Duncan Phyfe

adapted from Columbia Encyclopedia:

circa 1768–1854, American cabinetmaker, born in Scotland.
He emigrated to America c.1783, settling at Albany, N.Y., where he was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker. In the early 1790s he established a shop in New York City for the production of furniture; after several moves he finally settled in Partition St. (later changed to Fulton St.), employing over a hundred craftsmen.
He made chairs, sofas or settees, tables, and sideboards, using in great part solid mahogany but also some mahogany veneer, satinwood and maple, and, in later years, rosewood. During his most productive period (until 1820) he was influenced by, and adapted the forms of, the Adam brothers, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton and characteristics of the French Directoire and Consulate styles. Later, his designs followed the Empire style, becoming in his final period heavily ornamented.
Phyfe employed in general the highest standards, applied under supervision to carefully selected woods. His first designs are characterized by excellent proportions, graceful curves often accentuated by parallel rows of reeding, simple ornaments well placed and carved with precision, and decorative motifs such as the lyre, the acanthus or oak leaf, and the drapery swag. Although much furniture termed Phyfe may not have been produced in his workshop, his designs were the nucleus of the Duncan Phyfe style.

Duncan Phyfe style (1795-1848)
Appearance : Graceful and refined.
Chair Arms : Arms slope down to meet posts from seat.
Chair Back Material : Upholstered, Wood
Chair Back Shape : Crossbar - X-shaped splat, Crosspiece - single flat vertical slat, Lyre - lyre-shaped central splat, Scroll - curved X-shaped splat.
Chair Leg : Curule - X-shaped curved legs, Splayed - legs with a concave shape, Straight, Tapered
Chair Seat Material : Cane, Upholstered
Chair Seat Shape : Horseshoe with a rounded or serpentine front, Square.
Drawer Pull : Oval back plate with conforming handle of stamped brass, Mushroom-shaped brass knob, Mushroom-shaped glass knob, Lion's head with pull ring attached through mouth, usually in brass, Loop bail handle without a back plate.
Fabric : Brocade, Damask, Hair cloth, Needlepoint, Satin
Finish : Oil varnish
Foot : Continuation of leg, Paw or claw - animal paw or claw, carved or in brass, Knob - Small, round turned ball.
Hardware Material : Brass, Glass.
Joint : Dovetail
Line : Gently curving lines, Straight lines
Motif: Acanthus Leaf, Arrows, Circle, Drapery swap, Lyre, Plume
Ornamentation : Carving - cutting or chipping shapes or design, Fluting - carved or molded vertical channels, Fretwork - decorative carving or openwork with interlacing lines, Gilding, Inlay
Proportion : Graceful and delicate
Resembles : Chippendale, Empire, Federal, Hepplewhite, Sheraton
Underbracing : Limited usage.
Upholstery : Most seating pieces are upholstered.
Wood : Black walnut, Cherry, Fruitwood, Maple.


Yorkshire Pudding

Scottish family recipe.

half cup + 2 tablespoons of flour
half teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk

MIX ... POUR into well-oiled pan (hint: use meat grease!) ... let SIT for half an hour ... BAKE at 450 ºF until BROWN


Monkey Great Sage Equal to Heaven

from Wu Ch’eng-en, ca. 1500 - ca. 1582, based on ancient Chinese folklore, and translated by Arthur Waley

King of the Mountain of Flowers & Fruit, Disciple Aware of Vacuity, Great Sage, Equal to Heaven; having been made King of the Monkeys for his brave curiosity; having been taught the way of immortality and flight, as well as the trick of the Earthly Conclusion, which involves seventy-two kinds of transformation; having demanded favours of the Dragons of Four Seas, and thus acquiring splendid armour and the iron cudgel of the ancients, once used to pound the Milky Way flat; having cleverly acquired the position of Peach Gardener of Heaven and subsequently failing his duties thereof and ruining the Peach Banquet of the Queen of Heaven; having stolen elixir from and insulted Lao Tzu, Supreme Patriarch of Tao; finally came face to face with Buddha, before whom he demanded offering of the seat of the Jade Emperor of Heaven.

“He may have begun young,” said Monkey, “but that is no reason why he should keep the throne forever. There is a proverb that says, ‘This year, the Jade Emperor’s turn; next year, mine.’”
Monkey had a knack for improvised proverbs.
“I’ll wager with you,” said Buddha. “If you are really so clever, jump off the palm of my right hand. If you succeed, I’ll tell the Jade Emperor to come and live with me in the Western Paradise, and you shall have his throne without more ado. But if you fail, you shall go back to earth and do penance there for many a kalpa before you come to me again with your talk.”

“This Buddha,” Monkey thought to himself, “is a perfect fool. I can jump a hundred and eight thousand leagues, while his palm cannot be as much as eight inches across. How could I fail to jump clear of it?” “You’re sure you are in a position to do this for me?” he asked.
“Of course I am,” said Buddha.

Monkey took a flying leap and zoomed so fast he became invisible. And he came to a stop in the middle of the air when he came to five giant pink pillars. He figured this to be the very End of the World, and therefore could jump no further. He just about turned around to jump back and collect on his wager when he realized he should leave record of his accomplishment, so he pulled some hairs from behind his shoulder and chewed them up and spat them out and yelled, “Change!” The hairs became a writing brush charged with heavy ink, with which Monkey wrote at the base of the center pillar, The Great Sage Equal to Heaven reached this place. And for added disrespect, he relieved nature at the base of the first pillar, and somersaulted back to where he had come from.

Standing on the Buddha’s palm, he said, “Well, I’ve gone and come back. You can go and tell the Jade Emperor to hand over the Palaces of Heaven.”
“You stinking ape,” said Buddha, “you’ve been on the palm of my hand all the time.”
Monkey resisted. He explained that he had jumped clear to the End of the World; and, on top of that, he had left a record, and he politely invited the Buddha to join him and go see for himself. The Buddha assured Monkey there was no need. “Just look down.” Monkey looked down at the Buddha’s middle finger and saw, written there, in heavy black ink, The Great Sage Equal to Heaven reached this place. And from the fork between Buddha’s thumb and forefinger, came the rank stench of nasty monkey urine.


Pause Enters Flutter and Wow

On Sound Recorded to Magnetic Tape

FLUTTER: short speed variation creates garbled sound

WOW: low frequency speed variation creates wavering pitch, especially in sustained tones


7.83 HERTZ

Base Resonance of the Earth