Perfume Gun

A tiny bejeweled pistol viewed from the side. It has a red handle, blue barrel and intricate gold details.

A tiny bejeweled pistol viewed from the barrel end, with a red handle, blue barrel and intricate gold details.

A tiny bejeweled perfume gun! Seriously. Circa 1804-1808, it’s a miniature flintlock pistol automaton made of gold and enamel with split pearls, and lovely little cased panels on each side depicting a hare and a hound.

The automaton mechanism sprays out perfume from a central gold rose when the hammer and trigger are struck. There’s also a watch concealed in the barrel of the gun, because of course there is.

From Monica McLaughlin’s antique jewelry newsletter, Dearest.

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Inside the ILFORD Factory →

Take a look inside the HARMAN technology factory in Mobberley, England where we manufacture the ILFORD and Kentmere ranges of black and white film, photographic paper and chemicals.

From emulsion making, R&D and coating to finishing, quality control, warehousing and distribution, for the first time ever we are officially taking you behind the scenes at ILFORD Photo to show how your favourite black and white analogue products end up in the hands of photographers and darkroom printers all over the world.

Astronaut →

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Fans Are Better Than Tech at Organizing Information Online →

On AO3, users can put in whatever tags they want. (Autocomplete is there to help, but they don’t have to use it.) Then behind the scenes, human volunteers look up any new tags that no one else has used before and match them with any applicable existing tags, a process known as tag wrangling.

AO3’s trick is that it involves humans by design–around 350 volunteer tag wranglers in 2019, up from 160 people in 2012–who each spend a few hours a week deciding whether new tags should be treated as synonyms or subsets of existing tags, or simply left alone. AO3’s Tag Wrangling Chairs estimate that the group is on track to wrangle over 2 million never-before-used tags in 2019, up from around 1.5 million in 2018.