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The Truth is stranger than fiction

Helm Lardar

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At this point in time, I'm studying history at university. Yay! History is great, and often it's really great because, well, it's like a fantasy novel, but (a) real and (b) much more fleshed out. I was just reading a journal article on porcelain, and this popped out:

 

Bottger and his associates arguably formed the first research and

development enterprise in history, driven by visions of enormous profit

and haunted by fears of industrial espionage. After considerable labor,

Bottger produced his first piece of porcelain in January 1708, and a

year later, Augustus opened the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory at

Meissen, northeast of Dresden.128 But despite draconian methods of

guarding against spies and betrayal, such as imprisoning his own crafts

men, Augustus failed to keep the secret of porcelain manufacture,

known as the arcanum, for himself. Within a few years workers and

"arcanists" escaped from Meissen and peddled the precious informa

tion to other European princes. Problems in constructing high-firing

kilns and in locating sources of kaolin delayed Meissen's rivals, but in a

few decades porcelain manufactories dotted the map of Europe. In the

mid-eighteenth century Duke Karl Eugen of Wurttemberg expressed a

commonplace in declaring that a porcelain factory was "an indispens

 

Robert Finlay, 'The Pilgrim Art: the Culture of Porcelain in World History

 

Also, sorry I didn't pop into the Canting festival thing. I didn't realise when it was when I should have done, and it would have been nice to see you all, so yeah. I've quit runescape generally, but sorry about that. Oh, and I quit that because it was (a) too expensive for what I got, especially compared to the value from one-time game purchases such as FTL or Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, or even free games like Space Station 13 and Dwarf Fortress, (b) very grindy, but you guys know that, and © had very little new content I was actually interested in: notably, a massive lack of quests -I had 1 quest to go when I quit-, and all the fancy stuff was for higher levels than me.



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