously positive, I have marked this with a yellow background.
  • Where needed, scientific notation is use to maintain the correct number of significant digits.

Nice party to be in

While looking up old YA literature on HathiTrust, I ran across this, which is the voter roll for the Bronx in 1903.

It is what it is at first glance really, a tedious enumeration of voters, addresses and parties, useful only for genealogy. And noting that the United States did once have parties like “Social Democrat” and “Socialist Labor” (and the occasional “Prohibition”).

Then you turn up:


I have no idea what Charles H. Douglas’s party registration is. There wasn’t, that I’m aware of, a “defective” party. If his registration was bad, wouldn’t they just reject it? Was this the 1903 version of “show ID at polling place”? Persons with mental limitations (“mental defectives”) were forbidden to vote, so I doubt it is that.

If anyone knows anything about this, please post a comment here.

Two maps of a “four corners for registration”

I have two completely different things for you that can both be called “four corners for (or of) registration”.



These doodles are called “registration marks” and are used to line up the different colors. If you are familiar with printing in color (even with little desktop printers), you know that there are usually four colors printed individually: cyan (bluish), magenta (pinkish), yellow and black. Each color is printed separately from the rest of them and, when the four layers of single color are on the same paper, they form a color image.

Ofcourse, if they are not aligned correctly, it looks ugly. These marks somehow help the print operators and also the printers and presses themselves to line them up correctly.

I don’t care though, because this looks like a particularly interesting map of a four corners. What’s that on the corner? A water tower? And the green line could be a trolley track from west to north. Some cars are present on the south and east.

The liquid cockroach was a spot of glue that took off some of the cardboard it was pressed against.



To register to vote in Oklahoma, you may (if you don’t have an address) have to draw a map. I never thought cartography would be a prerequisite to enfranchisement. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to claim this was an illegal literacy test?

The image above in context can be seen at the entire form, here.

Multiplication v. Xray

One of the most common things people do in typing out simple math is to use the 19th letter of the English alphabet instead of the multiplication sign. The multiplication sign never has serifs and is set above the baseline in all fonts:


The horizontal line is just there for symmetry.

All modern and proper word processor programs (are they even called that now?) have a way to easily insert special characters like this. All modern file formats support the × character and no web browser will fail to display them correctly. Please use this!! It is the correct symbol and gives your work a much more professionally done appearance. If the math is algebraic, it may prevent a confusion between the variable x and a multiplication!

With the appreciation of a sometime equation typesetter, and frequent equation user,

Your author.