Monday, December 24, 2012

You Spin Me Right Round

Gramophone

There were many before and many after but Emile Berliner, born in 1851 in Hannover, invented the gramophone and the records that were played on it.

Gramophone

In 1877 Thomas Edison invented a tin-foil phonograph. The phonograph played sounds that were recorded onto cylinders. The quality was bad and the cylinders only lasted one play.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crumpets and Curd

Crumpet
A crumpet is a thick, flat, savory cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered. Crumpets are generally circular, roughly 7 cm in diameter and roughly 2 cm thick. Their shape comes from being restrained in the pan/griddle by a shallow ring. 

Crumpets and Curd

Typically served with tea, a traditional crumpet is served warm with some butter or jam. The small holes found on the top of the crumpet fill up with the jam and give a little pocket of flavour.

Crumpets and Curd

Crumpeting
A British public school tradition generally practised by the upper classes, in which a crumpet is super-heated, covered in butter, and thrust between the buttocks of a chosen schoolboy. Often used as an initiation ritual. The crumpetee is expected to clench the hot crumpet between their buttocks as the butter runs down their backside, burning them. Should they allow the crumpet to fall, a greater punishment is often chosen. Source: Urban Dictionary
"Ah, true, true. When I was at school, education could go hang as long as a boy could hit a six, sing the school song very loud, and take a hot crumpet from behind without blubbing." Blackadder Goes Fourth, Episode One, Captain Cook
Crumpets and Curd

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do you know there's a piano on my foot?

Grand Piano
Most pianos have 88 keys and between 216 and 250 strings
As Time Goes By
On December 14th, on the 70th anniversary of the premiere of Casablanca, the piano played by Dooley Wilson went under the hammer at Sotheby's in New York. The 58-key piano was used to perform the classic "As Time Goes By", which is a shade of yellow and green, had a pre-sale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2m. In the end it sold for $602,500 to an unnamed buyer.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Down by the Water

Around Leipzig
Blue is scattered more than other colours because it travels as shorter, smaller waves.
This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.

Around Leipzig
As the Sun sets, its light is passing through more of the atmosphere. Even more of the
blue light is scattered, allowing the reds and yellows to pass straight through to your eyes.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Trams of Leipzig

The first trams in Leipzig opened on the 18th May 1872 and were horse-drawn. In 1881 the network was extended due to its popularity with the residents of Leipzig. The next change for the tram system was the introduction of electricity. The Leipziger Elektrische Straßenbahn opened in 1896, with two companies competing against each other, one running Red trams and the other Blue. Within just eighteen months the whole horse-drawn tram network was converted to overhead electric traction. Today, Leipzig's tram network is one of the biggest in Germany, the second biggest after Berlin. In 2011 there were thirteen different routes and the routes spanned 218km. 

Tram Works