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Gwen Patton
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Gwen Patton

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I won this in an auction a couple of weeks ago, a lovely Faber Castell Novo Duplex 2/83 10-inch slide rule. It's extra interesting because it came all the way from Turkey. It is in perfect condition, with the box and instructions...But the instructions are in French!
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Michael Doerner's profile photoMargaret Leber's profile photo
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Quelle fromage!
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Gwen Patton

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Hmmm.  My sister sent me a lovely link to a bunch of publishers looking for stories at good word rates. Two of them I've already submitted to -- they're HARD to get into.  The others are relatively new works that I've never submitted to, so I started reading their submission rules.

One of them mentions "trunk stories", saying they don't want them. Even though I've been writing since I was 11, I never heard the term qua an actual thing. I have stories moldering in the equivalent of a trunk (it's a banker's box), but yeah, so what? If I can pull a story out of the box/trunk and make use of it, why is that an issue? I think the publisher is saying that if your story is such that you have chosen to keep it in the trunk, it's probably not good enough for them. Maybe. Editors are weird sorts...they have odd tastes, and puny mortal writers can't figure them out on a GOOD day. Catch one with an upset stomach, and you couldn't get Game of Thrones past him, he hates everything and everybody, and their little dog, too.

But in my search for a referent to the term "trunk story" that might elicit some concept of why this publisher doesn't want them, I found THIS gem, one that really smacked me between the eyes.  It's a pure googlewhack find, an old blog post from 2011, but it's new to me and grabbed me by the ol' boo-boo.  I may be digging out that banker's box soon...

#Writing   #WashYourHandsAfterWriting  

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2011/09/15/trunk-novels/
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Gwen, this article adds a lot of motivation for me. I'm writing my first story and I wonder if I'm just wasting my time or not. Knowing I can finish it and cast it to the winds of the internet where an appreciative audience will reel it in and devour their catch.

Gwen Patton

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Gee...maybe we should've thought of that?
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This explains why I sucked at all those Submarine Commander games, there should have been a protip.

Gwen Patton

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Hey, +Margaret Leber -- have you seen this?
 
NEW PRODUCT- MintySynth Kit
https://www.adafruit.com/product/2648
The MintySynth kit is a great way to make your next musical creation while experimenting with electronics and programming.  Open source and hackable, the MintySynth is an Arduino-compatible synth kit that fits in an Altoids tin.

This comes as an unassembled kit so some soldering is required - but the assembly itself is fairly straightforward and the software comes preloaded so creating your next project should be a breeze!  The included software is a 4 voice, 16 step wavetable sequencer that let's you play around with different intruments while controlling the tempo, swing, keys and scale.  You can save up to four 16 note songs, relooping them over and over or reload each individually.  If you do want to program the Synth yourself, you'll need an FTDI Cable since there's no onboard USB.

There's a bunch of examples over at the mintysynth site.  While this kit doesn't come with an altoids tin, we sell altoid-sized tins here!

https://www.adafruit.com/product/2648

In stock and shipping now!

#newproduct   #kits   #kitsandprojects   #otherkits  
#mintysynthkit  
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Yep, saw it. 

Gwen Patton

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Mr. Satan is quite the man. I've read Mr. Satan's Apprentice, and it's an amazing story. I found Adam's teaching videos when I was looking to study the blues harp. Both of them have contributed massively to music and to society, and deserve our support.
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Gwen Patton

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Wow, you managed to do that whole thing without once saying the word "logarithm". I'm impressed.
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Gwen Patton

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I was tickled pink to receive the lovely 20" slide rule I won at auction on eBay last week. I had read that at least some of them were a different wood than I am used to see in a slide rule, and this one did not disappoint me -- it is constructed of mahogany, instead of bamboo, as most wooden rules are, veneered with thin layers of engraved celluloid. 

The cursor is, regrettably, inflicted with K&E Cursor Rot, the old celluloid used only in cursor end blocks rendered brittle and crazed with cracks. I'm going to search for replacement parts, but until they arrive, I'm going to try and rescue it temporarily with Bondic, when the applicator I need arrives later in the week. I know it will affect the value, but no more than if the cursor falls apart, so I'm certain it'll be ok. I also don't plan to part with it, so resale value is of little import at this time.

Kip Russell, from "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" understated the gorgeous quality of this slide rule. He said it was a "beauty". That is faint praise. This rule is gorgeous, a true piece of history.

The case is a bit damaged. The leather has become dry and brittle, and it appears it shattered when struck. I have shown it alongside my Nexus 7 and my new Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard for scale. A few pictures show the mahogany beneath the celluloid, rich and red-brown. I cleaned it up a bit, and waxed it so the slide and cursor move more freely. I'll need to do something more significant to the bosses at the ends. It would appear they are white brass, and have become encrusted with a thin patina of verdigris. Perhaps a small piece of Scotchbrite will remove it without damaging anything else.
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In case anyone is interested, the book I learned from was the Saffold & Smalley TutorText for the Slide Rule. The International Slide Rule Museum has a scan of it that you can still use, even though it's not a printed volume. You just have to pay attention to the page numbers.

http://www.sliderulemuseum.com/Manuals/M199_TheSlideRule_Tutortext_SaffoldAndSmalley_1962.pdf

I strongly suggest anyone interested in slide rules that hasn't gone there already spend some time there. It's a great site, and I'm proud to be a supporter of it.

Gwen Patton

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I. Am. STOKED!

I found my favorite slide rule on eBay -- the K&E 20-inch Log-Log Duplex Decitrig 4081-5 model referenced in Robert Heinlein's book "Have Spacesuit Will Travel". The protagonist, Kip Russell, had one on his desk at home.  Here's the quote from the book:

"Dad says that anyone who can't use a slide rule is a cultural illiterate and should not be allowed to vote. Mine is a beauty - a K&E 20-inch Log-Log Duplex Decitrig."

I wasn't going to bid on it at first. My experience with eBay has been, if I really want something, even if I bid on it in the last minute of the auction, some robot swoops in with a winning bid in the last couple of SECONDS, and I lose it. So I've stuck with "Buy it Now" sales for the most part.  But I showed the page to +Margaret Leber when the notice from eBay came in that the auction was about to conclude, and she talked me into putting in a bid on it.

Mine was the first bid, at the minimum asked. I immediately put in a maximum bid of $65.00, in case a robot tried to snatch it. That way, if they put in a bid a buck or so more than my initial bid, I still had a chance of the automatic bid engine (not a robot) would kick in a last bid before it could end.

But I was totally exhilarated when the auction ended and I had WON the thing with the minimum bid amount. I immediately paid for it and breathed a sigh of relief.  That piece of my childhood -- I first read that book when I was 12, just after I learned how to USE a slide rule -- and a serious bit of slide rule history, would be mine.

It's a huge sucker, twice as long as most "full sized" 10" rules, with 20 scales. As Kip said, it's a beauty.

(Pic from the International Slide Rule Museum. I don't like to deeplink into such sites.)
http://sliderulemuseum.com/KE_Standard.htm

#Sliderule   #Heinlein  
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No, I can use the 4081-5's younger brothers, the -3 or the -1 if I need one. Or the Faber-Castell Novo-Duplex. Or the Russian KL-1, or the Concise rule with the conversion tables.

Gwen Patton

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This is beyond insanity. This is criminal. This is reprehensible. 

Just the illegal and unethical practice of mandatory meetings with the intent of "treating" what they considered "wrong thinking" -- who do these jerks think they ARE? Are they all credentialed psychological physicians? If so, where is their justification for assuming ALL of the students have mental disease that must be "treated"?  And if NOT, why are these dormitory resident assistants engaging in what is clearly unauthorized psychological manipulation of students?

They should all, from the President of the College down the the RA with the lowest seniority, be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license, and possibly for unlawful detention, kidnapping, and forced brainwashing! 

NO ONE at my college got away with anything REMOTELY like that. I would have told them precisely which bodily orifice they could insert that nonsense into, how many corners to fold it into beforehand, and how hard to TWIST once it was inserted.

Sheer, stark, madness.
 
Idiocy. 
A female freshman arrives for her mandatory one-on-one session in her male RA’s dorm room. It is 8:00 p.m. Classes have been in session for about a week. The resident assistant hands her a questionnaire. He tells her it is “a little questionnaire to help [you] and all the other residents relate to the curriculum.” He adds that they will “go through every question together and discuss them.” He later reports that she “looked a little uncomfortable...
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Yep, another example of the world getting stupider.

Gwen Patton

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Gwen Patton

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+Adam Gussow  is a great guy and a legend in blues harmonica. He has provided the world with a most selfless and wonderful gift of tons and tons of YouTube videos, teaching beginner to advanced blues harmonica. He played for years with Sterling Magee, known as Mr. Satan on the streets of Harlem. I've read Adam's books and learned from his videos. 

I want very much for this film to get made. It's a story that deserves to be told. It's inspiring and humbling. It'll reach into the secret soul of your music and wrench at your heart.

#SatanAndAdam   #Blues   #BluesHarp   #Documentaries   #Indiegogo  
Help Satan and Adam, an epic music documentary shot over 20 years, reach our goal! | Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today!
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Gwen Patton

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My latest acquisition: a Russian KL-1 pocket-watch style slide rule. There are different scales on each side for different calculations. One of the knobs makes the scales rotate, the other knob makes the hairline cursor rotate. Manipulate those properly and you can perform all sorts of mathematical prestidigitation, in a package easily carried in the pocket.

I acquired this one on eBay from someone in the Ukraine. It's in excellent condition, works perfectly, and came with a little round case. I added the thin foam sheeting to one side of the case to keep the rule from rattling.

Instructions for the gadget are all over the net, the originals being unintelligible to me, being in Russian, but there are decent translations, and it isn't really hard to use if you are at all able to use a slide rule. Circular slide rules are a little weird, but they work just like the regular kind, of which I own several. I guess I'm into collecting the things now, at least to a small degree.

They're nice to have if you need to do math and don't have a calculator, or your batteries have gone dead, and for some reason your computer isn't working either. So if the SHTF and all of our electronics gets fried by a big EMP, those who own and know how to use slide rules can still get the math stuff done. (Provided, of course, they know how to do the math at all, and have a reason to use it.)

I got hooked on slide rules in 6th grade, when my science teacher gave me a cheap one and a book called a TutorText -- sort of a "choose your own adventure" book for learning how to do something -- on the slide rule. (Those books are rare these days and cost like gold or gunpowder.)

If you are in an engineering trade, into electronics, or anything that might require complex math, learn to use a slipstick. You can spend any amount of money on the things, they're unbelievably collectible, but you can get a GOOD one, either full-sized or the 6" "pocket" size, for about $25 on eBay. I never bid, I only get items that have a "buy it now" button, because no one can win an actual auction unless they use a bidding program to do it for them. I don't bother, I spend the little extra to buy it outright from the beginning. It's quite possible to get a rule for a cheap price that can be resold for a much higher price elsewhere, but I'm not to that point yet. I just love the things as the historical geek gadgets they are.

There's a hatful of websites all about them, like the International Slide Rule Museum and the Oughtred Society. Most of them have a section on learning to use a slide rule, and some sell them -- but be careful of their prices. Those are collectors' prices! If you want a rule to learn on and to keep handy for just such an emergency, get one on eBay or look for them at flea markets. It doesn't have to be a fancy one like Kip Russell's K&E Log-Log Duplex Decitrig from "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" -- I own both the full-size AND the pocket versions of that rule -- it only has to be a simple "Mannheim" style rule with the A, B, C, and D scales. You can probably find one of those for around ten bucks, but I usually splurge for the fancy one with a dozen scales for just a bit more, because I think they're cool.

#SlideRules #GeekGadgets #Oughtred


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Very cool!
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Disabled webcartoonist on the East Coast
Introduction
I used to work at a company that did phone support for software, and did SF and fantasy writing on the side. Then I had a quiet argument with my trunk lid in a 40mph wind, and the trunk lid won.  I can't work anymore because I can't predict when I'm going to be in too much pain to do anything, and typing a lot is too painful.  So now I do a webcomic, Jenny Everywhere's Infinite: Quark Time, as my creative outlet.

I have also been an advocate for responsible self-defense and a firearms instructor.  My favorite martial art is Aikido, and I play Go.
Bragging rights
My webcomic is now a year old, and the first 28 weeks are out in print. Was International Media Spokesperson for the Pink Pistols for most of a decade.
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Female