The Cockroach Report Re: Autoclaving gum and gelatin

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 02/09/05-06:23:20 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Tue, 8 Feb 2005, Katharine Thayer wrote:

> ... I'm utterly and decidedly fed up with people who know
> nothing at all about gum printing telling gum printers how gum printing
> works, based on theory that may or may not be applicable to the case in
> question.

What's the matter Katharine, you have something against "expertise"?

> A while back Sandy was going on about his disgust at people who chime in
> on a thread whether they know anything about it or not; I must say I am
> in complete agreement with him on this.

I think it's the *tone* of the chiming in -- not just the "expertise" from
left field or from a course with Meyer Schapiro in 1978. The only cure
may be to land on them with hobnail boots -- tho that could discourage
useful questions.

> ... I just heat the
> gelatin enough to dissolve completely and to stay melted while brushing
> on, which doesn't have to be over 120F, and it works fine. If it does
> get too hot, it results in a characteristic speckling pattern, as Judy
> said, and as I and others have also observed.

Thank you.

> ... I'm not arguing that the gelatin
> loses its ability to gel, or that it otherwise "breaks down," only that
> something happens to its ability to provide an adequate size for gum. I
> won't say what that is, because I don't know, but it doesn't really
> matter what causes it physically or chemically, the fact is that this is
> what happens, at least in my shop. But what the heck, the guy should
> just autoclave his gelatin and try using it for a sizing for gum, and
> see what happens; the more information the better.

Points well taken -- except, it occurs to me that the question the fellow
asked was about autoclaving to sterilize for preserving. THAT was never
answered, being entirely lost when a real target (moi) appeared. (I read
something recently about the pioneers being the ones with the most arrows
in their back -- dunno if that goes for cockroaches though.)

> As I said, it's been my observation that when the gelatin is overheated,
> the sizing fails and results in speckling. That observation isn't
> altered by all the arguing and bloviating about gelatin and its
> different states and the ability to make calves foot jelly by boiling
> calves feet. All those things are no doubt true, but still, if you get
> the gelatin too hot, the resulting size will give you speckling in your
> gum print....

So far, however, you seem to have escaped this bullet: Nobody is telling
you to do more tests and find out the REAL cause, you ninny.

> hoot the observations out of existence simply
> because they are inconsistent with some theory of how gelatin behaves,
> is itself inconsistent with being a scientist.

But even theories of "how gelatin behaves" are abused. Rather, theories of
gelatin behavior, given a leap and a twist, are pasted into the vicinity
of my examples. Suddenly even boiling or scalding with water is
irrelevant. What's the theory for that?

> As to the ruckus below about Judy's inconsistency, it makes no sense to
> me. The way I read it, Judy was saying that this speckling had never
> occurred before the incidents of overheating; in other words, that the
> only cause for this speckling she could see was the overheating of the
> gelatin. This seems a reasonable inference to me, since she saw it more
> than once.

Exactly. My thanking Ryuji was Cockroach Facetious. I was in fact noting
his lack of reading comprehension and writing clarity, not to mention his
re-invention of my statements. (Cockroaches are pretty consistent anyway.)
Now he writes:

>> ... I requested you to explain your statement that heating gelatin
>> above 140F "breaking down" the gelatin never happened before. After a
>> couple of months, all of sudden, gelatin heated above 140F now "breaks
>> down" and you argue you gained this knowledge through 14 years of
>> teaching experience. How convenient.

Even ignoring the tone of derision -- what does it mean? What does he
THINK it means? Does he REALLY think that's what I said? Does it merit a
reply? (Answers: who knows?, who knows?, no, and no.)

> It seems to me also that the derision is selective as to whom it's
> directed at; other gum printers make sweeping statements from much less
> evidence all the time, without being treated to this kind of insulting
> condescension and derision.

But the "others" may not be female. Or if female, not Uppity Female. (Or,
dare I say, not so often right?) As I have mentioned a time or two,
that's a whole other country. There's been a fair lot about it in the
press lately, BTW. Did I cite an example in the Times after Lawrence
Summers' booboo about women in science -- or was that just to someone
offlist? (They should read this list -- they could stop using graduate
students for guinea pigs.)

I read a lovely one today, by Margaret Carlson, from the LA Times &
Washington Post, Jan. 28 '05, titled "Boxer's Spine gets Her Cut Off at
the Knees." If folks ask, I'll copy it and send to them OFFLIST, within
the next few days. I found it very apt -- though red staters might not.

> Now, if someone could help me figure out where the light leak in my new
> pinhole camera is coming from, which has been making me tear my hair out
> for two days, I'd be in business.

Could it possibly be reflection from glossy paper as negative? I knew
someone who had that.

Whether or not, thanks again.

Received on Wed Feb 9 18:23:43 2005

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