Monthly Archives: March 2016
iPhoneOgraphy – 31 Mar 2016 (Day 91/366)
The origins of Canon date back to the founding of Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in Japan in 1937 by Takeshi Mitarai, Goro Yoshida, Saburo Uchida and Takeo Maeda. During its early years the company did not have any facilities to produce its own optical glass, and its first cameras incorporated Nikkor lenses from Nippon Kogaku K.K. (the later Nikon Corporation).
Between 1933 and 1936 ‘The Kwanon’, a copy of the Leica design, Japan’s first 35 mm focal plane-shutter camera, was developed in prototype form. In 1940 Canon developed Japan’s first indirect X-ray camera. Canon introduced a field zoom lens for television broadcasting in 1958 and in 1959 introduced the Reflex Zoom 8, the world’s first movie camera with a zoom lens, and the Canonflex.
In 1961 Canon introduced the Rangefinder camera, Canon 7, and 50mm 1:0.95 lens in a special bayonet mount. In 1964 Canon introduced the ‘Canola 130’, the first Japanese made 10-key calculator, a substantial improvement on the design of the British Bell Punch company, which introduced the first fully electronic calculator two years earlier with the Sumlock Anita Mark 8 unit. In 1965 Canon introduced the Canon Pellix, a single lens reflex (SLR) camera with a semi-transparent stationary mirror which enabled the taking of pictures through the mirror.
In 1971 Canon introduced the F-1, a high-end SLR camera, and the FD lens range. In 1976 Canon launched the AE-1, the world’s first camera with an embedded micro-computer.
In 1982 “Wildlife as Canon Sees It” print ads first appeared in National Geographic magazine. Canon introduced the world’s first Inkjet printer using bubble jet technology in 1985. Canon introduced Canon Electro-Optical System (EOS) in 1987, named after the goddess of the dawn. EOS 650 autofocus SLR camera is introduced. Also in 1987 the Canon Foundation was established. In 1988 Canon introduced ‘Kyosei philosophy’. The EOS 1 Flagship Professional SLR line was launched in 1989. In the same year the EOS RT, the world’s first AF SLR with a fixed, semi-transparent pellicle mirror, was unveiled.
iPhoneOgraphy – 30 Mar 2016 (Day 90/366)
The history of glassmaking can be traced back to 3500 BC in Mesopotamia. Archaeological evidence suggests that the first true glass was made in coastal north Syria, Mesopotamia or ancient Egypt. The earliest known glass objects, of the mid second millennium BC, were beads, perhaps initially created as accidental by-products of metal-working (slags) or during the production of faience, a pre-glass vitreous material made by a process similar to glazing. Glass remained a luxury material, and the disasters that overtook late Bronze Age civilizations seem to have brought glass-making to a halt.
Indigenous development of glass technology in South Asia may have begun in 1730 BC. In ancient China, though, glassmaking seems to have a late start, compared to ceramics and metal work. In the Roman Empire, glass objects have been recovered across the Roman Empire in domestic, industrial and funerary contexts. Anglo-Saxon glass has been found across England during archaeological excavations of both settlement and cemetery sites. Glass in the Anglo-Saxon period was used in the manufacture of a range of objects including vessels, beads, windows and was even used in jewelry.
iPhoneOgraphy – 29 Mar 2016 (Day 89/366)
The word “car” is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum (“wheeled vehicle”), or the Middle English word carre (meaning cart, from Old North French). In turn, these originated from the Gaulish word karros (a Gallic chariot). The Gaulish language was a branch of the Brythoic language which also used the word Karr; the Brythonig language evolved into Welsh (and Gaelic) where ‘Car llusg’ (a drag cart or sledge) and ‘car rhyfel’ (war chariot) still survive. It originally referred to any wheeled horse-drawn vehicle, such as a cart, carriage, or wagon. “Motor car” is attested from 1895, and is the usual formal name for cars in British English. “Autocar” is a variant that is also attested from 1895, but that is now considered archaic. It literally means “self-propelled car”. The term “horseless carriage” was used by some to refer to the first cars at the time that they were being built, and is attested from 1895.
The word “automobile” is a classical compound derived from the Ancient Greek word autós, meaning “self”, and the Latin word mobilis, meaning “movable”. It entered the English language from French, and was first adopted by the Automobile Club of Great Britain in 1897. Over time, the word “automobile” fell out of favour in Britain, and was replaced by “motor car”. It remains a chiefly North American usage. An abbreviated form, “auto”, was formerly a common way to refer to cars in English, but is now considered old-fashioned. The word is still used in some compound formations in American English, like “auto industry” and “auto mechanic”.
iPhoneOgraphy – 28 Mar 2016 (Day 88/366)
Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws, as well as society in general. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.
Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by socially determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire. In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage, polygamy, and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns for women’s rights and because of international law. In developed parts of the world, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and legally recognizing the marriages of interfaith or interracial, and same-sex couples. These trends coincide with the broader human rights movement.
Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage, which does not exist in some countries, is marriage without religious content carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, and recognised as creating the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting via a wedding ceremony. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, and any offspring they may produce. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, and forced marriages. Over the twentieth century, a growing number of countries and other jurisdictions have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for interracial marriage, interfaith marriage, and most recently, same-sex marriage. Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice.
Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, and more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.
Historically, in most cultures, married women had very few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family’s children, the property of the husband; as such, they could not own or inherit property, or represent themselves legally (see for example coverture). In Europe, the United States, and other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife. These changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, and requiring a wife’s consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred primarily in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage (especially sexual violence), traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, forced marriage, marriageable age, and criminalization of consensual behaviors such as premarital and extramarital sex.
iPhoneOgraphy – 27 Mar 2016 (Day 87/366)
The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891–1958), a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in 1932. In 1934, his company came to be called “Lego”, derived from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”. In 1947, Lego expanded to begin producing plastic toys. In 1949 Lego began producing, among other new products, an early version of the now familiar interlocking bricks, calling them “Automatic Binding Bricks”. These bricks were based in part on the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, which were patented in the United Kingdom in 1939 and released in 1947. Lego modified the design of the Kiddicraft brick after examining a sample that they received from the supplier of an injection-molding machine that Lego purchased. The bricks, originally manufactured from cellulose acetate, were a development of the traditional stackable wooden blocks of the time.
The Lego Group’s motto is det bedste er ikke for godt which means roughly “only the best is the best” (more literally “the best is never too good”). This motto, which is still used today, was created by Ole Kirk to encourage his employees never to skimp on quality, a value he believed in strongly. By 1951 plastic toys accounted for half of the Lego Company’s output, even though the Danish trade magazine Legetøjs-Tidende (“Toy-Times”), visiting the Lego factory in Billund in the early 1950s, felt that plastic would never be able to replace traditional wooden toys.
Although a common sentiment, Lego toys seem to have become a significant exception to the dislike of plastic in children’s toys, due in part to the high standards set by Ole Kirk.
By 1954, Christiansen’s son, Godtfred, had become the junior managing director of the Lego Group. It was his conversation with an overseas buyer that led to the idea of a toy system. Godtfred saw the immense potential in Lego bricks to become a system for creative play, but the bricks still had some problems from a technical standpoint: their locking ability was limited and they were not versatile.
In 1958, the modern brick design was developed; however, it took another five years to find the right material for it, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) polymer. The modern Lego brick design was patented on 28 January 1958.
The Lego Group’s Duplo product line was introduced in 1969 and is a range of simple blocks which measure twice the width, height and depth of standard Lego blocks and are aimed towards younger children.
In 1978, Lego produced the first minifigures, which have since become a staple in most sets.
In May 2011, Space Shuttle Endeavour mission STS-134 brought 13 Lego kits to the International Space Station, where astronauts built models to see how they would react in microgravity, as a part of the Lego Bricks in Space program. The results will be shared with schools as part of an educational project.
In May 2013, the largest model ever created was displayed in New York and was made of over 5 million bricks; a 1:1 scale model of an X-wing fighter. Other records include a 112-foot tower and a 4 kilometer railway.
In February 2015, Lego replaced Ferrari as the “world’s most powerful brand.”
Lego’s popularity is demonstrated by its wide representation and usage in many forms of cultural works, including books, films and art work. It has even been used in the classroom as a teaching tool. In the USA, Lego Education North America is a joint venture between Pitsco, Inc. and the educational division of the Lego Group.
In 1998, Lego bricks were one of the original inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York.
iPhoneOgraphy – 26 Mar 2016 (Day 86/366)
A gate valve, also known as a sluice valve, is a valve that opens by lifting a round or rectangular gate/wedge out of the path of the fluid. The distinct feature of a gate valve is the sealing surfaces between the gate and seats are planar, so gate valves are often used when a straight-line flow of fluid and minimum restriction is desired. The gate faces can form a wedge shape or they can be parallel. Gate valves are primarily used to permit or prevent the flow of liquids, but typical gate valves shouldn’t be used for regulating flow, unless they are specifically designed for that purpose. Because of their ability to cut through liquids, gate valves are often used in the petroleum industry. For extremely thick fluids, a specialty valve often known as a knife valve is used to cut through the liquid. On opening the gate valve, the flow path is enlarged in a highly nonlinear manner with respect to percent of opening. This means that flow rate does not change evenly with stem travel. Also, a partially open gate disk tends to vibrate from the fluid flow. Most of the flow change occurs near shutoff with a relatively high fluid velocity causing disk and seat wear and eventual leakage if used to regulate flow. Typical gate valves are designed to be fully opened or closed. When fully open, the typical gate valve has no obstruction in the flow path, resulting in very low friction loss.
Gate valves are characterised as having either a rising or a nonrising stem. Rising stems provide a visual indication of valve position because the stem is attached to the gate such that the gate and stem rise and lower together as the valve is operated. Nonrising stem valves may have a pointer threaded onto the upper end of the stem to indicate valve position, since the gate travels up or down the stem on the threads without raising or lowering the stem. Nonrising stems are used underground or where vertical space is limited.
Bonnets provide leakproof closure for the valve body. Gate valves may have a screw-in, union, or bolted bonnet. Screw-in bonnet is the simplest, offering a durable, pressure-tight seal. Union bonnet is suitable for applications requiring frequent inspection and cleaning. It also gives the body added strength. Bolted bonnet is used for larger valves and higher pressure applications.
Another type of bonnet construction in a gate valve is pressure seal bonnet. This construction is adopted for valves for high pressure service, typically in excess of 2250 psi (15 MPa). The unique feature about the pressure seal bonnet is that the body-bonnet joint seal improves as the internal pressure in the valve increases, compared to other constructions where the increase in internal pressure tends to create leaks in the body-bonnet joint.
Gate valves may have flanged ends which are drilled according to pipeline compatible flange dimensional standards. Gate valves are typically constructed from cast iron, ductile iron, cast carbon steel, gun metal, stainless steel, alloy steels, and forged steels.
All-metal gate valves are typically used in ultra-high vacuum chambers to isolate regions of the chamber.
iPhoneOgraphy – 25 Mar 2016 (Day 85/366)
Water metering is the process of measuring water use.
In many developed countries water meters are used to measure the volume of water used by residential and commercial building that are supplied with water by a public water supply system. Water meters can also be used at the water source, well, or throughout a water system to determine flow through a particular portion of the system. In most of the world water meters measure flow in cubic metres or litres but in the USA and some other countries water meters are calibrated in cubic feet or US gallons on a mechanical or electronic register. Some electronic meter registers can display rate-of-flow in addition to total usage.
There are several types of water meters in common use. The choice depends on the flow measurement method, the type of end user, the required flow rates, and accuracy requirements.
In North America, standards for manufacturing water meters are set by the American Water Works Association.
There are two common approaches to flow measurement, displacement and velocity, each making use of a variety of technologies. Common displacement designs include oscillating piston and nutating disc meters. Velocity-based designs include single- and multi-jet meters and turbine meters.
There are also non-mechanical designs, for example electromagnetic and ultrasonic meters, and meters designed for special uses. Most meters in a typical water distribution system are designed to measure cold potable water only. Specialty hot water meters are designed with materials that can withstand higher temperatures. Meters for reclaimed water have special lavender register covers to signify that the water should not be used for drinking.
Additionally, there are electromechanical meters, like prepaid water meters and automatic meter reading meters. The latter integrates an electronic measurement component and a LCD with a mechanical water meter. Mechanical water meters normally use a reed switch, hall or photoelectric coding register as the signal output. After processing by the micro controller unit (MCU) in the electronic module, the data are transmitted to the LCD or output to an information management system.
Water meters are generally owned, read and maintained by a public water provider such as a city, rural water association or private water company. In some cases an owner of a mobile home park, apartment complex or commercial building may be billed by a utility based on the reading of one meter, with the costs shared among the tenants based on some sort of key (size of flat, number of inhabitants or by separately tracking the water consumption of each unit in what is called submetering).
iPhoneOgraphy – 24 Mar 2016 (Day 84/366)
In 1863, with the creation of Free City Delivery, the US Post Office Department began delivering mail to home addresses. Until 1916, mail carriers knocked on the door and waited patiently for someone to answer. Efficiency experts estimated that each mailman lost over 1.5 hours each day just waiting for patrons to come to the door. To correct this problem, the Post Office Department ordered that every household must have a mail box or letter slot in order to receive mail. Slowly, homeowners and businesses began to install mail slots or attached mailboxes to receive mail when they were either not at home or unable to answer the door.
As early as the 1880s, the Post Office had begun to encourage homeowners to attach wall-mounted mailboxes to the outside of their houses in lieu of mail slots. Mounted at the height of a standing man, attached mailboxes did not require the mail carrier to lean over to deposit the mail. They also allowed the homeowner to keep outgoing mail dry while awaiting pickup by the mail carrier.
To reduce the time required for the mail carrier to complete delivery when the front door of a home was located some distance from the street, it was proposed that individual mail boxes for residential or business customers be mounted curbside on fence-posts, lamp-posts, or other supports. While this idea was rejected for city mail delivery, it was adopted for rural areas. Curbside mailboxes located on a rural route or road and sited at the intersection of the road with each recipient’s carriageway or private drive allowed limited numbers of mail carriers to deliver mail to many widely scattered farms and ranches in a single day using horse-drawn wagons or later on, motor vehicles.
Before the introduction of rural free delivery (RFD) by the Post Office in 1896, and in Canada in 1908, many rural residents had no access to the mail unless they collected it at a post office located many miles from their homes or hired a private express company to deliver it. For this reason, mailboxes did not become popular in rural North America until curbside RFD mail delivery by the Post Office was an established service. Even then, farmers and rural homeowners at first resisted the purchase of dedicated mailboxes, preferring to leave empty bushel baskets, tin boxes, or wooden crates at the roadside for the postman to deposit their mail. Not until 1923 did the Post Office finally mandate that every household install a mailbox or mail slot in order to receive home delivery of mail.
Originally designed only for incoming mail delivery, curbside mailboxes were soon fitted with a semaphore or signal flag mounted on an attached arm to signal the postman to pickup outgoing mail. Originally, this flag was raised not only by the resident of the property to signal the postman of outgoing mail, but also by the postman to inform the recipient that incoming mail had been delivered – a convenience to all during periods of freezing or inclement weather.
In 1915, the familiar curbside Joroleman mailbox, named after its designer, Post Office employee Roy J. Joroleman, was approved by the Post Office. Joroleman, who held a degree in mechanical engineering, designed his mailbox with an unusual dome-rectangular shape, incorporating a curved, tunnel-shaped roof, latching door, and rotating semaphore flag. The Joroleman mailbox has been praised as a manifestation of American functionalist industrial design.
Constructed of light-gauge painted sheet steel, Joroleman designed his mailbox with an arched, tunnel-shape roof, which prevented excessive accumulation of rainwater or snow while resisting deformation. The tunnel top also simplified the process of mass production by eliminating the need for precise sheet metal bends. Stamped and formed metal straps riveted to the arched opening and the mailbox door served as a door latching mechanism, while a rotating red semaphore flag mounted on a shaft attached to the side of the mailbox served to signal the approaching mailman if there was outgoing mail inside. Fitted with a crimped or braze-on rear steel panel and a false floor to keep its contents dry in inclement or humid weather, the Joroleman mailbox required only two rivets, three axle bolts, and four screws and nuts for completion. Durable and inexpensive, the popularity of the Joroleman mailbox was further enhanced by a decision not to patent the design, but to make its specifications known to all potential manufacturers for competitive sale. Adopted across the United States, it has remained the top-selling mailbox since its introduction, and was also widely used in Canada prior to that country’s decision to eliminate individual curbside delivery to rural residents.
The Joroleman mailbox was originally approved for manufacture in one size, the No. 1, which could accommodate letter mail, periodicals, newspapers, catalogs, and small parcels. After July 1, 1916, the Joroleman mailbox would be the only design approved by the Post Office for new curbside mailbox installations. In July 1929, the Post Office approved specifications for a larger Joroleman mailbox known as the No. 2. The No. 2 mailbox, soon followed by the still-larger No. 3, could accept larger parcels and packages sent via Parcel Post; these large boxes proved particularly popular with rural mail recipients, who could order manufactured goods by mail for delivery to the farm or ranch.
Since 1923, in order to promote uniformity, as well as the convenient and rapid delivery of the mail, the United States Post Office Department, (later the USPS) has continued to retain authority to approve the size and other characteristics of all mail receptacles, whether mailboxes or mail slots, for use in delivery of the mails. The USPS continues to issue specifications for curbside mailbox construction for use by manufacturers. Approved mailboxes from the latter are always stamped “U.S. Mail” and “Approved by the Postmaster General”. These standards have resulted in limitations on product diversity and design, though new materials, shapes, and features have appeared in recent years.
After World War II, postwar suburban home construction expanded dramatically in the United States, along with mail volume. By the 1960s, many new suburban homes were considerably larger and located on larger lots, yet most still used mail slots or attached wall-mounted mailboxes. This development caused a substantial increase in distances walked by the mail carrier, slowing mail delivery while increasing labor costs. In order to reduce delivery times and increase efficiency, the Post Office began requiring all new suburban developments to install curbside mailboxes in place of door-to-door delivery, allowing mail carriers to remain in the vehicle while delivering the mail. In 1978, the USPS (successor to the Post Office) declared that every new development must have either curbside delivery or centralized mail delivery.
iPhoneOgraphy – 23 Mar 2016 (Day 83/366)
Cream of mushroom soup is a simple type of soup where a basic roux is thinned with cream or milk and then mushrooms and/or mushroom broth are added. It is well known in North America as a common type of condensed canned soup. Cream of mushroom soup is often used as a base ingredient in casseroles and comfort foods. This use is similar to that of a mushroom flavored gravy.
Soups made with cream and mushrooms are much older than the canned variety. Ancient Italian (Salsa colla) and French (Béchamel) cream sauces, and soups based on them have been made for many hundreds of years. In America, the Campbell Soup Company began producing its well known “Cream of Mushroom Soup” in 1934.
Canned cream of mushroom soup has been described as “America’s béchamel”. In Minnesota, the ingredient is often called “Lutheran binder,” in reference to its thickening properties and its prominence in hotdish recipes, especially in Lutheran church cookbooks.
iPhoneOgraphy – 22 Mar 2016 (Day 82/366)
A meat chop is a cut of meat cut perpendicularly to the spine, and usually containing a rib or riblet part of a vertebra and served as an individual portion. The most common kinds of meat chops are pork and lamb. A thin boneless chop, or one with only the rib bone, may be called a cutlet, though the difference is not always clear. The term “chop” is not usually used for beef, but a T-bone steak is essentially a loin chop, and a rib steak a rib chop.
Chops may be cooked in various ways, including grilling, pan-broiling, sautéeing, braising, breading and frying, and baking. Lamb chops are often cooked with dry heat, grilled or pan-broiled. Pork chops and veal chops are grilled, sautéed, or braised, or breaded and fried (milanese). In South Africa and Nambia the traditional way of cooking chops is to grill them outdoor over open fire coals, called braaiing.
In Great Britain, the idea of a chop comes from the 17th century, when London chop houses started cooking individual portions of meat.