Here’s the Darwin!

July 25, 2018 • 4:30 pm

by Greg Mayer

Darwin can be found atop the bookcase which is to the right of the bat poster, and to the left of the ‘curved’ bookcase. On the top row of the ‘curved’ bookcase, 27 books in, is Jerry’s Speciation, followed by two copies of Why Evolution Is True (the copy with the orange spine is the paperback edition). The hard one to find was Faith vs. Fact, since it is in a different section (“History and Philosophy of Science”; Jerry’s other books are in the “Evolution” section), and because the photo is a bit out of focus at the point where it is. It’s the fifth book from the right in the second row of books on the shelf at the left of the photo.

From door to window ledge, the office is 11 ft. The window ledge, which contains the heating/cooling system for the room, adds another 15 in. (The cooling system, by the way, has been pumping air at 9 C into my office all week, so that I’ve had to have a space heater on!) The width of the room is 9.5 ft. So, Michael Fisher, who calculated the room to be 10 ft X 9.5 ft, earns dimensional bragging rights!

And, to respond efficiently to a number of queries raised in the comments on the OP: The picture is indeed a copy of the Augustus John original of Feisal; both Jerry and I are fans of SPW. I do have the latest edition of Quattro Pro, and do use it; the visible box, of course, is for a much older edition– I guess I should recycle the box (I don’t think the floppy disks are recyclable). I do have thousands of Kodak slides. If anyone can recommend a good scanning solution (hardware/software/outsource), please let me know. I do not have Searching for Pekpek, but it looks interesting. There are a bit more than 1100 books in my office. The rib is fossil/subfossil, and I think it is probably of a bison.

10 thoughts on “Here’s the Darwin!

  1. Ten books to the left of Faith v. Fact is a paperback copy of Janet Browne’s Voyaging (1996). At the top of the spine is an image of CD.

  2. The easiest way to scan those slides is to take pictures of them with a good DSLR and good macro lens, and with a coupled slide copier attachment or the homemade equivalent. About 4 seconds per shot if they are dust-free (much longer if you have to clean dust). If you get good at it and the slides are clean you can do a thousand per hour.

  3. 1100 books – that looks about right, on an area basis. Very impressive, for a serious collection.

    My quick estimate of my study/junkroom came out at around 1500 (reached by counting a few feet of shelf and multiplying by total shelf space); though nothing like the same quality as Dr Mayer’s. There was a lot of sci-fi and spy novels mixed in with the serious stuff.


  4. There is a camera place that has been around since I was a little kid. They are still there and are very good. There might be options or devices to do it yourself but this place does have the service available.

    It is $1.50 for each slide or $0.75 if there are over 500 slides. They will scan them onto a CD unless you provide them with a flash drive that is 16GB or higher.

    They also still develop camera film for $15 per roll. I’m guessing that goes onto a CD.

    It’s Wholesale Photo & Digital Imaging in Midland Park, NJ. 201-444-0777.

    I’m sure there are places like this all over that provide the same services.

  5. Hi Greg,

    I CAN recommend a good slide scanning solution:

    The Epson V500 (now V600) perfection scanner does a GREAT job on slides. It has pure white through-transmission illumination.

    You can scan to 12,000 dpi (!!). At 6400 dpi, I see 9 pixels (3X3) for each grain of Kodachrome 64 slide film.

    The built in SW does a decent job. You can scan 4 slides at a go. Be sure to obtain a good static-free negative brush and brush each slide both sides and the lower glass for each scan. Brush the upper glass about every 30 scans or so.

    I find that a nice compromise (resolution vs. scanning speed) resolution is 2400 dpi. This yields a 35mm image of 1800 X 2700 pixels, which is 4.86 Mpixel. This is very good for almost any use, including printing up to 13 X 19 inches.

    I used this for several years to scan all my own slides and negatives (that I felt deserving of preservation) and all of my Dad’s slides. This was something like 15,000 scans and took a few years doing it very much part time.

    Here’s a scan example at 2400 (and dumbed-down for web posting):

    (Scanned Tri-X-Pan negative)

    (Scanned Kodachrome 64)

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