How to frame a poster

We had this beautiful poster for a long time and we always just taped it to the wall. It is a pretty poster and it looked just fine on its own, but I always thought it would look stunning in a frame.

Getting a poster or picture framed at a store can get rapidly expensive with the size of your poster. When I called Michael’s about a quote for framing this poster, they said that their minimum offer was $120! That’s over 5 times the price of the poster! I wasn’t ready to shell out that kind of money. So decided to do it by myself. Also, it is just such a fun and easy thing to do. I like doing these things while listening to my audio books (one of the many wonderful things I picked up from my mother-in-law).

So here is what you will need.

1. A frame. Pick a frame that is a few inches bigger in both width and height than your poster.
2. A mat board at least the size of the frame.
3. Pencil
4. Xacto knife or some other kind of cutter for cutting the mat board. I used a rolling cutter and self-healing mat for the purpose. I already had these handy from my sewing projects so I just used them. I used the xacto knife for the corners.
5. Ruler.

Steps

1. Take the insert from the frame and map the boundaries of the insert on the mat board. Cut the mat board.

Image

2. Now that you have the size of the mat board that will fit in your frame, you need to cut a hole in it through which the picture or poster could show through. For this, first measure the size of your poster. Cut a hole in the mat board, centered in height and width, that is at least an inch smaller than the poster. You can judge this for yourself. It really depends on how much of the poster you are willing to hide behind the mat board.

3) Tape the poster to the back of the mat board. I usually only tape at the top so that the poster can hang freely and smoothly. Then place the mat board + poster combination in the frame and lock them in. This usually varies frame to frame. The instructions on the frame should help.

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Bertrand Russell on Philosophy

I am reading a book called “A History of Western Philosophy” by Bertrand Russell. I read the following in the Introduction of this book. It resonated with me completely and I wanted to share it with you.

Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason rather than to authority, whether that of tradition or that of revelation. All definite knowledge-so I should contend-belongs to science; all dogma as to what surpasses definite knowledge belongs to theology. But between theology and science there is a No Man’s Land, exposed to attack from both sides; this No Man’s Land is philosophy. Almost all of the questions of most interest to speculative minds are such as science cannot answer, and the confident answers of theologians no longer seem so convincing as they did in former centuries. Is the world divided into mind and matter, and, if so, what is mind and what is matter? Is mind subject to matter, or is it possessed of independent powers? Has the universe any unity or purpose? Is it evolving towards some goal? Are there really laws of nature, or do we believe in them only because of our innate love of order? Is man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water impotently crawling on a small and unimportant planet? Or is he what he appears to Hamlet? Is he perhaps both at one? Is there a way of living that is noble and another that is base, or are all ways of living merely futile? If there is a way of living that is noble, in what doesn’t it consist, and how shall we achieve it? Must the good be eternal in order to deserve to be valued, or is it worth seeking even if the universe is inexorably moving towards death? Is there such a thing as wisdom, or is what seems such merely the ultimate refinement of folly? To such questions no answer can be found in the laboratory. Theologies have professed to give answers, all too definite; but their very definiteness causes modern minds to view them with suspicion. The studying of these questions, if not the answering of them, is the business of philosophy.

Why, then, you may ask, waste time on such insoluble problem? To this one may answer as a historian, or as an individual facing the terror of cosmic loneliness.
The answer of the historian, in so far as I am capable of giving it, will appear in the course of this work. Ever since men became capable of free speculation, their actions, in innumerable important respects, have depended upon their theories as to the world and human life, as to what is good and what is evil. This is as true in the present day as at any former time. To understand an age or a nation, we must understand its philosophy, and to understand its philosophy we must ourselves be in some degree philosophers. There is here a reciprocal causation: the circumstances of men’s lives do much to determine their philosophy, but, conversely, their philosophy does much to determine their circumstances. This interaction throughout the centuries will be the topic of the following pages.

There is also, however a more personal answer. Science tells us what we know, but what we know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance, and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales. It is not good either to forget the questions that philosophy asks, or to persuade ourselves that we have found indubitable answers to them. To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.

Fair Weather

This level reach of blue is not my sea;
Here are sweet waters, pretty in the sun,
Whose quiet ripples meet obediently
A marked and measured line, one after one.
This is no sea of mine. that humbly laves
Untroubled sands, spread glittering and warm.
I have a need of wilder, crueler waves;
They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

So let a love beat over me again,
Loosing its million desperate breakers wide;
Sudden and terrible to rise and wane;
Roaring the heavens apart; a reckless tide
That casts upon the heart, as it recedes,
Splinters and spars and dripping, salty weeds.

Dorothy Parker

On the Nature of Knowledge

(These were the thoughts I had penned down a long time back after watching this outstanding movie Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky)
What is knowledge?
Today, I watched Solaris. It raises questions about the nature and limits of knowledge, something that I had thought about for a long time now.

In the movie Snaut says, “Man wants to see man when he goes to outer-space. He is unwilling to see or learn anything that does not fall under the realm of human knowledge”. It is true, isn’t it? We see and understand everything on the basis of the knowledge we already possess.

For example, we see everything in terms of numbers – two eyes, many people, a blanket. No matter what we think it is not possible to get rid of the number. I had long back written a blogpost in which i posted a picture of a bunch of men and I asked what would you think of this picture if you did not have the number system. Well, what would we think? No matter what we think – it always seem to come back to the concept of numbers.

What if there is a different basis of knowledge that does not belong to the realm of numbers? What if it was an accident that human knowledge chanced upon the number-realm rather than the other? Sure, it was an act of pure genius, the invention of numbers. But all the subsequent knowledge that we built was based upon this one basic premise, which in the end was probably an accident.

So, if we have to talk about truth, the existence of which is unknown as far as i am concerned, the knowledge that we possess today is true only as long as the premise is true. But the premise is an assumption at best. So is all knowledge an assumption?

Is our “understanding” of nature our own fabrication and nothing more?

weread.com

I love reading books and its great if I can find a place where I can document/share my experiences. I was trying out weread.com. Their portable BookShelf (once you create your bookshelf you can carry it with you to orkut, facebook etc.) idea has generated a lot of traffic to the website, so it has a lot of users and content. But I am not entirely happy with the design of the website.

– When I sign in, I want to see a personalized home page. I want to see the books I have added, the reviews I have written, activities of my friends etc. The information on what general population is doing is secondary to me. Instead when I sign in, I see a page where a huge chunk of page is occupied by iReaders’ activities and there is no space for activities of my friends.

– I have already created a bookshelf. Why does the homepage still ask me to create a bookshelf after I sign in? Top quarter of the screen space is occupied by that, which is meaningless.

– There is no link to “Home”. But that is also because there is no homepage. I think that is bad design.

– Screen space seems to be poorly used in most webpages. There is a lot of content but the webpages are sparse which requires you to scroll a lot. Not cool. (A “An iReader has reviewed Blah Blah” takes 2 inches of screen space. I think that is unreasonable.)

I really want to use this website, but I get irritated when things are not intuitive or are cumbersome. I hope the weread.com people will read this blogpost. That is the only purpose to this post 🙂