Monday, August 30, 2010

The Castle5000 Mailbag

As important public figures, we bloggers naturally get a lot of mail. Some recent examples will give you an idea of the kinds of information networking that goes on here at the Castle5000 home office.

Does Peter Joseph von Lindpainter's Bassoon Concerto really exist? Do you have a whereabouts, or recording, or anything?

Regards, [an actual professional bassoon player]

Hello, [actual professional bassoon player] --

This is not the kind of question I get every day! ...but yes, the Peter Joseph von Lindpaintner Bassoon Concerto in F Major exists, and I am listening to it as we speak. It's the highlight piece on the 1996 Naxos recording "Bassoon Concertos from the Courts of Baden and Wurttemburg," with Albrecht Holder on the Bassoon and the Stuttgart Philharmonic under Nicolas Pasquet. The recording also includes pieces by Molter, Kreutzer, and Kalliwoda, whoever they all are. I think you'll find that it's a pleasant, charming CD, but I bet you'll also agree that it's no mistake that we talk more about Mozart and Haydn than we do about Lindpaintner and Kalliwoda. Enjoy!


Wow, what a surprise. It's almost like a joke. It's staggering sometimes who pops up from history, given the resurgence of period music. Now we'll see if the music is published as well. Thanks again for getting back with me. Appreciated.

All the best, [an actual professional bassoon player]


The next letter refers to a recent Element of the Month, which I will call 5000um here because the writer obviously has an internet spider that alerts him when anyone blogs about, um, 5000um.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for writing about 5000um. I joined the 5000um Corporation in 1981, right out of engineering school. It's been a great place to work, many very cool applications as you note, and still a relatively unknown material. It gets a lot more press now days with the use in Flat Panel Displays, but still not as known as well as copper, tin,...

I noted in your article that there is a use of 5000um in ball bearings. I am not aware of the ball bearing application, but I am familiar with its use in sleeve bearings, over all a slight nuance. This application found its original use in aircraft engines during World War II. There are still high performance applications that require these bearings and happily they still use an 5000um coating. The coating improves the life of the bearing. By chance was the application you were referring to? If not I wonder if you can provide any further information on the application. Being the 5000um Corporation, we like to learn about all the uses of the element from which we take our name.

Thanks for your time.
Regards, [a actual materials engineer]

Hi, [actual materials engineer] --

Thanks for your note! As far as knowing about any specialized applications for 5000um, I honestly wouldn't know a ball bearing from a sleeve bearing from a compass bearing. The lion's share of the information for my monthly posts on the elements is nothing more than what I dredge from wikipedia and similar sources. I'm just giving myself a crude education on the periodic table, and trying to jazz it up a little bit to amuse my friends. I should probably label it "for entertainment purposes only!"

Thanks again for writing,

The most frequent source of letters from strangers, though, is the symbol that I designed with all y'all's help in the Democracy Assisted Design (DAD) process a few years back. Generally, I suspect that people who write me about the symbol have not read the posts, which talk about how I am trying to create an arbitrary symbol ~that has no meaning~. Hence:

Hello Michale,

My sister and I are looking for a symbol to share as a tattoo. When i googled "symbol meaning sister" your artwork came up. Can you tell me a little bit more about your inspiration for this piece.

Sincerly, [someone's actual sister]

Hi, [someone's actual sister],

Well, it doesn't "mean sister" unless you decide it does, in which case it does!

What I was trying to do with the design is come up with something that looks like a symbol, but has no actual meaning. If you are curious about the design process, you can trace it from this blog post:

Happy Tattooing,


Have a question about what you've read on the L&TM5K? Feel free to write -- although, now that I think about it, how these people are getting my email address is mildly puzzling. But anyway, I am more than egotistical enough to answer anything that could be remotely described as "fan mail!"

...well, almost anything. I didn't answer this one.

Wwhat does that symbol stand for the ur putting on that rug? What is da meaning of it? Please respond asap.


Jennifer said...

Under your user profile, there's a contact link with your email address.

Michael5000 said...

Well I'll be damned.

Elaine said...

I was coming to put the same info down--'cause that's how I myself got your e-mail address. You can take it off your profile if you need to avoid materials engineers and bassoonists.

Michael5000 said...

I like materials engineers and bassoonists just fine.

Aviatrix said...

It's barely literate txtspking symbolists you're opposed to?

Michael5000 said...

Dmding 1s. Thaat thnk I mkes da rugs.

Jenners said...

Wow ... your mailbag is a lot more fascinating and esoteric than mine ... then again, your blog is a lot more fascinating and esoteric than mine. I get a lot of "I hate when my kid vomits too!!!"

Bridget said...

I once got a diatribe from a gentleman who trained people to ride motorcycles. He was disturbed by the inaccuracies in the analogy on my website's homepage comparing creativity to "riding a bike." He seemed to think that my instructions were incomplete, and might lead to motorcycle accidents, injury, and possibly death.

I was very confused.

Michael5000 said...