Another purchase at Cal’s Books and Wares was this carte de visite photograph of a little girl:

Hattie A


A common pose in a nice new looking dress. The back of the card indicates that I paid 25cents for it. But there was another card with text on the back that changed the meaning of it all:

Hattie B


May, 1883—130 years ago.


Early Photo Criticism

Thirty or so years ago I used to frequent a terrific antique/collectibles shop on SW 2nd Avenue (I think) called Cal’s Books and Wares. For a few years, sparked by what I found there, I collected several hundred photo postcards—actual photographs printed photographically as postcards dating from about 1905-1920.

Usually they were blank on the address side, or maybe they had been mailed and sent, but just with a few words of hello.

But here’s an exception that I really like because it is an early (c.1910) example of photography criticism (and an example of how we all do art criticism from time to time):

Photo Crit x2Dear Cousin:- I am up home now and Daisy took my picture. She says it looks just like me. But my hair is punched up on one side and my hand is shaded so it looks just like a claw. Then I look so sad and Jewish, but I look Jewish anyway. I’m a great big girl now and I don’t expect you would know me. I’m big enough so if I pass the teachers exam in the spring I am going to teach school next year.

What did you get for Christmas? I got a whole lot of nice things among which was just a dandy emerald set ring.

Daisy is just doing things with her camera. If you were here I just know she would take your picture.


The Virgule and the Slash

In the last few days, listening to the radio, I’ve heard ads where the web address includes “forward slash” or “backslash.” Neither of these specifications is necessary and one of them is wrong.

Ok, that bugs me. All you need is “slash.”

A “slash” is:  /

A “forward slash” is:  /

A “backslash” is:  \

If you actually put backslashes in the web address it won’t work (unless, as with Google Chrome, it triggers a search function that corrects the address—I tried it with Chrome, Firefox and Safari).

The fancy generic name for the slash is “virgule.” But not when you are talking about a web address.

There’s a looong fascinating article on Wikipedia about the “slash.” Learn things like: A slash denotes a spare, knocking down all ten pins in two throws, when scoring ten-pin bowling, and duckpin bowling.


and then you can go on to…


Feynman slash notation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the study of Dirac fields in quantum field theoryRichard Feynman invented the convenient Feynman slash notation (less commonly known as the Dirac slash notation[1]). If Ais a covariant vector (i.e., a 1-form),
A\!\!\!/\ \stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}\  \gamma^\mu A_\mu

using the Einstein summation notation where γ are the gamma matrices.


BTW, if you haven’t read  Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! get it for summer reading.