This is an eclectic essay collection with a practical bent. The technical level ranges from elementary to advanced, and mostly the latter. In general, I've done my best to explain complicated matters for the nonspecialist, but never without rigor, meaning I'm usually thorough, exhaustive, and extensive. There's no hierarchy, so you can jump right in. Each article is intended to stand on its' own, which is harder to do than one might suppose. There is much curious and valuable information here that is increasingly hard to find.


These FAQ help explain:
  • How to ascertain and build value into curated collections.
  • How to keep things in top condition.
  • Repair, clean, and restore, without marginalizing value.
  • Identify unusual, now rare substances such as ivories, resins, and inlays.
  • Decipher origins, properties, age, usage, and marks.
  • Symbol semaphore in the Arts and Sciences.
  • Artistic expression and the economics of the business world.

I'm always trying to strike a balance, between extolling the virtues of some particular topic and why it repays your efforts to learn it, and giving explanations that specialists would consider too elementary. There's always a trade off and only so much time. Like Life, this site is really for those intelligent enough to want to learn, and who can learn relying on their own resources. If you're one of these more adventurous sorts, then you probably already know that serendipity plays an important role in helping you discover and refine the questions you're really asking.



This Library doesn't use cookies and is primarily text oriented. I generally eschew monkey business, extraneous bells, whistles, graphics, and other juvenilia found on commercial sites.

The links in the Library lead you to that topic's index page, where you can select articles in that subject to read. Each article should contain a link back here, at the top and bottom of the page. You can also use your browser's back button.

Many articles state URLs that link to external sites, since in many subjects, internet resources are interesting and valuable, such as NASA, the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and elsewhere whose scholarly information is rigourous. They offer videos, step-by-step tutorials, and extensive technical discussions. Sitedroppings are common across the internet now, so be careful; don't venture out without an umbrella.

If you find a URL link or reference link here that's broken, please notify me. I would very much appreciate being advised of broken links so I can fix them. I cannot check them all regularly. There's a link for emailing at the top and bottom of this page, and on most pages of this site.


Because there is no practical way to design for ever-evolving platforms, a compromise must be made. If you see α as a Greek letter alpha, fine, however if you see an ampersand followed by alpha then your browser doesn't interpret these characters, unfortunately. Many of the articles on mathematics, physics and chemistry depend heavily on special characters. You can try using different browsers: firefox, chrome, safari, etc. The only Library search facility is the one available through the Suit Yourself International Appanage store (there's a link at the top and bottom of each page); all the articles here should show up with links in search there. Unfortunately, I've no time to write another search specifically for this part of the site, nor have I found a canned one that I can set up easily.

One caveat. I eschew the question of whether a topic is considered "difficult" or "easy" because that's irrelevant. Knowledge, or the lack of it, comes at levels suitable for all degrees of intelligence. Understanding, not knowledge, is what matters, and understanding is in very short supply. The most important and necessary reason to study anything is that it gives pleasure and entertainment. Without this, the study of anything isn't worth the effort, however profitable the knowledge might be.

As a result, you will find here whatever I consider essential and necessary for understanding what I wish to present. Much internet information is very disappointing; it's a genuine shame that such a powerful medium has been so debased. Unlike other places, you will find mathematics here (and by "mathematics" I do not mean "arithmetic"), alongside other "deep topics" such as communications in multiple languages, art, acoustics, archeology, ancient history, astronomy, archetypes, advertising, artificial intelligence, explosives, geology, forgery, fraud, restoration, robots, history, particle physics, model trains, molecular biology, neurology, optics, semaphore, tai chi, yoga, household chemistry hints, vision and color and camouflage, warfare, waves, etc. etc. etc.


Understanding is an ongoing process; these articles are revised as time permits and updated as I learn more and correct my own errors; hopefully this site, and myself, improve with age. I do try to add additional FAQ to this library as time permits, but sadly, it rarely does. You can, however, sign up for our free Magazine for which I write regularly, by registering for it in our store.

Links to all previous articles can be found here, in our Library, and also in the Magazine Archives. Upon request, reprint permission and an addendum of substantiating resources are available for all magazine articles. When requesting reprint permission or addenda, please include the issue date and full issue title. Please do not reproduce the information here in part or in whole without express written consent. The information here may be freely used noncommercially, with the customary attribution; commercial rights are reserved. All the articles are copyright © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself ™ International. ISSN 2474-820X. Thank you.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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    All Content is ©2020 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

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    All Content is ©2020 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill