Black-Lead Pencils

Until the 1550s, the British wrote with quills and ink. When black graphite, thought to be a form of lead, was discovered in Borrowdale, Cumbria, it was dubbed ‘black-lead.’ Because graphite sticks alone were too brittle for writing, they were originally wrapped in sheepskin or string. By the 1840s, however, lead-pencil manufacturers were compressing graphite … Continue reading Black-Lead Pencils

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the rest-less wave... "Eternal Father,"  alternately titled "The Navy Hymn," was written by two Englishmen, Rev. William Whiting (lyrics) and Rev. John B. Dykes (music) between 1860 and 1861,   drawing  inspiration from both the Old and New Testaments. its verses reference familiar texts such as   Psalm … Continue reading Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Ai Yai Yai, Ai Wei Wei

Recently  we went to  Ai Wei Wei's exhibit,  "Maybe, Maybe Not"  at the Israel Museum.  Other than hearing vague, related  tales  of Chinese repression, we knew very little about this artist-- it turns out, this political artist. The most arresting part of his exhibit were the huge, gigantic, bigger-than-life trees that he assembled from parts … Continue reading Ai Yai Yai, Ai Wei Wei