Thursday 31 March 2016

On Japanese Aesthetics (2007)

A short essay HERE : On Japanese Aesthetics by Aisaku Suzuki (... three essential aspects of Japanese aesthetics: economy in using space, asymmetry and sensual perception).  And below from his site an image of one of his vases.

Role of Katachi in Development of Abstract Design (2000)

From a paper on the Role of Katachi in Development of Abstract Design (HERE)

PATAKI TAMÁS: Turtle shield tiling system (1995). The various large repeating units seem Japanese like in the sense, that in Japan units of structural combinations (i.e. writing) are larger then those in Western Eurasia.


Monday 28 March 2016

The Art of the Transfer Lithograph

Johann Alois Senefelder (1771 – 1834) invented lithography in 1796 (his description of how he invented the technique is HERE).  In this printing technique a polished stone is used as the basis for creating an image. The artist applies a water repelling medium on the stone where they want the ink to be in the final image. 

An associated technique is Transfer Lithography. In this technique the artist uses a specially treated paper to create the original image, which is then transferred onto the surface of a prepared lithographic stone and printing begins. 

Joseph Pennell (1857-1926) was one of the most prolific producers of lithographs using the transfer lithograph process (see HERE). Below is an image from Pennell's book of images of the Panama Canal made in 1912 from HERE.    

Sunday 27 March 2016

By their very nature all biological structures are non-random.

From a Volume  called SCIENCE ON FORM: 3D Dynamic Morphometry for Bridge between Structure and Function, which was the edited form of the Proceedings of the Second International Symposium for Science on Form, held in 1988 at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.

In a paper called Morphometry of Non-Random Structures Related to Oxygen Flow in the Mammalian Respiratory System, the following description of the Dilemma of Morphometry by Prof Ewald R. Weibel:
By their very nature all biological structures are non-random. They come about by orderly morphogenetic processes which place the elements into precise relationships. A high degree of spatial order is, in fact, required for the execution of most bodily functions. The examples are rare where one could say that randomness is the governing principle of biological structure.

On the other hand, the most powerful methods for obtaining morphometric information, namely those of stereology, require stochastic conditions - that is random interactions between the measuring probes and the structures under study - because they are based on principles of geometric probability.

Weibel then goes on to describe some methods that are applicable to lung, a highly non-random tissue.

Cast of a human bronchial tree from Tompsett, D.H. (1952). A new Method for the Preparation of Bronchopulmonary Casts. Thorax. 7, 78. 

Lambert's Pictorial Anatomy (1851)

By Thomas Scott Lambert (1819-1897). Based on the works of Jean Marc Bourgery (1797-1849).
Book HERE.


Etchings with a Camera Lucida 1828

Captain Basil Hall (1788 – 1844) was a British naval officer, explorer and Fellow of the Royal Society. In this book he captures with a Camera Lucida a number of scenes from his extensive wanderings across North America.

Below is his image of Niagara Falls. More HERE.



Saturday 26 March 2016

Graphic art of Czechoslovakia (1922)

HERE is a collection of Czech graphic art from 1922. The image is by František Kobliha (1877-1962), a Czech illustrator and wood-engraver. He was born into a family of small shopkeepers and was educated in Prague at the school of applied arts and Academy of Fine Arts. After university he adopted printmaking, in particular wood engraving, so he could work on black and white tonal variations. More on him HERE.


Annales de flore et de pomone (1839)

From the 1839 issue of the Annales de Flore et de Pomone. The image is of  Poire Bonne Louise d'Avranches. From HERE.

Butterflies collected in the Shire Valley, East Africa (1861)

From Butterflies collected in the Shire Valley, East Africa by Horace Waller (1861) 


Prints created by pressing or scraping the scales from butterfly wings onto slips of paper, with outlines and some hand-coloring added later. The paper slips are mounted on leaves of brown paper compiled into an album. It appears that two mounted prints may have been removed from one of the leaves, which show traces of adhesive.

Each print is identified by the scientific name of its species handwritten in ink. Captions may include information on the butterfly's appearance as a caterpillar, its behavior, usual habitat, location, color, or scarcity.

The Cullman Library has a list of the species name for each print on file.

The album was previously thought to have have been compiled by Sir John Kirk, as described in the original Russell E. Train collection catalog entry. The album may have been in Kirk's possession at some point.

The album has been digitized as part of the Smithsonian Field Book Project.

English anti-slavery activist and Anglican missionary for the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, which had a station established in the Shire Highlands where Waller was probably based between 1861 and 1862.

Book available HERE.

The image below is a Papilio demoleus.

Solomons Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)

HERE is a portfolio of water colour sketches of plants by Helen Sharp.

 Background information from HERE:

Eighteen albums of water-color sketches by Helen Sharp of flowering plants and shrubs common to the United States, especially New England, as well as to Bermuda and parts of Europe, dated between June 1888 and Sept. 1910. Sketches in water-color and ink on paper (26 x 18 cm. or smaller) include botanical captions in Latin, along with Sharp's notes on the common name and physical characteristics of each plant, and location and date of drawing. There is also a table of contents at the front of each sketchbook. The first 16 albums contain sketches of plants common in New England, in towns of Massachusetts such as Nantucket, Taunton, Boston, No. Andover, Marblehead, Hingham, Gloucester; Maine (York, Sorrento); New Hampshire (Surrey), and Connecticut. Volume 17 contains sketches of plants made by the artist while traveling in Switzerland, Italy, England, and France, while v. 18 contains sketches of tropical fruits and flowers of Bermuda, completed during Sharp's visits of 1892, 1893, and 1903.

Below is a Solomons Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) painted by Sharp in Taunton Massachusetts, September 21st 1899 .

Five Decades in Print - Ed Colker (1998)

This volume is a retrospective of the work of artist Ed Colker (b. 1927).  The book was designed by Colker to accompany an exhibition organized by the Museum of Art, University of Arizona in 1998 (reviewed by the NY Times HERE).

Ed Colker is a printmaker, poet and academic who has worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. He now lives in Westchester County New York state. In 1960, Colker founded a not-for-profit fine art press to publish fine art limited edition books in response to poetry and with poets (more HERE and HERE).

From his Biography at the Archives of American Art:

After high school, Colker was awarded a scholarship and began his art education at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Arts. He interrupted his studies to serve in the U.S. Army (1944-1946). He graduated in 1949, by which time the school had become the Philadelphia Museum School of Art; today it is the University of the Arts. He taught art in the Philadelphia area before moving to New York City in 1956. Later, Colker earned degrees from New York University (B.S. Ed, 1964; M.A., 1985).

Colker taught art and design courses at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Cornell University, Pratt Institute, and Philadelphia College of Art. By the 1980s, he had become an administrator as well as a professor. Throughout his academic career, Colker published and lectured widely, served as a visiting artist, acted as a consultant, and participated in professional organizations. He occasionally organized exhibitions and served on exhibition juries.

Since 1960, under the imprints Editions du Grenier, Haybarn Editions, and Haybarn Press, Colker has published limited edition books, portfolios, broadsides, individual pages, and folders of poetry. Most are accompanied by Colker's etchings and lithographs inspired by the texts. Haybarn Press, under the Ambor Edition imprint, also produced four portfolios with text and drawings by Elaine Galen, 1996-2008. From its inception, the work of Haybarn Press has been featured in many exhibitions of book arts. Colker also participated in group shows throughout the United States and enjoyed solo exhibitions of his paintings and prints. Haybarn Press productions and Colker?s prints and paintings are in the permanent collections of Brown University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, University of Arizona Museum of Art, and others.

Now retired from university administration and teaching, Colker continues to operate Haybarn Press and occasionally serves as an exhibition juror and visiting artist.

The image below is an offset lithograph from 1997 called Eight Ideas.

The book is HERE. It was kindly made available by the artist underCC BY-NC-ND 3.0 terms.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Old Peter's Russian Tales (1916)

A selection of woodcuts by the Russian artist Dimitri Mitrokhin. These images were cut for Old Peter's Russian Tales, Arthur Ransome's first book for children which was published in 1916. This was Ransome's retelling of folk tales from Russia where he was living at the time.

 Image from HERE.

A Mersey Dock (1907)

A Mersey Dock by C.J. Whitehead. A photo that was part of the Northern Photographic Exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool in 1907.

The building at the back of the image is the Port of Liverpool building that had only very recently been completed. It is one of three buildings on the Mersey waterfront that are known collectively as the Three Graces. It forms part of Liverpool's UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City.

The Velasco Map (1610 or 1887?)

From The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909, published in 1915 by I.N. Phelps Stokes HERE.
For a discussion on whether this map is a forgery or not see HERE.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

An example of a Grolier binding 16th Century

From the The Encyclopaedia of Ornament by Henry Shaw, published in 1842 (HERE).

Acanthus 1868

Tuesday 22 March 2016

The Beggar's Opera (1921)

From The Beggars Opera, by John Gay, illustrated by Claude Lovat Fraser (1890-1921). Below is Peachum.

 From HERE

Monday 21 March 2016

Rupert Brooke and Skyros (1921)

From Rupert Brooke and Skyros by Stanley Casson (1889-1944) a wood-cut by Brookes' lover Phyllis Gardner

Akhili Bay from the North



Saturday 19 March 2016

The Art & Practice of Typography (1917)

The frontispiece of The art & practice of typography: a manual of American printing, including a brief history up to the twentieth century, with reproductions of the work of early masters of the craft, and a practical discussion and an extensive demonstration of the modern use of type-faces and methods of arrangement by Edmund Gress.

The title of this image is given as:The Scribe at Work. Representing a secretary to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy and patron of learning. He is copying a manuscript at the Hague about the time typography was invented.

In fact this is a coloured close copy of a famous image of Jean Miélot, translator, compiler and copyist in the service of Philip the Good (more on this scribe, this iconic image and his master HERE).

 From HERE.

Kokatsujihan no kenkyu (A brief history of early Japanese typography 1937)

Kokatsujihan no kenkyu (A brief history of early Japanese typography 1937) By Kazuma Kawase (1906–1999).

Kawase was an authority on rare Japanese books and manuscripts. A bibliographer and scholar of Japanese literature. At the time of writing, this volume, Kawase worked at the Yasuda-bunko, a private library amassed by the finacier Yasuda Zenjiro (1879-1936). The field he was writing on was relatively under researched and Kawase concentrated in this book on collecting and arranging facts of the history. The result of Kawase's systematic study was a two volume work, the main volume running to 800 pages. This volume is volume two, which is illustrated with specimen pages of the books that were analysed by Kawase.

Kawase split the history of Japanese typography into three periods: Old Period (710-1183), Medieval Period (1183-1569) and Modern Period (1569-1868). It was during the third period that movable type, as opposed to carved glyphs, was introduced to Japan. Two influences drove this adoption: a Korean influence and the Jesuit Mission Press. In 1590 Father Alessandro Valignani brought presses and other printing materials to Japan. He went on to produce 24 Jesuit Mission Press volumes. More importantly was the introduction of Korean katsuji (moveable type) printing, a technique that had originated in Korea in 1225.   

Later in his career, Kawase was Professor of Japanese Literature at Aoyama Gakuin University.


String figures : a study of cat's-cradle in many lands (1906)

Friday 18 March 2016

Chance seems to be only a term, by which we express our ignorance of the cause of any thing

[Page 2 of A Humument. Left: Original. Middle: First Version 1973. Right: Second Version 2013 From HERE.]

Chance plays an important part in many of the processes of nature and in human lives. But our common - sense notion of chance is not usually explicitly related to the mathematical concept of randomness and for many people chance is merely shorthand for unpredictability; we all know that we will die one day, but have no real way of predicting when, where, or how we will die - it will be a matter of chance. The use of the specific word chance as a way of signifying ignorance or unpredictability is longstanding - for example in The Religion of Nature Delineated (1722) the English writer and cleric William Wollaston (1659--1724) concludes that;

Chance seems to be only a term, by which we express our ignorance of the cause of any thing.

Chance is also vital in the sciences, where a more formal concept of randomness is an essential part of physics, probability theory and statistics. On further reflection the common-sense notion of chance leads to interesting philosophical and mathematical issues that relate to predictability, randomness, statistics and the computer science problem of generating random numbers from a well defined and deterministic computer programme.

Given the pervasive role that chance plays in nature, life and science it would be surprising if it did not also play an important role in the creative process. In fact a probabilistic, or aleatoric, approach to generating art - using chance as an agent for creating artistic novelty, is a surprisingly old idea. In order to give a framework in which probability can be used, it is generally useful to define a set of items that are then subjected to the laws of chance. For example, the six sides of a dice are subjected to random shaking and rolling before one side shows up. A classic example in art is the infinite monkey theorem; one version of this states that a single immortal monkey typing randomly on a typewriter keyboard will eventually reproduce the script of Shakespeare's Hamlet. This motif was first used  by the French mathematician Émile Borel to illustrate the abstract idea of a random process running for infinity (Borel, É. Mécanique Statistique et Irréversibilité, J. Phys. 5e série, vol. 3, pp.189-196.) The main idea here is that the monkey will exert no conscious direction to the stream of characters that are spewing from the typewriter - and that over an infinite length of time, and purely by chance, the Hamlet script will appear.
This is a fascinating and provocative thought experiment. There are many logical and artistic consequences that result from the completely random permutation, combination and re-combination of a small set of alphabetic symbols. These consequences were of particular interest to the Argentinian writer and librarian Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), in an essay and several short stories, written and published between 1939 and 1941, he explored this idea; a book, or a library of books, created by combinatorial or random processes.

In his essay, The Total Library (1939), Borges traces the origin of random text generation back to the discussion of the atomism of Leucippus in the Metaphysics of Aristotle. The thread extends through Cicero's explicit use of the metaphor of random text generation to refute atomism in his book De Natura Deorum. Borges follows the history of the idea through Blaise Pascal to a celebrated example of random text generation in Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726). 

Borges concedes in The Total Library that theoretically a random process could create a meaningful text if it ran for an infinite length of time, but he also describes the nightmarish side effect of this process - an astronomical number of volumes of text, the overwhelming majority of which will be absolute rubbish. Borges describes the output;
Everything would be in its blind volumes. Everything: ...the proof of Pierre Fermat's theorem, the unwritten chapters of Edwin Drood, ... the paradoxes Berkeley invented concerning Time but didn't publish, ... Everything: but for every sensible line or accurate fact there would be millions of meaningless cacophonies, verbal farragoes, and babblings. Everything: but all the generations of mankind could pass before the dizzying shelves - shelves that obliterate the day and on which chaos lies - ever reward them with a tolerable page.

Borges moved from non-fiction to fiction to further explore this theme, and he revisits it, in even more extreme form, in a short story called The Library of Babel published in 1941. The story begins with a quotation from The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) by Robert Burton;  By this art you may contemplate the variation of the twenty-three letters.

This quotation serves to outline the theme of the story and subliminally refers to how different cultures have used the chance permutation of letters, or pictographic symbols, as a way of trying to explain and understand infinity and the unpredictability of the future.

The Library of Babel describes a complete universe in the form of a vast library, arranged on a hexagonal floor plan, that contains all possible variations of a 410-page book of a certain format. The books contain every possible ordering, or permutation, of a basic set of letters, white spaces and punctuation. There is no known plan for the library and the order of the books appears to be random. This is a labyrinthine and nightmarish form of infinity, generated by endless permutations and combinations of a small set of symbols. The number of volumes that are possible with this scheme is incredibly large, the mathematician William Goldbloom Bloch estimates it is 2 x 10^1,834,097, a number that is so far beyond astronomical that Bloch calls it unimaginable.

Borges hit upon a key aspect of random text generation and he describes it brilliantly. A mathematician can play with the theoretical idea of creating random permutations of symbols over an infinite length of time and be oblivious to its side-effects. In the end the process will deliver the prize they seek - a given coherent text. But a writer and librarian like Borges cannot accept the price that needs to be paid for this prize. The overwhelming feeling we get when reading Borges words is his horror at a universe full of books of rubbish. Completely random generation of text leads inevitably to unimaginable volumes of output, which contain a vanishingly small number of coherent texts embedded in a universe of rubbish. This is clearly an obtuse way to create works of literature, but perhaps a little chance can go a long way - the addition of a small element of randomness or chance is a useful way to help an artist create real and useful novelty. 

In 1965 the Paris Review published an interview with the writer William S. Burroughs. In this interview Burroughs described the experiments that he had been undertaking with random text collage, or  cut-up, techniques for creating new literature; Cut-ups establish new connections between images, and one's range of vision consequently expands.

As Burroughs noted at the time these literary collage techniques had antecedents in earlier work; the original cut-ups of Brion Gysin (1916--1986), the Dada poetry of Tristan Tzara (1896--1963) and the fractured prose Camera Eye sequences of John Dos Passos (1896--1970). The cut--up method relies on a dynamic tension between chance and the conscious (or sub-conscious) creativity of the artist. Burroughs describes this well in the Paris Review article;

Interviewer: Instead of going to the trouble of working with scissors and all those pieces of paper, couldn't you obtain the same effect by simply free-associating at the typewriter?

Burroughs: One's mind can't cover it that way. Now, for example, if I wanted to make a cut-up of this [picking up a copy of The Nation], there are many ways I could do it. I could read cross-column ... you find it often makes quite as much sense as the original. You learn to leave out words and to make connections. Suppose I should cut this down the middle here, and put this up here. Your mind simply could not manage it. It's like trying to keep so many chess moves in mind, you just couldn't do it. The mental mechanisms of repression and selection are also operating against you. 

Burroughs' experiments with cut-up clearly have chance at their heart. But they use chance as  away of generating novel juxtapositions of chunks of already coherent text. They are random shufflings of elements that already exist and they add a touch of chance.

In 1965 the prolific British artist Tom Phillips, a painter, poet, printmaker, writer and composer, read the William Burroughs interview in the Paris Review. As a result of reading the interview, Tom Phillips began experimenting with the cut-up technique himself. After he had played with the technique and made his own experiments, in the form of column-edge poems from copies of the New Statesman, Phillips decided to pursue the technique more seriously and he made himself a rule that the first coherent book he could find for threepence would be used for an extended art work based on the cut-up approach.

One saturday morning in 1966, whilst on a shopping trip with his friend Ron Kitaj in Peckham, East London, Tom Phillips spent threepence buying a copy of a single volume reprint of A Human Document by W.H. Mallock. This book had originally been published as a three volume work in 1892 by Cassells in New York but then in a one volume edition by Chapman & Hall in London. Fortuitously, for what Phillips wanted to do with it, the novel pretends to be a discovered journal.

Phillips took A Human Document and began modifying it; the title was edited by extracting the central letters an Doc, to leave A Humument. The pages of the book were also edited. However, instead of physically cutting the book up, in the way that William Burroughs might of, Tom Phillips drew, painted and defaced the pages of the book. This is not artistic cut-up but an artistic cover-up; the book is a magical collection of incredible pages made of a combination of a few of the original words from Mallocks page and the visual imagination of Tom Phillips. This modified book was published by the Tetrad private press in 1970 and it has been continually modified and re-published ever since. Recently Phillips has released an iPad application based on A Humument, and he believes that this is perhaps the best version yet. 

However, A Humument didn't exhaust Tom Phillips' interest in A Human Document, he has produced a libretto for an opera, Irma, from the book along with numerous other works. In fact this single book, over the past 45 years, has been very thoroughly explored by Tom Phillips. As Phillips explains, the book has provided an unbelievably rich basis for his work;
... for what were to become my purposes, his book is a feast. I have never come across its equal in later and more conscious searchings. Its vocabulary is rich and lush and its range of reference and allusion large. I have so far extracted from it over one thousand texts, and have yet to find a situation, statement or thought which its words cannot be adapted to cover.
Another example of Phillips' mining of the Mallock source material is the illustrated edition of his translation of Dante's Inferno. For this Phillips required 100 parallel texts, which he generated from the original Mallock book. For example;

My story of a soul's surprise, a soul
which crossed a chasm in whose depths I find
I found myself and nothing more than that.

A single, rather outdated and idiosyncratic, book has given Phillips an unbelievable canvas on which to create. Phillips has used a range of cover--up and randomisation methods, for example, he describes taking page 99 of A Human Document and dividing it into half. Then by tossing coins, every word except one per side was eliminated by chance. Just how much can be obtained from a single book with collage is shown by A Humument, an inspired and determined exponent of intense seeing has created from a single book, of finite and rather modest volume, a nearly infinite universe of variations.

A diagram is a picture, in which one is intended to perform inference about the thing pictured...

HERE is a very nice paper,  about the Mathematical Revolution that immediately preceded the Scientific Revolution. It is by the Australian philosopher James Franklin, who writes about the history and philosophy of science, inference and probability (among other things). 

In this paper Franklin digs into the development of the diagram as a discrete type of image or picture: His definition of a diagram is "a picture, in which one is intended to perform inference about the thing pictured", which is pretty good.


The first successes of the Scientific Revolution were exclusively geometrical, if geometry is taken in a wide sense.
They were possible because Europe had had several centuries of training with reasoning with diagrams — not only the Euclidean ones labelled "geometry", but anything from simple family trees to complicated perspective constructions to gridded maps. The Scientific Revolution could exist because it inherited a medieval Mathematical (mostly Geometrical) Revolution. The evidence includes not only the surviving pictures themselves, but descriptions of what those pictures produced in the astonishingly vivid medieval visual imagination. The imagination was regarded as literally full of pictures, and so a medium for scientific visualisation. It was the medium Galileo used successfully for his thought experiments.
The article begins:
Tartaglia’s Italian Euclid of 1543 is geometry in the narrow sense. But the big two books of 1543, Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus and Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica are also geometry, if a slightly wider sense of the term is allowed. Though Copernicus writes on physics, he does not speak of forces, energies, masses or the like: there are only the appearances of the heavens from certain points of view. Though Vesalius is biology, there is no physiology, or mechanical analogy, or discussion of causes: there is only how parts of the body look from suitable points of view. But the three books share more than just pictures, and it is this extra element that is the focus of this article. Euclid’s Elements is not a picture book of shapes. The point of Euclid is to reason about the diagrams, and expose the necessary interrelations of the spatial parts. So it is with Copernicus and Vesalius.

Thomas Harriott's Lunar Map (1609)

From Wikimedia (HERE).

Chronology of the Pen Knife

A chronological small multiple showing the evolution of the Pen Knife. From Michael Finlay (1990). Western Writing Implements in the Age of the Quill Pen. Carlisle, Cumbria: Plains Books. 


Wednesday 16 March 2016

Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino (1550)

Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino cittadino romano was published in 1550 by Antonio Blado Asolano in Rome. It contains complete alphabets of chancery italic scripts, blackletter, Roman, Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Syrian and Arabic.

The woodcut image shown here lays out the tools of the trade for a scribe or calligrapher.

Full book HERE.

Pascal (1960)

Pascal by Jose Mendoza y Almeida. Published in Amsterdam 1960. (Images from HERE).

NewYork; a Series of Wood Engravings in Colour (1915)

I keep playing around with the design of my book on the Internet Archive. Here is the latest iteration - a two page spread about Rudolph Ruzicka's book on New York from 1915. 

One-Stop Stereology: the estimation of 3D parameters using Isotropic Rulers (2009)

I have pretty much given up writing scientific research papers. Much as I enjoyed it whilst I was doing it, the nitpicking and finalizing required to get a paper accepted and published has worn me out. I would now rather try and write books.

The paper below, One-Stop Stereology: the estimation of 3D parameters using Isotropic Rulers, was published in 2009 in the Journal of Microscopy. The paper was the culmination of about 5 or 6 years of trying really hard to simplify the concepts around and data collection for estimating statistical functions of the 3D structure of microscopic anatomical features. A field known as second-order stereology.


The stereological estimation of second-order descriptors of spatial architecture appears to be inherently more time-consuming and labour-intensive than the estimation of first-order quantities (total quantities or ratios). Therefore, far fewer researchers tend to make use of second-order approaches in their stereological research projects. In this paper, we use a tutorial approach to illustrate how a desire for practical simplicity has provided us with a data collection method that can be used to simultaneously estimate both first-order and second-order properties of the microstructure of a defined anatomical feature of an organ. The approach does not rely on new results from theory, but nevertheless allows either isotropic uniform random or vertical uniform random sections to be used to make estimates of a comprehensive list of 10 microstructural parameters using relationships that are well known in the literature. The probe used in all cases is an isotropically distributed Ruler and the data collection protocol is easy to learn and apply. We illustrate the method on brain tissue but emphasize that the approach can also be applied to non-biological material.


The Journal of Microscopy was a great journal to publish in.  It was inherently multi-disciplinary and was interested in high quality papers and high quality production values. The font used was very clear - José Mendoza y Almeida's Photina (issued by Monotype for Photo composition in 1972. Bringhurst says of it, "one of the first and one of the finest postmodern text faces.").

As a microscopy journal, it always understood the high value of incorporating colour micrographs and was able to incorporate them and produce them at high quality. 

Below are a couple of two page spreads from the One-Stop Stereology paper. The full paper is HERE


Tuesday 15 March 2016

Impressions of Ukiyo-ye, the school of the Japanese colour-print artists (1908)

From HERE. A two page spread of the signatures of famous Ukiyo-e artists.

Tales of Ise (1500's)

From an unbelievable collection of free to use digitisations of Japanese art, a portion of Scroll II of Ise Monogatari Emaki (Tales of Ise). From the Spencer Collection of the The New York Public Library (HERE).

Saturday 12 March 2016

Gustave Baumann. Frijoles Canyon Pictographs (1939)

From Frijoles Canyon Pictographs
Gustave Baumann. Santa Fe, New Mexico 1939.


Friday 11 March 2016

Joel Hedgepath. Oral History Transcript 1996

Under the Heading of Marine bioligist and environmentalist : oral history transcript : pycnogonids, progress, and preserving bays, salmon, and other living things. HERE is a terrific set of transcripts and articles about Joel Hedgepath, collaborator of Ed Ricketts.

Friday 4 March 2016

Tweet from ET