Saturday, January 24, 2009


Paper .
Andre Willers
24 Jan 2009

Definition :
Paper is simply a felt made of matted cellulose fibres derived from plants .

Sources :
1.The definitive source is "Handmade paper today" by Silvie Turner and Birgit Skiold (Lund Humphries , London 1983 SBN 85331 465 x )
2.Internet sources .

History :

1. First came papyrus (about 5 000 years ago)
An article on the Papyrus Museum by Lara Iskander .

Who can resist the name of an author like Lara Iskander ?

The Papyrus Museum
by Lara Iskander
The English word papyrus is derived via Latin, from the Greek, papuros. The Arabic word is ‘Bardy’ or also ‘Warak Bardy’ meaning Papyrus paper.

It is often claimed that Egyptians referred to papyrus as pa-per-aa, literary meaning, ‘that which is of Pharaoh’, apparently indicating that the Egyptian crown owned a monopoly on papyrus production, though no actual ancient text using this term is known.

Papyrus was very important to the ancient Egyptians as it helped transform Egyptian society in many ways. Once the technology of papyrus making was developed, its method of production was a closely guarded secret allowing the Egyptians to have a monopoly on it as it became the lifeblood for ancient Egypt. It was even exported to many locations in the ancient world. The raw material of papyrus paper comes from the plant Cyperus papyrus, a long stemmed plant that grows in damp regions of the Nile Delta in Egypt.
This plant which grew to 4 or 5 meters in height survived in Egypt thanks to the dry climate. The plant is harvested in the fall, (October, November and December) after the flood season. Ancient Egyptians discovered how to make paper from the stems of the plant as early as 3000 B.C.

Despite the fact that the plant was mainly used in the production of paper, it was also a major component in the manufacturing of boats, rope and baskets. The roots of the plant were also burned for fuel, and from dried papyrus mats were made, mattresses, boxes, tables and sandals. On the other hand, the papyrus sheets were the preferred writing materials of the ancient world because they were light, strong, thin, durable, and easy to carry.

The regular format for ancient works of literature was the papyrus roll. It was usual to write on that side of the sheet on which the fibers ran horizontally (recto); the other side (verso) was used only exceptionally. If a sheet of papyrus has writing on both sides but in different hands, it is generally be assumed that the writing on the recto is the earliest.

Right: Illustration of Nefertari on Boat; Left: Illustration of Akhenaton on a Chariot
Eventually, the papyrus plant disappeared from the area of the Nile as the Egyptians gradually abandoned the production and neglected the cultivation of papyrus plantations shortly after the Arabs introduced the pulped paper process in the 10th century, which they had learned from their Chinese prisoners. Pulped paper gained fame for its higher durability, particularly in moist climates, and the fact that it could be manufactured anywhere.

There have been several attempts to revive the manufacture of papyrus during the past 250 years. A Scottish explorer named James Bruce experimented in the late 18th century with papyrus plants from the Sudan. Following that was another attempt, also in the 18th century, by a Sicilian man named ‘Saverio Landolina’ in Syracuse, where papyrus plants had continued to grow in the wild. However, the modern technique of papyrus production used in Egypt today was developed in 1962 by Dr. Hassan Ragab, an Egyptian Engineer who was long fascinated by the mysterious techniques of the ancient Egyptians.
In order to reinvent the art of papyrus-paper making in Egypt, he first obtained the roots of the plant from Sudan and Ethiopia and established what is considered to be one of the largest man papyrus plantations in the world at Jacob Island at Giza, also known as the Pharaonic Village.

Left: A framed Papyrus artwork; Right: Various Displays in the Museum
Despite the lack of information regarding the old manufacturing methods Dr. Ragab was able to redevelop the production process and officially revive the ancient technique and make once again part of the Egyptian Culture. Today both Sicily and Egypt are almost the only places that continue to have centers of papyrus production.

It is also interesting to note that the papyrus plant is found in the rectangular pool in front of the Cairo Antiquity Museum filled also with lotus plants, both are symbolic of Lower and Upper Egypt respectively, hence why they appear frequently in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and art. The lotus or water lily floats is found in the outer rectangle, while the papyrus is in the inner one.

Left: Front of the Papyrus Museum; Right: Various Pharaonic Costumes for Sale
Dr. Hassan Ragab finally opened his Papyrus Institute in 1968 in attempt to re-establish this ancient technique and to show the public how it was done. Today, the Museum is a government approved shop making and selling authentic papyrus in addition to a variety of pharaonic souvenirs and costumes.

The Hassan Ragab Papyrus Institute, also known as the Papyrus Museum, is located on the west bank of the river Nile, between the Cairo Sheraton and the University bridge, ‘Kobry al-Gama’a’, almost one kilometer from the center of Cairo. It occupies the lower level of one of the biggest Nile houseboats and has a fascinating view of Cairo’s Nile-front buildings. The museum contains the largest collection of papyrus reproductions of all the famous paintings of ancient Egypt. During the 1970's & 1980's this Institute was the third most important touristic site in Egypt, after the Pyramids and the Cairo Antiquity Museum.
Following the success of his papyrus revival venture, he started working on the idea of creating a living museum of Egypt's ancient history. In 1974 he converted Jacob's Island into a replica and living exhibit of an Ancient Egyptian community isolating it from the surrounding views of modern Cairo by planting 5,000 trees.

The Papyrus Museum is an excellent place to visit even if you are not interested in buying as there is no entrance fee or purchase required. However, most tourists do end up buying something given the brilliant quality and variety of the exhibited works. The institute provides a very interesting demonstration , available English, on how the papyrus plant was turned into a writing material by the ancient Egyptians that was able to survive for thousands of years.

This Papyrus making process is also demonstrated in the ‘Pharaonic Village’, though in more authentic surroundings, but the museum offers a good substitution if you are unable to arrange a visit to that location.

Special orders are available at the Museum and one can request special paintings or have your names written in hieroglyphic or Arabic on the papyrus as a souvenir, which of course makes a very nice lasting memory of your visit to Egypt.

Perhaps the prices at the Papyrus Museum may be a just a bit more than those found from street vendors in other tourist destinations and souvenir shops. However, one can rest assured that there products are of higher quality as they are made of the original Cyperus plant and not Banana stalk or sugar cane that may deteriorate rapidly and is frequently the material offered by street vendors.
Dr. Hassan died in 2004 after a life full of achievements and discoveries. The Papyrus Museum and Pharaonic Village, now operated by his family are still major attractions in Cairo.

Papyrus Museum: 121 Al-Nil Street, Giza.
Tel: 336-7212, 348-9035/8676/8177. Open 9am to 9pm. No entrance fee.
The Pharaonic Village: 3 Al-Bahr Al-A'zam St, Giza. Tel: 571- 8675/6/7. Admission fees vary according to programme. Open: 9am-9pm in summer, 9am-6pm in winter.
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Last Updated: 02/03/2006
2. Felt .
Felt is used in every stage of ancient and modern paper manufacture . This is felt made of coarse , matted animal hairs or woven . Paper is simply felt made of cellulose fibres derived from plants . The coarse animal felts are used are used to handle the fragile wet paper sheets in the dehydration process , whether pressing or heating .

Felt manufacture is thus a necessary pre-condition of making paper . (See below)

See previous posts on the role felt manufacture played in nomad development (essential for light , weatherproof shelters) .

See also previous posts on the development of the recurve horn bow from bow-saws . "Ancient Egyptian Technology"

The suspicion arises that felt yurts and recurve bows were a package that emanated from Egypt via their mercenaries (Like the alphabet). The idea of paper-making might also have traveled along , resulting in the development of Chinese paper-making using other vegetable fibres than papyrus .(Cultural diffusion)

3. Beating half-stuff .
Not child-abuse .
The techies showed a lamentable lack of imagination in the PR department .

It is the process of preparing rags (made of woven vegetable fibres like flax or cotton) by beating them until the fibres separate to a sufficient degree while suspended in water . (developed in China)
The resulting cellulose fibres (stuff) are then scooped up by a sieve (the mould) and agitated to form a matted layer (the sheet) .(Note : the agitation is a chaotic process : see nano-cellulose . Beth(1) intervention is possible.)

The fragile wet sheet is then put onto the wet , coarse felt . (A tricky process called couching.) It is then pressed and dried to form paper .
The coarse felt allows water to drain . It also imprints it's texture onto the paper as a watermark .

4. Watermarks.
Originally this was the structure of the moulding board and the felts . Manufacturers learned to use it to give uniqueness to their paper . (Eg bank notes ,etc)
It is important to note that it is built into the structure of the paper during manufacture.
The paper has a built-in three-dimensional structure .

5.Nano-cellulose .
Cellulose manufactured on a nano-scale level gives rise to mats (paper or material) that is about 20% as strong as steel .

6. Gecko-armour .
The trick :
Laminate sheets with interlocking watermarks to give armour hundreds of times stronger than possible at present .
This should be possible even without nano-cellulose . Aligning the cellulose fibres during the matting process onto a watermark (with magnetic or electric fields) should give close enough contact to the micro-fibrils to have a gecko-effect .
Any impact on sheets of this material will cause the sheets to try and slide over each other on a micro-scale . The gecko-effect will counteract this . Even normal watermark interlocking will give a very durable armour .

7. Bio-tests on paper .
See NewScientist 13 Dec p25 "Lifesaving tests on paper"
This example uses a rather elaborate manufacturing process to create a cheap paper equivalent to a large array of testing chemicals to do the same job as an array of biochips .
The same can be printed en-masse by using watermark technology .

You would need only to make a small adjustment to present multi-layer printing techniques . Note the analogy with using ink-jet printers for 3D printing .

8. Stuff and 3D printing .
This brings us to an immediate application :
Stuff (cellulose or any other fibres in a fluid suspension) can be loaded into an Ink-jet printer and commercially available software can then build up a 3D item .
Dehydration can be done traditionally , or simply cooked out via micro-waves and a fan .

9. Tear-off pads cellphones powered by folding the paper .
The mechanical folding can release electrons to power a low-energy process.

10. Cheap once-off video screens .
Pull the video sheet down , watch the show . Crumple it up and recycle it .

11 . Scrollable sun-power .
Make a watermark with micro-pockets of photo-sensitive material and connect them via channels in the watermark . The channels can be logic-gates(ie transistors) , so the whole app can be printed in one go at less than a cent . Cheap and reliable .

12. Arses-R-Us
Toilet paper printed with analysis pockets connected by watermark logic-processors , powered by folding . The paper communicates with the household system and gives an update . This would actually sell . (Cf Japanese toilet systems . This would be literally flushable .) Health systems note .

Same for tissue paper ("Sneeze-Easy" )
Funeral homes can have "Woe-R-Us" tissues , measuring the stress hormones and signaling for extra sedatives or the police department .

14. Toxic spills.
See NewScientist 13 Dec p25 "Wipe away that pesky toxic spill"
The analysis paper is sandwiched between absorbent material (other paper) .
Analysis is sent to local network-node .

15 . The Raven paper condom .
A condom can be printed that is durable and make an analysis for any known STD's .
The condom would notify the local node , which would analyse the significance of the pattern of reactive dots on the condom paper .
The feedback would be via the bluetooth or something similar .
Why the Raven ? Ask "No More" .

16 . Ecological consequences.
A cellulose based technology might seem at first to be a Good Thing , since very little CO2 is released into the atmosphere . But global cooling will result .

Also , an explosion of termites and their symbiotic bacteria will result .
Paper libraries will be severely affected .

The shortage of available biologically active sulfur will also become worse .
Lignin production is heavily dependant on free-sulfur availability . It is no accident that large trees only became more common after the development of flowers (see "Death of the Dinosaurs" et al .)

Present day free-sulfur availability is luckily not part of Gaia's reserve system , otherwise humans would have been extinct by now .Ie the biomass now with all the cultured bio-systems is bigger than what the planet normally supports . Gaia does not mind (has no feedback systems against it) , as long as the Gaia reserves (as discussed) are not affected .

17. Cellulose feedback systems .
This includes humans . If some human scientist splices gymnosperm genes into angiosperms to increase seed production , the size of plants will decrease drastically , while yields increase .
This might have happened already during the so-called green revolutions , where the yield of dwarf-hybrids were increased .

What does this mean ?

Do the sums yourself . Many more plants with bigger seed-bearing whatevers needs stronger support . More lignin is needed . The angiosperm vs gymnosperm balance is then tilted toward gymnosperms . The gymnosperm ecology will become more switched-on gene-wise . This means that chickens and birds become larger . This should be measurable . Ask Kentucky Fried Chicken , who keeps very exact records .
The weight gain of birds is larger than what can be explained by breeding .
It explains the success of the growth of the chicken industry , as well as the toughness of the meat .

Small birds will become a bit larger but much more numerous.
Medium size birds (like pigeons) will also become larger and evolve towards raptors . Large birds like the albatrosses will become too large to fly and become land-bound raptors .
This will happen quite rapidly , as evolutionary factors are not involved . Merely the switching on of genes .

I wonder if Alfred Hitchcock had chickens in mind when he made " The Birds" ?

18 . Bird-borne diseases .
Diseases like H5N1 are now the fashion .If human activity has tilted the eco-balance towards the gymnosperm ecology (ie dinosaurs) , we can expect more diseases targeting the CR5 receptor site . And so it has .

But what is the critical factor ?
This is a very old mechanism , since it affects both dinosaurs and mammals . This makes it easier . It must be planetwide , at a cellular level . It must not be affected by immune evolutionary pressures . An elemental shortage fits the bill , one that grows bigger with the increase in planetary biomass .

19 . Sulfur .
The CR5 receptor site deforms enough due to a shortage of sulfur for the cellular wall that it becomes open to any nasty .
During the smoking fumarole stage of proto-cellular evolution , if sulfur became scarce , there were enough energy states it could assume to require a portal of variable size . This got hard-wired in at a very basic stage . This portal we know as CR5 . It never got shut down , because the organism needed sulfur for scaffolding .

It has become one of Gaia's little balancing tricks . If organisms become very successful , their biomass increases and the concentration of sulfur decreases . This increases susceptibility to CR5 diseases , as the CR5 portal reconfigures to accept ever more exotic sulfur compounds . This includes sulfur-compound mimics (like a meta-material of viruses .
CR5 viruses can be seen as meta-materials of sulfur particles .The configurations can be exactly calculated .)

If an organism is already infected , both the CR5 portal size and virus-metamaterial has to be neutralized . As a rule of thumb , this will require double the normal sulfur load . VitC in humans encourages sulfur uptake (hence its reputation)

20 .Evidence :
As can be imagined , this is scarce . Hard evidence is available in the number of deaths of munition factory workers in 1918 of the Spanish Flu (which targeted CR5) .

The number of deaths were zero .That's right . No munition worker in the UK died of the Spanish Flu (and there were hundreds of thousands). In true human fashion , this inconvenient truth got swept under the carpet .

From what we know now , and other anecdotal evidence , the critical factor was exposure to large concentrations of sulfur compounds readily worked into biologically active forms .

21. VitC
This is a intestinal bacterial killer . But it seems to be targeted at bacteria responsible for reworking sulfur compounds without absorbing them into body .
Hence the immunity of monkeys to HIV(another CR5 targeter) .

22. Optimal Dosages .
About 3 000 mg MSM and 1 500 mg vitC a day (spread over 3 periods.)

If infected with a suspected CR5 targeter like flu :
About 12 000 mg MSM and 6 000 mg vitC for at least 6 days . If symptoms persist , repeat until they disappear or death , whichever comes first .

23. Eating Paper
And what has the above to do with paper ?
Why , eating cellulose is not only good roughage , but it disrupts most disease causing systems . If you eat a few termites to add to your intestinal fauna , it will also make the little buggers that more uncertain and strengthen your immune system's bargaining hand . And it is bargaining , make no mistake .

The nutritional value of "Mein Kampf" or "A Critique of Pure Reason" has long been neglected .

Barbarians burn books . Civilized people digest them .

And so it goes .


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