Medieval Book Historian Erik Kwakkel Documents the Curious Methods Scribes Used to Repair Parchment

Parchment Repair
photo via medievalbooks

From the fifth through thirteenth centuries, parchment, made from animal skin, was used for pages of books. Parchment was strong, but the quality of it varied based on thickness, uniformity of color, and evenness of each page. While pages of books made with very high quality parchment remain intact fairly well, poor quality parchment had a tendency to split and rip. Parchment was expensive, so these holes and tears were often repaired by scribes. Leiden University medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel (previously) has documented some of the creative methods scribes used to make repairs or even incorporate holes in parchment into art.

Preparing parchment was a delicate business. In order to clear the skin of flesh and hair, it was attached to a wooden frame, tight like a drum. If the round knife of the parchment maker (the lunellum) cut too deep during this scraping process, elongated rips or holes would appear. As a result the reader is given an unexpected sneak peek onto the next page – where a dragon may just be introduced into the story. We encounter such holes frequently in medieval books, which suggests that readers were not too bothered by them. Many scribes will have shared this sentiment, because they usually simply wrote around a hole. Some placed a little line around them, as if to prevent the reader from falling in.

Parchment Face
photo via Erik Kwakkel

Parchment Repair
photo via medievalbooks

Parchment Repair
photo via medievalbooks

Parchment Repair
photo via medievalbooks

Kwakkel made a short video with Khan Academy in which he examines how the quality of parchment affects the sound it makes when pages are turned.

via Colossal

Two Men Engage in an Incredible Pantomime Tongue-Clicking Ping Pong Battle in the London Underground

Two men engage in an incredible pantomime tongue-clicking ping pong battle in a London Underground station in a video uploaded by Thomas Ryan. The men expertly mimic the sound and timing of hitting a ping pong ball back and forth to one another.

via reddit

Photographer Digitally Inserts ‘Star Wars’ Characters and Vehicles Into Real World Pictures

Star Wars by Thomas Dagg

Toronto-based photographer Thomas Dagg has digitally inserted recognizable Star Wars characters and vehicles into real world pictures to display his childhood love of the popular sci-fi film series. Dagg’s full series of photos are available to view on his personal website and blog.

This is the world as I saw it a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars by Thomas Dagg

Star Wars by Thomas Dagg

Star Wars by Thomas Dagg

Star Wars by Thomas Dagg

Star Wars by Thomas Dagg

photos via Thomas Dagg

via Fstoppers

Poof, A Satirical App Concept Featuring an App That Disappears After 24 Hours

“Poof uses shapes and colors to enhance functionality.”

Poof is a satirical app concept by Moonbase that features an app that disappears after 24 hours. Why would anyone be interested in such an app? It has both shapes and colors, and “people are talking about it” and it’s “endorsed by celebrities you’ve heard of.” The video also claims that an API even allows this functionality–the disappearing after 24 hours–to be extended to other apps.

Poof was created as a production experiment to test a variety of technical elements. We shot on the Sony F55 and worked with a few new collaborators to create this stylish promo. Poof is packaged as a satirical app concept, aimed to poke fun at the current superfluous app landscape.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Family With Kids Inspired by Banksy Creates Fun Street Art Out of Rocks, Sticks, and Leaves

Family Street Art

After author and illustrator Aaron Zenz‘s daughter Gracie watched Exit Through the Gift Shop, a documentary film by Banksy, she decided she wanted to be a street artist. To encourage the inspiration while avoiding destruction of property, the family collected, washed, and painted rocks in bold colors, then each rock was given its own facial expression. The family spent an afternoon placing the rocks around their town to bring smiles to the faces of passersby. They enjoyed the project so much that they repeated the process with sticks and again with leaves later.

The kids were majorly inspired. Now of course we would never in a million years damage anyone’s property. But we wanted to do something artsy. Something stealthy. Something public.

Family Street Art

Family Street Art

Family Street Art

Family Street Art

Family Street Art

photos via Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Recycled Maple Wood Watches by SPGBK

SPGBK Wooden Watches

Watch brand SPGBK (an abbreviation of “spring break”) makes a clever line of watches that are made out of wood. SPGBK watches are crafted from recycled maple wood, with wood cases and bands, and feature a selection of colorful faces. SPGBK donates a portion of each watch sale to North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks and is partnered with anti-poverty charity Family 59.

SPGBK Wooden Watches

SPGBK Wooden Watches

SPGBK Wooden Watches

SPGBK Wooden Watches

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

‘Everything But the News’ Returns for a Second Season of Startup Scene Shenanigans

Everything But the News (previously) is officially returning for a second season of startup scene shenanigans. Everything But the News is a documentary comedy series created by Steve Goldbloom and Noah Pink for PBS Digital Studios that follows Goldbloom as he haphazardly covers California’s startup scene for PBS News Hour.

The last episode of the first season saw some bad news about the future of the series, but things appear to be looking up.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips