Chester Floyd Carlson (February 8, 1906 – September 19, 1968) was an American physicist, inventor, and patent attorney born in Seattle, Washington.
He is best known for inventing electrophotography, the process performed today by millions of photocopiers worldwide. Carlson's process produced a dry copy, as contrasted with the wet copies then produced by the mimeograph process. Carlson's process was renamed xerography, a term that means "dry writing."
- "Chester Carlson – Inventor of Xerography" | 2017-07-02 | 23 Upvotes 3 Comments
Hitsuzendō (筆禅道, "way of Zen through brush") is believed by Zen Buddhists to be a method of achieving samādhi (Japanese: 三昧 sanmai), which is a unification with the highest reality. Hitsuzendo refers specifically to a school of Japanese Zen calligraphy to which the rating system of modern calligraphy (well-proportioned and pleasing to the eye) is foreign. Instead, the calligraphy of Hitsuzendo must breathe with the vitality of eternal experience.
- "Hitsuzendō" | 2019-07-22 | 22 Upvotes 9 Comments
Kongō Gumi Co., Ltd. (株式会社金剛組, Kabushiki Gaisha Kongō Gumi) is a Japanese construction company which was the world's oldest continuously ongoing independent company, operating for over 1,400 years. In January 2006, it became a subsidiary of Takamatsu.
- "The oldest, continuously running, independent business in the world?" | 2010-06-15 | 83 Upvotes 33 Comments
Loulan, also called Krorän or Kroraina (simplified Chinese: 楼兰; traditional Chinese: 樓蘭; pinyin: Lóulán; Uyghur: كروران, Кроран, ULY: Kroran) was an ancient kingdom based around an important oasis city along the Silk Road already known in the 2nd century BCE on the northeastern edge of the Lop Desert. The term Loulan is the Chinese transcription of the native name Krorän and is used to refer to the city near Lop Nur as well as the kingdom.
The kingdom was renamed Shanshan (鄯善) after its king was assassinated by an envoy of the Han dynasty in 77 BCE; however, the town at the northwestern corner of the brackish desert lake Lop Nur retained the name of Loulan. The kingdom included at various times settlements such as Niya, Charklik, Miran, and Qiemo. It was intermittently under Chinese control from the early Han dynasty onward until its abandonment centuries later. The ruins of Loulan are near the now-desiccated Lop Nur in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, and they are now completely surrounded by desert.
- "Loulan Kingdom" | 2017-10-17 | 44 Upvotes 8 Comments
The Buddhist games list is a list of games that Gautama Buddha is reputed to have said that he would not play and that his disciples should likewise not play, because he believed them to be a 'cause for negligence'. This list dates from the 6th or 5th century BCE and is the earliest known list of games.
There is some debate about the translation of some of the games mentioned, and the list given here is based on the translation by T. W. Rhys Davids of the Brahmajāla Sutta and is in the same order given in the original. The list is duplicated in a number of other early Buddhist texts, including the Vinaya Pitaka.
- Games on boards with 8 or 10 rows. This is thought to refer to ashtapada and dasapada respectively, but later Sinhala commentaries refer to these boards also being used with games involving dice.
- The same games played on imaginary boards. Akasam astapadam was an ashtapada variant played with no board, literally "astapadam played in the sky". A correspondent in the American Chess Bulletin identifies this as likely the earliest literary mention of a blindfold chess variant.
- Games of marking diagrams on the floor such that the player can only walk on certain places. This is described in the Vinaya Pitaka as "having drawn a circle with various lines on the ground, there they play avoiding the line to be avoided". Rhys Davids suggests that it may refer to parihāra-patham, a form of hop-scotch.
- Games where players either remove pieces from a pile or add pieces to it, with the loser being the one who causes the heap to shake (similar to the modern game pick-up sticks).
- Games of throwing dice.
- "Dipping the hand with the fingers stretched out in lac, or red dye, or flour-water, and striking the wet hand on the ground or on a wall, calling out 'What shall it be?' and showing the form required—elephants, horses, &c."
- Ball games.
- Blowing through a pat-kulal, a toy pipe made of leaves.
- Ploughing with a toy plough.
- Playing with toy windmills made from palm leaves.
- Playing with toy measures made from palm leaves.
- Playing with toy carts.
- Playing with toy bows.
- Guessing at letters traced with the finger in the air or on a friend's back.
- Guessing a friend's thoughts.
- Imitating deformities.
Although the modern game of chess had not been invented at the time the list was made, earlier chess-like games such as chaturaji may have existed. H.J.R. Murray refers to Rhys Davids' 1899 translation, noting that the 8×8 board game is most likely ashtapada while the 10×10 game is dasapada. He states that both are race games.
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of Vairocana Buddha and Gautama Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley of central Afghanistan, 130 kilometres (81 mi) northwest of Kabul at an elevation of 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). Carbon dating of the structural components of the Buddhas has determined that the smaller 38 m (125 ft) "Eastern Buddha" was built around 570 AD, and the larger 55 m (180 ft) "Western Buddha" was built around 618 AD.
The statues represented a later evolution of the classic blended style of Gandhara art. The statues consisted of the male Salsal ("light shines through the universe") and the (smaller) female Shamama ("Queen Mother"), as they were called by the locals. The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco. This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands, and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors. The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix supported on wooden armatures. It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts. The rows of holes that can be seen in photographs held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.
The Buddhas are surrounded by numerous caves and surfaces decorated with paintings. It is thought that the period of florescence was from the 6th to 8th century AD, until the onset of Islamic invasions. These works of art are considered as an artistic synthesis of Buddhist art and Gupta art from India, with influences from the Sasanian Empire and the Byzantine Empire, as well as the country of Tokharistan.
The statues were blown up and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were idols. International and local opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas. Some Taliban sources credited Omar's decision to blow up the Buddha statues to the growing influence of Osama bin Laden.