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Series R

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1350827.  Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:36 pm Reply with quote

An observation:

I've been looking at the flag in the background (in the middle of this screen shot) and wondered whether it was meant to be the Danish flag. The cross is yellow, isn't it? It's not my screen?

I do happen to know what the red-and-yellow flag is, I'm just wondering why it was chosen...

1350831.  Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:03 pm Reply with quote

The one thing that everyone knows about Scandinavian flags is that the Nordisk kors is off-centre.

I think the Teutonic Knights were the first to draw a flag in that way in the C13, although I don't know what the off-centre-ness is intended to symbolise. It might suggest "leaning to the left", and well Scandinavia does - but the Teutonic Knights didn't, so it's probably not that.

But the flag shown there is the international signal flag for the letter R. I imagine that was the point.

1350834.  Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:54 pm Reply with quote

Well, duh!

I was rather thinking of the flag of a next-door neighbour region, but shortened or viewed at a skewed angle.

In my defence, I spent most of my holidays there as a child.

1351515.  Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:33 pm Reply with quote

Well, here we are, fresh from watching yesterdays lockdown series R.
Husband asked what the strange half-Danish half-Swedish flag was (he is obviously not au fait with the regional flags of southern Sweden)...

And, as it turns out, he's just as clueless as I was about the international signal flags.

Minor quibble: someone (I think it was Holly Walsh) said that the white appearance of old chocolate was due to the fat. It isn't. It's the sugar.

1352088.  Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:15 pm Reply with quote

Lovely to hear violins mentioned, and a Del Gesu been played, but of course I must quibble. Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri didn't use his first name, but signed his labels Joseph, as had his father. That's why he's referred to as "Del Gesu", as he distinguished himself among his family of violin makers by adding IHS in place of honouring his family's patron saint on those labels. He was not the grandson of an apprentice of Stradivari, but the grandson of someone trained by Niccolo Amati, who also eventually trained Stradivari. He was Stradivari's contemporary, though a lot younger.

As to the blind taste test, it's been done several times, but always in small rooms. The real difference between the Cremonese makers' instruments and later copies is never clear until you're in a performance space and can hear how the sound carries. It's a combination of bass response and overtone reproduction, which the vast majority of copies don't do nearly as well.

It's not just recent tests that make this mistake. Simone Sacconi, famous restorer, tells of a nameless top cellist who decided while preparing for a Carnegie Hall recital that his 19th century copy was more powerful than his Strad, and visitors to his hotel room had agreed, so he'd perform with the copy. A scandalized Sacconi hastily arranged an experiment in the recital hall where the cellist would play both in turn and a small audience of friends would judge. Not even close; the Strad could carry, the copy could not. Disaster averted.

1352143.  Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:29 pm Reply with quote

Thanks randalende - that's really interesting. Do you have a source for some of that info? If we end up doing something about Stradivari for the S series that would be useful to have.

1352265.  Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:18 pm Reply with quote

The Sacconi story is in The "Secrets" of Stradivari, p.106. Claudia Fritz's 2012 study, set up in a hotel room, was I now read reproduced twice in concert spaces more recently, with similar results. But they only tested 6 violins. A documentary "Secrets of the Violin" for ZDR/Arte in 2013 features a casual blind test of 5 violins in which the moderns were eliminated early and a Guarneri came out on top, with a Stradivari chosen second. I remember seeing another documentary in which a panel of 5 failed to identify a single Stradivari from a small group of instruments. These are all limited tests.
I've studied luthierie and became aware of the research of William "Jack" Fry, described in Cremona Violins: a Physicist's Quest for the Secrets of Stradivari by K. C. Wali. There's a video demonstration on Youtube, and there was a Nova documentary on his work "The Great Violin Mystery" in 1981. Most makers treat all this with skepticism, but that's partly where I get my understanding of the problem.

1352313.  Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:29 am Reply with quote

Thank you - that's great. I guess we have S for Stradivar and S for sounds, so that's a couple of links for the S series. However, we really haven't started research for that yet so I'll just make a mental note of this for future reference.

1352922.  Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:33 am Reply with quote

Dix wrote:
Minor quibble: someone (I think it was Holly Walsh) said that the white appearance of old chocolate was due to the fat. It isn't. It's the sugar.

Minor quibble to the minor quibble;

Due to my diabetes, I have discovered a range of "sugar free" biscuits, amongst which is a "chocolate" digestive. I have noticed that the "chocolate" on these goes white almost overnight, once the packet is opened. If they are, as claimed, sugar free, what is it that is going white then?

1352925.  Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:19 am Reply with quote

There are two reasons why you get a chocolate bloom (turning white).

If the chocolate comes into contact with even a small amount of moisture then the bloom is likely to come from the sugar crystals in the chocolate.

If the chocolate is stored somewhere where there's been a significant change in temperature, then the bloom is likely to come from the fat, some of which will have broken down and separated. Usually the chocolate will have become softer as well because of this separation.

1353302.  Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:17 pm Reply with quote

In respect of 'non-brewed condiment', a devout Muslim ex-colleague of mine pointed out a few years ago that vinegar is not Halal - it's brewed, whereas non-brewed condiment is not. His preferred option on chips was 'pea-wet'.

1353390.  Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:52 am Reply with quote

That had never occurred to me before but it's interesting! Welcome to the forums, Axaman :-)

1353414.  Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:11 am Reply with quote

It turns out that there has been quite a lot of debate among Muslims about vinegar, and there are multiple ahadith which cover the subject.

The consensus seems to be that a Muslim must not buy wine with the intention of converting it to vinegar, and that he must not use vinegar which has been made deliberately by an industrial process. But if someone else's wine has been allowed to turn naturally to vinegar, it's probably OK for a Muslim to use that vinegar.


1353442.  Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:21 pm Reply with quote

Don't forget that not all vinegar will be kosher either, because of kashrut laws regarding wine.

1353450.  Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:08 pm Reply with quote

I've heard of "kosher wine", and I have a feeling I've actually drunk some. Isn't it horrendously sweet? (For my liking, anyway. My first choice alcoholic beverage has always been beer, but when I do drink wine it needs to be somewhere between dry and very dry.)

Does it actually differ from "normal" wine in any way beyond being made by observant Jewish people?


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