Movable type

Movable type is the system and technology of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document on the medium of paper. The world's first movable type printing technology for printing paper books was made of porcelain materials and was invented around 1040 AD in China during the Northern Song Dynasty by the inventor Bi Sheng; the oldest extant book printed with movable metal type, was printed in Korea in 1377 during Goryeo dynasty. The diffusion of both movable-type systems was, to some degree, limited to East Asia; the development of the printing press in Europe may have been influenced by various sporadic reports of movable type technology brought back to Europe by returning business people and missionaries to China. Some of these medieval European accounts are still preserved in the library archives of the Vatican and Oxford University among many others. However, none of these early European accounts before Gutenberg discuss printing. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced the metal movable-type printing press in Europe, along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould.

The small number of alphabetic characters needed for European languages was an important factor. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead and antimony—and these materials remained standard for 550 years. For alphabetic scripts, movable-type page setting was quicker than woodblock printing; the metal type pieces were more durable and the lettering was more uniform, leading to typography and fonts. The high quality and low price of the Gutenberg Bible established the superiority of movable type in Europe and the use of printing presses spread rapidly; the printing press may be regarded as one of the key factors fostering the Renaissance and due to its effectiveness, its use spread around the globe. The 19th-century invention of hot metal typesetting and its successors caused movable type to decline in the 20th century; the technique of imprinting multiple copies of symbols or glyphs with a master type punch made of hard metal first developed around 3000 BC in ancient Sumer.

These metal punch types can be seen as precursors of the letter punches adapted in millennia to printing with movable metal type. Cylinder seals were used in Mesopotamia to create an impression on a surface by rolling the seal on wet clay, they were used to mark objects as the owner's property. Cylinder seals were a related form of early typography capable of printing small page designs in relief on wax or clay—a miniature forerunner of rotogravure printing used by wealthy individuals to seal and certify documents. By 650 BC the ancient Greeks were using larger diameter punches to imprint small page images onto coins and tokens; the designs of the artists who made the first coin punches were stylized with a degree of skill that could not be mistaken for common handiwork—salient and specific types designed to be reproduced ad infinitum. Unlike the first typefaces used to print books in the 13th century, coin types were neither combined nor printed with ink on paper, but "published" in metal—a more durable medium—and survived in substantial numbers.

As the portable face of ruling authority, coins were a compact form of standardized knowledge issued in large editions, an early mass medium that stabilized trade and civilization throughout the Mediterranean world of antiquity. Seals and stamps may have been precursors to movable type; the uneven spacing of the impressions on brick stamps found in the Mesopotamian cities of Uruk and Larsa, dating from the 2nd millennium BC, has been conjectured by some archaeologists as evidence that the stamps were made using movable type. The enigmatic Minoan Phaistos Disc of 1800–1600 BC has been considered by one scholar as an early example of a body of text being reproduced with reusable characters: it may have been produced by pressing pre-formed hieroglyphic "seals" into the soft clay. A few authors view the disc as technically meeting all definitional criteria to represent an early incidence of movable-type printing, it has been alleged by Jerome Eisenberg that the disk is a forgery. The Prüfening dedicatory inscription is medieval example of movable type stamps being used.

Following the invention of paper in the 2nd century AD during the Chinese Han Dynasty, writing materials became more portable and economical than the bones, bamboo slips, metal or stone tablets, etc. used. Yet copying books by hand was still labour-consuming. Not until the Xiping Era, towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty did sealing print and monotype appear, it was soon used for printing designs on fabrics, for printing texts. Woodblock printing, invented by about the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty, worked. First, the neat hand-copied script was stuck on a thick and smooth board, with the front of the paper, so thin that it was nearly transparent, sticking to the board, characters showing in reverse, but distinctly, so that every stroke could be recognized. Carvers cut away the parts of the board that were not part of the character, so that the characters were cut in relief differently from those cut intaglio; when printing, the bulging characters would be covered by paper. With workers' hands moving on the back of paper characters would be printed on the paper.

By the Song Dynasty, woodblock printing came to its heyday. Although woodblock printing played an influential role in spreading culture, there remained some apparent drawbacks. Firstly, carving the printing

Theodore L. Thomas

Theodore Lockard Thomas was an American chemical engineer and Patent attorney who wrote more than 50 science fiction short stories, published between the early 1950s to the late 1970s. He collaborated on two novels with Kate Wilhelm, as well as producing stories under the pseudonyms of Leonard Lockhard and Cogswell Thomas, was nominated for a Nebula award and a Hugo Award. "The Watery Wonders of Captain Nemo" The Clone The Year of the Cloud "The Far Look", in Astounding Science Fiction, August 1956 "Ceramic Incident", in Astounding Science Fiction, October 1956 "The Innocents’ Refuge", in Science Fiction Stories, May 1957 "Satellite Passage", in If, December 1958 "Day of Succession", in Astounding Science Fiction, August 1959 "The Clone", in Fantastic, December 1959 "December 28th", in Playboy, December 1959 "The Intruder", in Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1961 "Test", in Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1962 "The Weather Man", in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 1962 "The Lonely Man", in Galaxy, April 1963 "The Ice Ages", in Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1965 "Science Springboard, The: Smog", article in Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 1966 "The Doctor", in Orbit 2, 1967 "The Weather on the Sun", in Orbit 8, 1970 "Early Bird", in Astounding: John W. Campbell Memorial Anthology, 1973 "Ker-Plop", in Asimov's Science Fiction, January 1979 "The Splice", in Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 1981 "Paradise Regained", in Saving Worlds, 1973 "Improbable Profession", in Astounding, September 1952 "The Lagging Profession" Discussion of Thomas and the accuracy of his predictions Theodore L. Thomas at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Works by Theodore L. Thomas at Project Gutenberg

Western Whoopee

Western Whoopee is a 1930 animated short film directed by John Foster and Harry Bailey. It is part of the early cartoon series Aesop's Sound Fables, it was released by the film company Pathe. It, like other Sound Fables at that time, features Milton and Rita, who resembles Mickey and Minnie Mouse so much so, Disney sued Van Beuren for the resemblance; the film's sound was recorded on the RCA Photophone System, a company whose sound systems were used by Pathe during these time frame. Copyrighted on the 10th April 1930, released three days on the 13th, it was reviewed by several movie review magazines at that time, it was reviewed positively by them. Though they are called Aesop's Sound Fables, Aesop isn't mentioned anyway in these short animated films; the film begins with Milton riding his horse comically around the West until he hears a wanted criminal roaming the West. Upon hearing this, Milton's mouse agrees to comically change to be the width of a twig, as a way of disguise; the criminal, who remains nameless throughout the entire short film, rides in front of a tree.

He laughs, comically shoots a skull and crossbones onto the other side, afterwards. Milton blows a raspberry to the criminal, who goes back to see what the noise was; the horse takes this opportunity to kick the criminal onto the floor. Milton and the horse both laugh, ride away, he rides to people singing a song, with banjo accompaniment. In the bar, the pianist proceeds to play a waltz. However, the lively enthusiastic attitude changes when the unnamed criminal returns to the bar, driving nearly everyone away, he walks around the bar, until coming to Milton playing Turkey in the Straw on the piano, who finishes with Shave and a Haircut and pokes the criminal in the eye. This makes him spin with guns firing. Milton proceeds to comically attach his underwear to the pianola, which in return, plays the same song. Rita laughs at the events. After the criminal runs away with Rita, many cowboys seek to get her back, end up chasing him. After arriving at a cliff-edge, the criminal gets his gun, shoots every cowboy one-by-one.

Milton survives the onslaught, as the criminal's gun jams. This begins a short chase, they begin to fence. Milton wins the fight, by comically cutting up the criminal like a potato, who runs away. Milton proceeds to comically eat the sword. Milton grabs Rita, dances with her; this ends with Rita passing out. Milton proceeds to break the 4th wall, tells the audience: Well? The film ends with Milton kissing Rita. There are many characters in this short film, just like the Sound Fables at that time, Milton is the main character, depicted as a heroic cowboy, who goes up against a tyrant. Rita is only seen as a kidnapped damsel-in-distress; the wanted criminal is an important character in the film, seen as a murdering tyrant. There is many trivial characters, these include the bar pianist, the other bar-goers. Western Whoopee was released to critical acclaim by The Motion Picture News and The Film Daily; the Motion Picture News spoke highly of the film, saying it is full of "laugh-provoking gags start-to-finish", calling it "A splendid job", urging the cinema management to book it for their program.

The Film Daily called it a "Fine Aesop Fable" calling it "one of the best shorts in the series to date." Whilst Variety said that it was a refreshing break from Farmer Al Falfa, said the film's story was "nonsensical and fantastic". Western Whoopee on IMDb