Rock carvings, channels, stories, and the young age of the Nile delta, all point to the Sahara being wetter and greener in former times. And the windblown soil of the modern Sahara fertilizes the Amazon.

If a deep-time climate study finds that the Sahara is one of the ‘permanent’ deserts, then perhaps the Nile emptying into the Atlantic in prehistoric times wasn’t such a big affair (and where? Some old delta deposits might be waiting to be found). And the Nile-less Egyptian area would have been a western extension of the Arabian Desert. Perhaps the turning point was when the Old Kingdom first appeared.

And would a green Sahara have made a less jungley Amazon?





If Zeus were a volcano (or an eruption), the birth of Athena fully-formed from his brow would have been a spectacular sight and, for the survivors, a memorable one.




John of Salisbury is talking in the context of students going to university and then getting jobs in bakeries (today it would be pizzerias) and so Cornificius (today it would be Adjunct Professor Dough) therefore wanting the industrification of the curriculum.

The carping hasn’t stopped. Today it would be grumpy old men.

Steve Pinker has come across them in the linguistic sphere (Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (Penguin, 2015)).

What the language purists do:
(pp 302–303): never look it up; have unsound arguments; confuse anecdote with the state of the world; use false dichotomies; base arguments on people, not reasons.

There is:
(p 300): misplaced emotion; the self-proclaimed defenders outdoing each other with tasteless invective; ‘The hyperbole often shades into misanthropy’, which tactic (p 192): ‘easily mixes with racism or class prejudice’

They present themselves as:
(p 298): unschooled or worse; their arguments are patently illogical; they reason ‘like Superman’s famous wardrobe malfunction’

Experts know; purists don’t know:
(p 195): purists are ignoramuses; ‘screwball reasons’

To declare that English should follow Latin, or that a word keeps its original meaning, is a
(p 200): ‘crackpot theory’

There is a choice phrase Pinker uses:
(p 219): neurologically intact

That will come in handy.

In sum,
Language purists belong to the GOM Squad of Commentary and come up with (actually, copy-paste) half-baked ideas that they expect everyone else to swallow.

Legal purists are, and do, the same.



Pinker’s book is quite good, by the way. Deep, easy to follow. Well-written. (Allusions are not footnoted; just assumed to be part of the Zeitgeist.)

Language (and mind) is all about strings, trees, and webs (of meaningful sounds and their visual counterparts, information transfer containers, and concepts).

Even dogs do it.

And probably everything else, too, for that matter.



Visualising networked relationships


With Latex (and Xelatex), networked relationships between entities, who talks to who(m), and so on, can be visualised. Some of the diagrams begin to take on the form and appearance of microscopic plankton, which suggests there will be whole ecosystems in social space (both human and electronic) to explore.

The picture is an example of an interaction net, and the programmatic definition comes from the tikz-inet package documentation (with .tex code via Overleaf, if I remember*).


*I feel a little bit like Humboldt on first looking into the sea.




An Ornament of One

When is a borderline on the other side?

At this time of year (late spring, early summer), there are some garden cypresses visible along the street in peoples’ front-yards which produce juicy cones of such an attractive flavour to birds of the parrot kind (such as corellas, and sulphur-crested cockatoos) that flocks of them divert especially to have an early-morning breakfast feast.

The trees are dark green and and shaped like a picture-drawing Christmas-tree, and a flock of snowy-white birds perched on the sides of the tree look like ornaments.

I hereby propose a new collective noun: `an ornament of corellas’, or `an ornament of cockatoos’.

Even one perching cockatoo gives that effect.

Which raises the idea: can one bird be a flock?

Certainly there is an implication. Cockatoos and corellas and rainbow lorikeets and so on are gregarious and move about in family groups and larger, chattering and gossiping all the while, so the presence of one necessarily implies the presence of others somewhere nearby (within coo-ee, in fact, since they keep in touch by sound, and, for the larger birds like the cockatoos, that sound carries a long way).

A Flock of One

A membership of one constitutes the category (mathematicians would go one step further with their null set: a membership of none constitutes the category).

One person doing manual work makes it a factory: Griffith v Ferrier 1952 SC(J) 56.

The question then moves to: what is manual work?


Language is vague, by its nature.

“what really is a chair”

— Janny Leung,
“On the edge of reason: Law at the borderline”,
in Marco Wan (ed),
Reading the Legal Case: Cross-Currents between Law and the Humanities, (2012)
[Routledge, 2012], pp 128-141, p 138.
ISBN 9780415673549

Or red, or bilingual, or a machine, or a chicken-coop?

(This last is in reference to “whether a chicken-coop may be considered a vehicle” — Leung, p 128. A hen-house, on iron bogies, was being towed along a road by a tractor: for the purposes of the relevant motor vehicle statute (whose purpose was to help with road maintenance), the hen-house was deemed to be a vehicle.)

“The nature of language also presents its own challenges. A V Crabbe wrote in Understanding Statutes, Cavendish Publishing Ltd, London, 1994, p 8:

… it is … the very nature of language that presents the greatest problem to successful communication. Language is considered

‘perhaps the greatest human invention’,


yet it is a most imperfect instrument for the expression of human thought. It has tremendous potential for vagueness, ambiguity, nonsense, imprecision, inaccuracy … [footnotes omitted]

— Kath Hall and Claire Macken,
Legislation and Statutory Interpretation, 3rd edition, (2012)
[LexisNexis Butterworths, 2012], [3.34] (p 66).
ISBN 9780409330656

In Haygarth v J & F Stone Lighting & Radio Ltd, [1968] AC 157, the question was: what is manual labour, and how is that different to the work that `ordinary brain workers’ do? More specifically, Was a radio and television repairman working in a back room in a television sales shop in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, in May 1964, when a factory inspector visited, doing manual labour? If yes, then that place is a factory, and occupational health and safety applies, such as the provision of a first-aid box or cupboard.

Here we are only concerned with the words “employed in manual labour.” The word ” employed ” is clear. The words ” employed in ” denote employed to do. The word ” manual ” denotes something done with the hands. (As long ago as in 1884 Bowen L.J. said in Morgan v. London General Omnibus Co. (1884) 13 QBD 832, 834 (CA) that manual labour could only mean ” labour performed by hand.”) In one sense every person is employed in manual labour who is employed to do work with his hands. But nearly everyone who is employed must do some work with his hands. How then is a decision to be made as to whether an employed person is or is not employed in manual labour?

Per Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest, at 175

Although the case ‘raises no question of general importance’ (Lord Reid, at 174), in the sense of legal principle, the various courts and judges held different opinions about where the dividing line (never hard and fast) should be drawn about what constitutes manual labour.

Prior cases looked to for guidance dealt with:

  • dispensing pharmaceuticals at a chemists’
  • being a tugboat captain
  •  doing lithography and engraving
  •  modellers moulding clay into ornaments and other things using photographs supplied by the employer
  •  being a grocer’s assistant
  •  making bouquets in a florist’s shop
  •  making decorative hampers from an assortment of bonbons and sweetmeats
  •  being a bus conductor
  •  being a tram driver

Terms like ‘borderline’ and ‘very borderline’ were used.

Where would you draw the line?

Or would it be more of a fuzzy smudge, like an artist’s thumb rubbing of a charcoal mark on the canvas?


and switching on paragraph numbers

Legal writing (like judgments) has numbered paragraphs, for detailed pin-pointing of information, and the occasional (unnumbered) heading. Headings help a bit, especially in long judgments, but since they are an interpretation of the structure of the reasoning and not the interpretation of the structure, headings take on an ancillary role only, as an aid to navigation.

There are numerous ways to achieve numbered paragraphing: making the document one giant enumerated list, with each paragraph being an item in the list, is one way (simplistic, but workable).

Another way is to count the paragraphs.

Latex by default has numbered headings and unnumbered paragraphs. To re-style it into legal mode, a paragraph counter can be created, say something like \p, to keep it short to save typing:


%Numbered paragraphs
\newcounter{parno}[paragraph]%% numbered paragraph
\newcommand{\p}{\stepcounter{parno}\noindent[\theparno]\ } 

This switches off paragraph first-line indenting, puts square brackets around the number, and adds a space after it.

To stop numbers like appearing (paragraph numbers are the fourth level down), the paragraph number can be de-linked from the level numbering coming in from one level above:


%delink paragraph counter from being reset by subsubsection


And headings (meaning sections, in the case of an article document-class) can have their numbering switched off by setting to nothing (being {}):


%remove (printing of) section numbering




Got vertical text working: for Japanese (using the lualatex-ja package, compiled under lualatex, rather than xelatex), going right-to-left. And ruby-text (furigana):jvert


Vertical also works for Chinese characters, of course.









And Mongolian or Manchu, under the mls package (which gives MonTeX), besides Cyrillic and Roman scripts, can do vertical too, left-to-right:





Shades of meaning

Painters have an exercise to stretch their skills: painting an egg on a piece of paper. Uses up a lot of titanium white. The legal equivalent , in comparative law/translation, would be trying to render the phrase ‘common law’, and its near-equivalent and simultaneous not-equivalent “droit commun”, from French into English.

Here is Carbasse (via a quote typeset in Latex, to capture the visuality of the original printing):



In French, the phrase “common law” has a shade of meaning and a perspective (and field of denotation) that it does not have in English, and “droit commun”, as a (knowing) near-miss gloss, does not exactly mean ‘common law’ (in connotation) like a literal translation of ‘droit commun’ would sound like it would give. The Paris perspective of London.

Almost the linguistic equivalent of an Escher knot.




(Image from GoogleBooks)


And he [the Chief Justice] said, upon the observation upon 4 Mod. see the inconveniencies of these scambling reports, they will make us appear to posterity for a parcel of blockheads.

Once there was a law report of a case (Hodge v Clare), which seemed to be saying that pleading that a party was, in modern terms, ‘absent’, did not necessarily mean ‘absent outside of the jurisdiction’, like all other cases had confirmed up until that time.  But the law report itself was found at fault, because:

upon search of the roll in that case [the official parchment roll recording the case], there is a full averment, that the person, during whose absence, was in partibus transmarinis [in parts overseas], and no ground for the objection.

Hence Holt CJ’s observation about ‘these scambling reports’. – Slater v May, 2 Lord Raymond 1071.

Would we perhaps call it a ‘fake report’, nowadays?



With the colored letttrine Latex package, and a suitable font like EB Garamond, which has empty decorative initials (acting like a background) and separate foreground letters, interesting effects can be achieved:


Similar effects could be achieved with CSS in HTML, but printing commands can do optical effects like lensing, and it will probably be a while before such things are coded up as standard-issue into browsers.



Vita is indeed brevis, and art longa.














Runic and Phaistos Keyboards

MKLC experiment

Had a go at using the free Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (v1.4) to create a keyboard for learning to touch-type in runes, and one using the Phaistos Disc characters.

It works.

After defining the keyboard by mapping the relevant Unicode points to specific keys, then creating the DLLs and associated files automatically, the running Setup to install the keyboard, then selecting the keyboard from the Language Bar, typing on the Runic keyboard produced runes, and Phaistos Disc characters on the other. Amazing!

Definitely better than adding them one at a time via Insert | Symbol, or typing the Unicode hex value and pressing Alt-X.

(Of course, the appropriate font is required, as well: Aegean, Quivira, Code2003, Noto Sans Phaistos, etc. Some fonts are better than others.)

Next step: how to make the keyboard setup files available.


Addendum (15-Aug-2017):

One unintended consequence is, as the fingers brush against the various key combinations, the Runic keyboard (which has been added to the Language Bar) sometimes activates and I find myself ᛆᚷᛝᚢᛘᚼ ᚢᛘ ᛂᛈᛘᚢᚦ ᛐᚢᛆᚠᛛᛈᛆ ᛖᚲᚤᛘᚢᛘᚼ ᛆᛛ᛫ᚤᛘᚧ ᛄᛛᛖᚲᛆᚢᛖᚲᛄ ᚢᛆ ᛆᚤᚭᚲᛄ ᚤ ᛐᚠᚢᚱᚲ ᛆᛛ ᛘᛛᛆᚢᚲᚦ!

Some more font tests

Another sampling of fonts

Some fonts are quite elegant.

Hand-crafted creativity.

There are too many languages for one font to do everything for everybody, though.

qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(AGA Balloon بالون ) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Andron Scriptor Web) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(AnglosaxOblique) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Annapurna SIL) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Annapurna SIL) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(ArtNoveauDecadente) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(Assurbanipal) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Aung San) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver Bold Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Aver) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFꤕꤖꤗꤧꤘꤨꤥꤩꤚꤪꤛ꤫ꤑ(ayar) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFꤕꤖꤗꤧꤘꤨꤥꤩꤚꤪꤛ꤫ꤑ(Ayar Juno) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFၹၩဲ၄ဴၒၢဘျဗေဥြၕ့(Ayar Kasone) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFၹၩဲ၄ဴၒၢဘျဗေဥြၕ့(Ayar Takhu) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Behistun) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Bisitun) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(bu Richard the Second) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Cardinal Alternate) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Cardinal) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Chapbook) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Chapbook) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Chapbook) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Classix) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Curved Manuscript, 17th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Day Roman – Expert) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Day Roman) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(DDC Rinzin) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(DDC Uchen) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد ԱՑբաԲՓգճ Ⴡბგდუსჱ αβγδε שררקחז ຣາຢຳຕຶວະ ꓔꓕꓖꓗꓘꓩꓨ ߔߓߒߢߡߑߐߧ ᚃᚆᚌᚔᚐ 𐌅𐌆𐌇𐌈 ⴵⴶⵂⵁⵉⴺⴻⴼ ᐐᐑᐂᐕᐚᐛᐊᐉᐁ(DejaVu Sans Light) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(DejaVu Sans Condensed) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(DelitschInitialen) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Didact Gothic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Druk Corners 01) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta ExtraBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta ExtraLight) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta Light) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta Medium) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFऔतऴदधघॊफुढूठृसिडी(Ek Mukta SemiBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(ESL Gothic Unicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(FreeMono) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeMonoBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeMonoBoldOblique) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeMonoOblique) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeSerifBold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(FreeSerifItalic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gentium Book Basic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(German Blackletters, 15th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Gothic Straight-Faced, 16th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(GothicMajuscles) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(GrandjeanPW) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(HansFraktur) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(JSL Ancient) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(JSL Ancient) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(JSL Blackletter) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Jomolhari) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Junicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(KaiserRotbartOneCaps) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(KaiserRotbartTwoCaps) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Kakoulookiam) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Karen3_0) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFၹၩဲ၄ဴၒၢဘျဗေဥြၕ့(Khmer Nettra) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Khosrau) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(KL1_ Monocase Serif) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Lapidaria) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur LF) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur Heavy) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur LF) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Leipzig Fraktur) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Lombardic Narrow) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Magna Veritas) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Monospace) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Monospace) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Monospace) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Beveled) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Extruded) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Outline) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Semi Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(NeoBulletin Trash) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(OldStandard-Bold) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(OldStandard-Italic) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(OldStandard-Regular) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Palemonas MUFI) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Persepolis) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Plone Ware Shar_Mla) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Primitive) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Art) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Betsu) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Chuyig) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Drutsa) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Dunhuang) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Edict) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Horyig) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Subtitle) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Title) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Tsumachu) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Tsuring) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Tsutong) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchen) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchung) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Suring) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Uchen Sutung) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF༒༄ཀཱཁཱིགུངཱུཅཆཉྲྀཋཹ༆(Qomolangma-Woodblock) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(Santakku) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(SantakkuM) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(Scheherazade) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Spanish Round Bookhand, 16th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Steinem Unicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(StrangeBlackLetter) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFᮕᮖᮥᮔᮓᮣᮑᮡᮐᮠᮛ᮪(Sundanese Unicode) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Theuerdank Fraktur) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFДФЕХЖЦзчцгсарту ͲΑΒΓΔΕΖαβγδεζ(Thryomanes) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Title page 1600) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Traditional Gothic, 17th c.) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Diwani Kawak) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Kufi Yay) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Moy Qelem) ;
qwerty example ABCDEFٻشلعىنفد(UKIJ Qolyazma) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(UllikummiA) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(UllikummiB) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𒁋𒀺𒀤𒀴𒁣𒀁𒁱𒂏(UllikummiC) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(UnBatang) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(UnBatang) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(UnGungseo) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Vampyres Garden) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF龜不賂量璘吝立難韛瘟歹華(Wangdi29) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(WeygelBodies) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Wizard Of The Moon) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF𐎸𐎷𐎦𐎵𐎳𐏕𐏂𐏁𐎰𐏀𐏏𐏎(Zarathustra) ;
qwerty example ABCDEF(Zuider Postduif Demo) ;

Lost in Museums

The other side of the collection

Of Museums

When the mice get in, the information is lost.

“In the early hours of the following day 600 Grenadier Guards took possession of the geology department at Imperial College (the Royal College of Science had been renamed Imperial College in 1910) and were billeted in all the rooms and laboratories. When [Arthur] Holmes arrived in the morning he had to step over sleeping soldiers lying in the corridors or propped up on the floor alongside cabinets and cases. Others were eating their morning rations using the tops of museum cases as tables. These cases were fitted with drawers filled with important teaching and research collections of minerals and fossils, all carefully labelled. Irreverently the soldiers deposited the remains of their rations into these draws and over time scraps of bread, meat and cheese gradually accumulated. Inevitably this attracted a large population of mice who indiscriminately ate the labels from the specimens along with the scraps. Much information was lost and the value of the collection as a teaching aid was enormously reduced, but it was a minor problem in the scale of this terrible war.”

— Cherry Lewis, The Dating Game: One Man’s Search for the Age of the Earth, (2000) [Canto Classics, 2012], p 106. ISBN 9781107659599

Sometimes things just disappear:

“These [star maps] are to be found in the library of the Royal Astronomical Society, but the Chinese planispheres which J. Williams (1)a presented in 1855 are no longer there, and had indeed already been lost by 1909, as Knobel (1)b tells us.”

a. J Williams, ‘Notes on Chinese Astronomy’ (presentation of planispheres). RAS/MN, 1855, 15, 19.
b. E B Knobel, ‘On a Chinese planisphere.’ RAS/MN, 1909, 69, 436.
Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China: Volume III – Mathematics and the sciences of the heavens and the Earth, (1959) [Cambridge University Press, 2005], p 282. ISBN 9780521058015

Sometimes it is understandable:

“[During the severe winter of 1947] People chopped up old furniture to put on the fire, wooden fences disappeared over night, and trees seen standing one day were no longer there the next. In the Edinburgh geology department a large piece of coal exhibited in the main entrance hall, displaying the beautiful fossil of a three hundred million year old fern, mysteriously disappeared one day. No one complained, they just wished they had thought of it first.”

— Lewis, p 216.

Lord Asriel

A potential prototype for the Pullman character could be Lord Kelvin:

“In 1862 Lord Kelvin was the Professor in Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University and the world’s expert on thermodynamics. A scientist of international repute and ferocious ability, he was then at the height of his powers and widely regarded by his contemporaries as the greatest physicist of his day – a formidable opponent.”

— Lewis, p 34.

Particularly with the context of Rutherford and radium with its invisible particulate rays, standing in the place of Dust.

Maxwell and his Electromagnetic vectors could have a look-in, too.

There was a lot of discovery going on back then. The Age of the Earth, the Age of the Sun, the distance to any other star.