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Everything posted by Alan_Coggins

  1. This message was recently posted on Neil's Facebook page by his family: Neil's family would very much like to thank you all for the kind and thoughtful words that help support us during such a difficult time. We would love for you to join us on Saturday 15th October 10:30 at St. Mary's Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AW for a service of remembrance and celebration of his life. Thank you, it would be great if you could make it.
  2. Thanks for the update Bruce - we would like to have heard John's tribute. Neil was indeed a fine person.
  3. We are in shock at this news. Adele went through Newark with Neil and they remained very good friends and stayed in touch - as often as you can when you live on opposite sides of the world. We visited Neil in Germany when he was working with Roger, and saw him last in Cambridge, before his move to Edinburgh. Neil was our 'Google' for violin making. Well, better than Google really, because he'd already filtered out all the junk and just gave you the good stuff. I'd send him a question via email - just a few sentences - and get several pages back in reply. Adele would phone him to ask about something and it would end up a one-hour Skype session (with lots of gossip about family and friends mixed in among the violin making). Neil was incredibly knowledgeable about violin making, and incredibly generous with his knowledge. And you always got the impression there was no "secret stuff". He was more than happy to share everything he knew... even with his varnishing. He was a huge help to us in developing our own approach to varnish. You'd think with his experience and expertise that he could have got a little full of himself. A large part of violin making success for many people seems to come from blowing their own trumpet. Not Neil... he was the most unassuming, modest and gentle maker that I have ever come across. I'll remember him as a lovely, generous man who was passionate about violin making and always wanted to learn more about it, and share what he had found. His other great passion was his family - it must be a devastating time for them and we send our condolences. We certainly share in some small way their pain and grief. Oh Neil. Too young. Way too young. We're going to miss you mate.
  4. Have you done any testing on scraps of wood? I'm always surprised by the way people spend all this time and effort on doing their woodwork, then want to start experimenting with their varnishing process on it. It all depends on what you are wanting to achieve, but it's a good idea to work this out on something unimportant first.
  5. Shouldn't that be "pore" ... or do you do something to your legal records with some unspecified fluid? (Maybe it's a technique you've developed to stop the IRS from taking a closer look?)
  6. Yes, I've heard he's really been celebrating the win in a big way...
  7. Maybe no touchdowns but plenty of players having a liedown. :-) I think Robben will get the acting award for this World Cup.. even Google agrees. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2118258-google-doodle-mocks-arjen-robben-dive-during-netherlands-vs-mexico
  8. Bad luck to the US... just beaten by Belgium. What an exciting finish though. The US had their chances but couldn't capitalise (well, apart from one fantastic shot by Green).
  9. Don't forget Tim Cahill's goal against Netherlands. Australia may have been knocked out, but at least we gave you one of the best goals of the tournament. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYcoiy14TQo
  10. Hmm. that's an interesting list. No surprise to see who is at the top. Maybe they should add another column for "Bites" to that table.
  11. Yes.. interesting group indeed and the US could well go on to the next round and further diminish productivity in workshops and fill pubs to overflowing around the country. Not likely to happen in Australia though... we weren't quite as lucky. We are one of the lowest ranked teams and we managed to draw Chile (...beat us 3-1), Spain (...current No.1 team) and Netherlands (...just beat Spain 5-1) in our group. I suspect we'll be having a brief World Cup appearance this time. :-(
  12. Yes, I agree... one thing I really have no time for is a pintless debate.
  13. Sorry Jacob, now I'm a little unsure... would you prefer that in future I give you the finger?
  14. Wow... when I wrote my article in The Strad back in 2007 I said: "Although ...blind listening tests of violins and cellos are carried out with some regularity, their progress invariably follows a well-trodden and predictable course. The trial compares new against old, ideally including some famous and highly priced classical instruments (the inclusion of a Strad will usually mean mainstream media coverage). The results show that new instruments stand up very well and often outscore their older, more expensive counterparts. The test is then discredited and dismissed as meaningless by the experts." How many more ways can we come up with for discrediting the results? Now it seems we have some ability called "timbre memory" that needs to be considered. Seven years on and nothing much has changed.
  15. Hey Jeffrey, it's pretty rare that I get a chance to correct you so I'd better take this opportunity. I think you'll find that Mary Poppins was "practically perfect in every way"... and I do also think you come close. Like you, I was half watching that discussion and I didn't think it needed moderating. Silly and repetitive and illogical for sure, but not overly abusive.
  16. Thanks Craig. It's always nice to hear a good news story about the positive side of the internet and Maestronet! Don't forget that if you ever feel like visiting Australia we'd give you the same welcome.
  17. No John, in empirical sciences not even sometimes. This is what Karl Popper wrote: "First, although in science we do our best to find the truth, we are conscious of the fact that we can never be sure whether we have got it. We have learned in the past, from many disappointments, that we must not expect finality. .... This view means furthermore, that we have no proofs in science (excepting, of course, pure mathematics and logic). In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, proofs do not occur, if we mean by 'proof' an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory."
  18. Just got this week's New Scientist and there's a piece about it in there as well.
  19. It might be worth pointing out that there will never be a "proof". Scientists don't "prove" stuff. As you say, this is a nice study and, taken with the results of a lot of other similar studies, it is leading us towards some tentative conclusions.
  20. I never met her in person but had a lot to do with her over the years. Always enjoyed our email contacts, and she certainly has a great sense of humour! There's been some talk about Strad's secrets lately but I'm wondering if David ever managed to get any of Ariane's hair-care secrets?
  21. I'm intrigued by this statement Carlo. Do you really mean "conservation" or did you mean "misguided attempts at restoration". I think there's a difference. I love my books and I've recently discovered that plastic sleeving you buy in rolls to protect the covers (libraries use it a lot). I hope your grandma approves of that stuff because I've been happily covering all my favourites with it.
  22. Hi David, Yes, that primer is aimed more at digital colour management, so I guess the old makers weren't too concerned with that subject. :-) But I thought it was a very nicely and clearly written overview of the topic. I assume that the need for an accurate way to describe and transmit colour information probably came from commercial necessities and globalisation, maybe led by the fashion industry? If you are having stuff made at a distance, you need to be able to specify colours somehow.
  23. I think I've posted this before on this forum but if you want to understand color, this is the best thing I've ever read. http://www.xrite.com/documents/apps/public/misc/Color_Primer_by_Fred_Bunting.pdf Read this and you'll start to understand why talking about the "actual color" of something is a minefield.
  24. You should have a look at his website - NoUVIR.com. It gets better... "After three years of intense study, starting with the work of Einstein, Feynman and others, NoUVIR defined the photon, finally resolving the wave/particle debate. Then we described and modeled the quantum physics of light including the interaction of light and matter and the processes of reflection, refraction and photochemical damage. " Amazing stuff! I don't think I'd be paying too much attention to that article.
  25. Have you tried contacting any Australian makers? I realise that Holden will soon be going the way of the dodo, but we are still making cellos here.
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