TheShavingofOccam123: And for you Norman-descended Brits, you might want to look at the etymology of the two words.Plaid descends from GaelicTartan is FRENCH.So piss off, you Frenchified bastards.
Jim_Callahan: Point of order:The plaid is technically the cloth, the 'tartan' is the pattern. Plaids can also have basic checkered patterns and simpler (or more complex, I suppose) multi-colored machine weaves other than the specific 'tartan' designs, so even if you're using 'plaid' to refer to the pattern, tartan is a subset of that.Aside:This is actually something that branches into a reasonably complex discussion of the shift in textile labor economics in the steam age, British imperial politics in the 1800s, and the power struggles between domestic, foreign, and local economic interests regarding staple goods in the colonial age. Selling machine textiles to the Scots was one of the first big fully-recorded case studies in the use of politics to push product sales and vice/versa.I totally vote we thread-jack to talk about this instead of the actual article, but then I'm an engineer with a specialty in chemistry and solids physics so it's possible that acoustic patterning of materials is more in the "this was already old news in the 1920s" category for me than for everyone else.// Not that it's not a useful application, it's just that the effect itself is something that's been well understood for on the order of a century. All the interesting bits, i.e. the engineering details on how they accomplished it on this awesomely tiny a scale without error fuzzing the pattern away, aren't in TFA so I have trouble mustering interest.//1920s may be something of an exaggeration, I'm not 100% sure of when exactly we started playing with the sand plates and so on.
Tricky Chicken: some sort of bizarre Dr Who Spaceballs mashup?
HighlanderRPI: [www.polyvore.com image 300x300]
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