Posts Tagged ‘reading’
While we trace inventions that changed the world printing is considered as a turning point. Invention of fire was one; mariner’s compass was another.
Printing was momentous in its capacity to work out a sea change in transmitting thoughts of man,which however came at the cost of another. Mechanical types killed calligraphy. Gutenberg changed the labor intensive process of disseminating ideas of man. Earlier times the monks laboriously copied books. Owning a book was a luxury that only a few could afford. Fine calligraphy of the text on vellum and when illuminated made the text come alive; on the margin one may guess how the scribes alleviated the drudgery of copying, with fanciful creatures. These like cathedrals typified man’s offering to God the work of their hands that took their whole lives as well. There was art, faith and a singular dedication to glorify their maker.
Printing on the other hand made reading easily accessible to the masses. Penny dreadfuls and yellow journalism were waiting to be discovered.
Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with replaceable/moveable wooden or metal letters in 1436 (completed by 1440). This method of printing can be credited not only for a revolution in the production of books, but also for fostering rapid development in the sciences, arts and religion through the transmission of texts.
The earliest dated printed book known is the “Diamond Sutra”, printed in China in 868 CE. However, it is suspected that book printing may have occurred long before this date.
In 1041, movable clay type was first invented in China. Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith and businessman from the mining town of Mainz in southern Germany, borrowed money to invent a technology that changed the world of printing.
The Gutenberg press with its wooden and later metal movable type printing brought down the price of printed materials and made such materials available for the masses. It remained the standard until the 20th century. The Gutenberg printing press developed from the technology of the screw-type wine presses of the Rhine Valley. It was there in 1440 that Johannes Gutenberg created his printing press, a hand press, in which ink was rolled over the raised surfaces of moveable hand-set block letters held within a wooden form and the form was then pressed against a sheet of paper.
Johannes Gutenberg is also accredited with printing the world’s first book using movable type, the 42-line (the number of lines per page) Gutenberg Bible.
During the centuries, many newer printing technologies were developed based on Gutenberg’s printing machine e.g. offset printing.
Brief Biography – Johannes Gutenberg
Gutenberg was born between 1394 and 1400 and died in 1468.
In 1438, Gutenberg began a business arrangement with Andreas Dritzehn, who funded his experiments in printing. In 1450, Gutenberg began a second arrangement with German businessman Johannes Fust. Fust lent Gutenberg the money to start a printing business and build a large Gutenberg Press, their printing projects included the now famous Gutenberg Bible. On September 30, 1452, Johann Guttenberg’s Bible was published becoming the first book to be published in volume. (Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press/ about.com guide, Mary Bellis)
In 300,000 tests, the six baboons distinguished between real and fake words about three-out-of-four times, according to the study published in Thursday’s journal Science.
In finding the letters in words and the relations between these letters – they are capitalising on a pre-existing ability to identify everyday objects, which we share with non-human primates. Man learned to read in the Fertile golden Crescent in the Middle East some 5000 years ago and it is in evolutionary timescale,a bleep. It must be instinctive and is a specific area behind the left ear.
The baboons, however, are only spotting sequences of letters so they can get fed. They don’t actually understand what the words mean.
“The baboons use information about letters and the relations between letters in order to perform our task… This is based on a very basic ability to identify everyday objects in the environment,” Dr. John Grainger at the Aix-Marseille University told BBC Nature.
Researchers in France discovered our hairy genetic cousins can recognize hundreds of four-letter words on a computer screen, and they can tell a real word apart from a nonsense jumble of letters. The key is that these animals not only learned by trial and error which letter combinations were correct, but they also noticed which letters tend to go together to form real words, such as SH but not FX, said Grainger. So even when new words were sprung on them, they did a better job at figuring out which were real.
Trees can communicate with man. Only that it is in the way these convert into oxygen from the amount of carbon dioxide that we exhale. Non verbal, verbal chemical communications are part of interactive world of which we barely understand.
youth was when reading a book had all the excitement of going on a journey into the unknown; youth was when I knew I could handle the challenges ahead. But with old age I ask myself: should I be reading this merely because everyone else is reading it?
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
At a dinner party where Benjamin Franklin was one of the distinguished guests he was asked by Abbe Raynal thus,”What kind of man deserves the most pity?”
Franklin answered,”A lonesome man on a rainy day, who does not know how to read.”