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Faking the Rough Draft

(And thanks to archangelbeth for the analogy!)

Art derives from artifice and is inherently artificial. I may want to produce gorgeous authentic journal pages in my sketchbook, but I can't. So I scan the weird little doodles and frantic blatherings in the sketchbook and produce them on the computer, because I grew up on the computer, goddamnit.

And they come out looking like this.


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Sergei, how brave of you to stand guard over your human's gear! What a fantastic cat!

-- oh, sorry; got sidetracked. ANYWAY. Loved the journal (especially the chicken.) And don't worry about catching rabies from a toilet seat; after you've survived dysentery, rabies'll be a snap! JUST KIDDING, I PROMISE.

Speaking of toilet seats, did you see the news article about the Roman one that was found a while back at Hadrian's Wall? I'm thinking that I'd prefer a hole-and-trench toilet over an unpainted wooden plank, me; but after experiencing Japanese toilets, most of the rest seem pretty much the equivalent of planks anyway.

That's a fascinating article. The facilities at canoe campsites along the Delaware river are just wooden toilet seats on a wooden box over a hole in ground. At this point I can't recall if they were varnished or not, though I think not (they were NOT splintery, though!)

In my experience, pit latrines aren't bad if you're used to them, but if you're in pain and need to stay a while, it's really nice to be able to sit down. (Though perhaps someone more accustomed to crouching would be comparably comfortable.)

**nods** Some designs are just universal (though I'm extremely glad that we've updated TP from a sponge on a stick to, well, TP.)

I do medieval reenactment as a hobby and specialize in fabrics and fibers, and one of my favorite things to do when we're putting on demonstrations of medieval crafts for schoolkids is to explain the life-cycle of clothing back then: from a new garment to a hand-me-down to a cut-up garment used to mend or ornament other clothes, and then when it's too worn to be useful anymore to strips of fabric in a jar by the privy or garderobe. Many an archaeologist has rejoiced to find lots of lovely anaerobically-preserved wool samples at the bottom of some medieval manor's outhouse. The explanation never fails to get giggles from the kids, and it's a practical example of a non-throwaway useage.

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