Category Archives: publishing

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.

And, as the Days go By…

…ephemera evaporates.

As a student I never particularly thought of schoolbooks as ephemera (not that I knew that word untill I ran across Prelinger and his Archive). They were part of the school and the school had been for decades, and seemed like it would never go anywhere. I do not remember my school books very well, even my college ones from the early days when I was looking around at different majors and taking gen. ed. courses. Some stick out as being particularly noteworthy, such as the edition of Patterns for a Purpose that was published right after 9/11. That one I no longer have, unfortunately. I fantasize about buying a used copy of it and rereading it.

Anyway, as I riffle through old matter from my grand mother who, I have mentioned in previous posts, worked at a public school for an even 20 years, I find these old educational materials she saved for one reason or another. Her tenure there was from the mid sixties to the mid eighties (before I was born) and so the tenor and style of the materials is of those decades. The matter she brought home were those type of things that school students now I suppose still regard as permanent parts of the background, like I did.

Previously I have featured a metric conversion notification card from the 1970s and wished for the past I was not a part of. Of course, I am more than happy to be living in the present when (to name one thing) AIDS is far better understood and treated than “back then”. Only I wish I could take a day trip back to the school when these books were in use and see the full panoply in use: teacher’s editions, student copies, workbooks, handouts, module tests, answer keys, everything. These alone would be amazing to see, along with the probably disturbing lack of employee screening for sex offenders.

Click any image for a full size view.

textbook1The philosophy of education of the times (which I only can guess at) seems embodied in these names. “Timetouchers”? “Dreamstalkers”? Were these learning styles? Characters in stories? Normally the names would be so outlandish I would have a field day satyrizing them, but I’m just too nostalgical for a time I probably shouldn’t be for. The cover looks like one of those notorious “1960s” jukeboxes. You know the ones that have neon and actual black records in them.

textbook2Linescapes admirably describes the cover art. The next image is from the back of this book and you will notice that, when put together, they have a feeling of movement from left to right. Almost a “whoosh!”. Spindrift is an actual word, describing the seawater blown off the tops of waves by the wind. Trajectories are of course the angle and direction of projectiles fired. I do not know what the number seven is. Book seven? Desk seven? The answer was ephemeral and is almost certainly beyond recovery. Question: Why is this resource book title set in italic instead of roman?

textbook3On account of the firm that published these, “The Economy Company” of Oklahoma City, dissolving or being bought out before the advent of digitization and especially the Internet, there is nothing on the books or publisher easily found. Only empty WorldCat files for them with no information. Do any readers of this blog post remember using these textbooks? Does anyone have an intact one somewhere? What happened to the company archives of this firm? Dumpstered?

textbook4This is the cover for Dreamstalkers. The size of the image is different because it was printed on smaller dimensioned paper. How I wish it was the actual book and not just the stripped cover! I have to admit the cover looks reminiscent of the logo of WikipediA’s Wikimedia Foundation. It also makes me think of scifi films and shows where the people’s jobs or positions in future society would be indicated by geometric patterns on their clothes. Maybe it’s a thistle head? Or… an opium poppy.

textbook5Here are some more. Earthrise is the name of a famous photograph taken from the Moon by an Apollo team and returned to Earth for development. I don’t know if that it what they are talking about here, but I wish it was. Sunspinners would be a good description of the cover, and spacestone I have a strong suspicion is about the Earth itself. Was the subject of these ecology? The cover art is wildly tortuous and seems to express tension. What does it say to you?

textbook6Here is an Annotated Teacher’s Edition… because a Teacher’s Edition wasn’t good enough? I don’t get the significance of both qualifiers. The cover and the name of the book, “Datalog”, conjure up the futuristic learning predicted in the 1950-1970s of computers providing individualized instruction to all in a Star Trek like utopia or semiutopia. Did this come with exercises on 5¼” floppy disks for the Apple II? I knew a textbook like that once, and had some fun with it. It was the only thing that I ever got running on that found Apple IIe found.

textbook7Sadly, the inside is a reminder of the then present day. This universal block that is probably still around and hasn’t changed in decades, if ever. When I was in school textbooks had this identical inside front cover. Of course, being the first thing seen, by a student when opening the book, they regularly got doodled on. A few things occur to me about this that I will save for another post. One question: Why are they telling “PUPILS to whom this book is issued” that they can’t mark in it? This is an (Annotated) Teacher’s Edition!

For my own mind, these torn up and shredded exercise books are visceral evidence that those times and philosophies, so caricatured and parodied when recalled and recounted, did exist.