Before there were photocopiers, scanners and printers, there was the Ditto Machine (a.k.a. spirit duplicator), produced by the Illinois-based Ditto Corporation. Originally introduced in 1923, the Ditto Machine was a printing method that transferred ink onto a master copy made of smooth, waxy paper. An alcohol-based fluid (hence “spirit”) was then applied to transfer the image to a copy. Primarily used by schools and churches, the Ditto became less and less commonplace as other copying technologies were brought to market.
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The best thing about taking a test in school was the smell of the Ditto copies. I can smell it now.
Some of the most beautiful buildings in the world are designed to be both sleek and eco-friendly. And then there’s the Strata Tower, which improves urban density and has three wind turbines. And it’s been named Britain’s ugliest new building.
The Strata Tower won that questionable honor in an annual competition held by Building Design magazine. It’s the tallest residential building in London, standing at 480 feet, so it’s good from a density standpoint as well as having wind turbines.
A seven-year-old boy from London who hoped to raise £500 for Haiti by a sponsored bike ride ended up raising more than £80,000.
Charlie Simpson, from Fulham, cycled five miles around South Park near his home to raise funds for Unicef’s earthquake appeal.
His call for support touched the hearts of people around the world after he put a message on the JustGiving website, reports the BBC.
Andy Kaye of Kaye’s Auctions was literally brought to tears yesterday talking about the kindness of some of the good hearts and gentle people attending Kaye’s weekly Thursday night auction. The contents of a storage locker (being sold off due to unpaid storage fees) were on the block when the little boy whose toys were in the lot (about three years old, there with his mom) asked Andy if he could “have some of my toys”.
“Sure,” says Andy…”Go ahead.”
The little guy gathered a pile of toys, then when the auction got underway, a 20-year regular of Kaye’s, Karen, bought a couple of boxes, immediately donating them back to the family. Other bidders followed suit, till at the end of the sale mom and her little guy had a fair amount of their stuff back.
“I’ve been in this business a long time,” says Andy, “and I have to tell you, that was really something. The little guy’s mom certainly had tears in her eyes.”
Bet lots of people did.
via Winnipeg Sun
Today is the anniversary of the raising of the bell known as Big Ben to the top of the Westminster Tower.
Raising the bell 180 feet up the central shaft of the tower to the clock chamber took 18 hours, spread over two days. Eight men turned a giant windlass hauling a huge, purpose-built, 1,800-foot chain over huge drums. The chains lifted a timber cradle carrying the bell. Guide wheels that ran along restraining timbers within the tower kept the cradle from swinging back and forth…
Big Ben has tolled — and told — the hours for a century and a half, more or less, through peace and war, with very occasional interruptions for repairs, cleaning and a few weather-related malfunctions. The striking of the bell has been controlled by electric motor since 1912, but the clock itself is still hand-wound thrice weekly.
There is a lengthy compilation of newspaper articles from the time describing the manufacture, testing and moving of the bell at this link along with several pictures.